04 September 2008

New grain mill!!! Polenta!!!!!

Europeans are pretty wild about fresh food. And fresh-ground grain is no exception. I've never heard of counter-top models of grain mills, but they are incredibly popular here, especially in places like Germany and Austria.

I haven't been able to eat any grains over the last few years because most of the commercially prepared ones are processed in places that also process wheat and barley. So I just avoided them altogether because of the chance of cross contamination.

But grains are back on the menu now that I've got my own grain mill!!!! It is the cutest thing you've ever seen. Very heavy. With a serious motor, and two grind stones made of, well, stone! The particular model I got is hand-carved in a beautiful wood, and it all comes from a company called Waldner (http://www.waldner-biotech.at/en/produkte.asp).

I also went to my friendly grain lady at the farmers market and requested some special corn they use for making polenta. She'll have it for me on Tuesday. So in the meantime, she gave me some of her popping corn and I milled that today and cooked it into a creamy, delightful, and unabashedly simple and delicious polenta.

Fresh milled grains must be prepared immediately because the milled grain starts to go bad as soon as it encounters oxygen. So the idea is to mill it, and use it immediately.

Here's a picture of my beautiful mill actually grinding corn.

And here is a picture of the milled corn. I mixed very fine corn flour with a heavier grind.

Then I cooked it the old fashioned way into polenta. Basically I put 1 part corn meal into 3 parts boiling water, then stirred for an hour. Yup. A full hour. The corn gets creamier and creamier. And gives off an aroma that is something like a cross between sunshine and happiness. Comfort food at its best.

Here is the finished polenta. Afterward, I put it all into a dish and let it cool so I could cut it into wedges and then put it into my homemade chicken soup.

1 comment:

Ivan said...

Thanks for the tip. Bought popcorn milled it in similar Austrian made mill and eaten polenta that I am missing since I left Croatia (1975).