The Mother Corn and the Barton Springs Mill

“Grass thus became as milk to the creatures of the animal kingdom, and the corn became the milk for mankind.” — Book of the Hopi

I wanted to learn more about Barton Springs Mill flours for a long time. Two weeks ago, I finally had a free Saturday to attend the Heritage Grains + Sourdough Breads Workshop by James A. Brown and Sandeep Gyawali. Well, first of all, I am back to baking bread at home because finally, with the heirloom wheat flours I can make a bread I am craving for because it is dangerously delicious. Secondly, BSM makes heirloom blue, red, and green corn I wanted to play with since Book of the Hopi. Almost a decade ago, the chapter about the Corn Mother totally fascinated me. Blue corn was not widely known back then. The only way to get it was by ordering it from the tribe farmers. I milled nixtamalize corn kernels myself to make traditional thin rolls of blue corn Hopi bread. It was fun! I asked James for a favor, and he kindly made a few pounds of finely milled corn flours for me to try making tortillas.

Oaxacan Greeb Corn Flour by Barton Springs Mill
Oaxacan Greeb Corn Flour by Barton Springs Mill

Oaxacan Green Corn Tortillas by Barton Springs Mill
Oaxacan Green Corn Tortillas by Barton Springs Mill

Oaxacan Green Corn by Barton Springs Mill
Oaxacan Green Corn by Barton Springs Mill

Green corn tortillas were not striking green when cooked, but they were the best-tasting tortillas I made so far. And I now have a few ideas for corn breads featuring Hopi Blue, Bloody Butcher Red, and of course Oaxacan Green (not available online) corn flours.

About Oaxacan Green Corn

Gardeners plant dent corn primarily to dry-mill. The Zapotec of southern Mexico, to whom this corn is attributed, would have grown this corn to create green flour for their tamales. The cob is heavy and round with hues of emerald green, lime, and chartreuse kernels. This variety entered the U.S. seed trade during the 1980s.

About the Recipe Origin

I started with Nopi’s soufflé corn cakes recipe and … changed it to make them greener and gluten-free. I also walked away from the Mediterranian flavors. Oaxacan Green corn flour, miso-glazed shishito peppers, and Roth’s Moody Blue (American smoked blue cheese) made a wonderful contribution to a complex flavor and color of the cakes.

Corn Cakes with Green Chilies
Corn Cakes with Green Chilies

Oaxacan Green Corn: Corn Cakes with Green Chilies

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Dish, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, European
Keyword: corn, heirloom grain
Servings: 3 portions

Ingredients

for batter

  • 9 oz corn kernels freshly cut off the cob or frozen corn, defrosted
  • 3 tbsp red onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic sliced
  • 3 tbsp green chilies sautéed
  • 2 tsp white miso or miso glaze
  • 2 tbsp parsley fresh, chopped
  • 1 tsp cilantro fresh, chopped
  • 3 tbsp butter melted
  • 2 each egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp Oaxacan green corn flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

for meringue

  • 2 each egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp dry egg whites

for garnish

  • 3 oz Moody Blue, smoked blue cheese by Roth

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare three ramekins. Prepare all ingredients.
    Making Corn Cakes with Green Chilies
  • In a food processor jar, combine the ingredients grouped for batter and process to make a chunky mixture. Transfer to a bowl.
    Making Corn Cakes with Green Chilies
  • In a small bowl, whip the egg whites to make a meringue. Fold it in three steps into the batter mixture. Spoon it into the ramekins dividing equally, garnish with chunks of cheese, and bake for 30-35 minutes until lightly golden.
    Making Corn Cakes with Green Chilies
  • Serve warm in a ramekin with a spoon or a fork.
    Corn Cakes with Green Chilies

Notes

"Corn, then, unites the two principles of Creation. It is sacred entity embodying both the male and female elements. When the plant begins to grow, the leaf curls back to the ground like the arm of a child grouping for its mother's breast. As the stalk grows upward in a spiral the first tassel appears, which is male. Then appears an ear of corn, which is female. [...] Then the silk appears and pollen is dropped on the "life line" to mature and season it to its fullest expression." — Book of the Hopi
Corn Cakes with Green Chilies