Thursday, April 7, 2016

Flint Corn Tacos

I have been muddling my way through what to do with all the flint corn I grew last year.  This crop is very alluring to me and I want to make it a staple part of my diet, somehow.  Experiments with polenta/grits have been so-so, but tacos and tortillas are showing some promise.  Here is where I'm at today.

Flint corn taco with dried beans from the farm.  A nutritiuous meal that is 100% off the farm.

Start with 1 lb of hard corn, in this case, Roy Calais flint corn.  I have selected only the red ears for this meal.  Roy Calais produces about 60% yellow ears and 40% red ears.  We're going to boil it in water with 2 T of slaked lime added.  You can get the lime from a little package in the Mexican section of the grocery, or from the lumber yard in 50# bags.  Slaked lime is a common additive to concrete to improve work-ability.  I have a lifetime supply left over from making the last brick oven.

The recipes I found for making masa recommended 10-15 minutes of simmering, but for my flint corn I am finding at least 30 minutes is needed, and I think it could go even longer.  Stir it several times while simmering, then turn off the heat, cover, and let sit over night.

It's ready if some of the skins can be rubbed off.  I have been rubbing some of the skins off, but not all of them, and rinsing the corn well.  Some of the original liquid should be reserved to hydrate the dough after grinding.

I'm still looking for a good masa grinder. This time I used my old Lehman's grinder with stones, but the auger had trouble feeding the wet corn.  I ended up pushing most of through with a dowel.  However, the stones made a very nice dough in a single pass.  The hand grinder available online feeds the corn very well, but the plates are so poorly made that you have to grind the dough several times.  And the dough feeds though the auger very poorly.  I have tried dressing the plates on the mexican grinder (using a belt sander) and next time I will test it out.

The dough may need hydrating to get the proper consistency.  The hotter the frying pan, the better for cooking.

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