A funny thing happened after the purchase. I came across quite a few recipes calling for corn meal, but I never wanted to try them. What if I really liked one of them, wanted to make it again and again but then the store stopped carrying corn meal, depriving me of the chance to make this food I’d fallen for? That just wouldn’t do, so the box sat there, waiting for me to get over my abandonment issues and bake something already.
Then a recipe for the bread you see up there came along, and I baked it and it was wonderful. So, naturally, the left-over corn meal went back into the cupboard, with me ever more convinced it would be a bad idea to run out of this splendid resource.
I suspect it would still be sitting there had Luisa Weiss at Wednesday Chef not posted about polenta cake. In the post, Luisa casually mentions that polenta is just a fancy word for corn meal. Jigga what? This precious stuff that’s been giving me tremors from its sheer potential awesomeness….The yellow grains that have been languishing in my cupboard since I bought a huge bag for Christmas (’07… )… They’re… The. Same. Thing?
Man, a bit of knowledge can come in handy sometimes!
Joyously relieved of corn-meal-purchasing angst, I baked firecracker corn bread again. And again. And here’s my advice to you: buy a bag of polenta and do the same thing. This is seriously good stuff. Moist, with a light crumb that still gives you something to chew on, studded with corn and encased in a buttery crust that packs the perfect amount of heat, no one should do without. Especially not since it is such a great way to get rid of left-over corn meal. Erm, I mean polenta.