19 August 2009

Kentucky Manna

For our British friends, this is what I call "American Ethnic Food." In this instance, it's a genteel Southern delight best experienced at the Beaumont Inn in Harrodsburg, Kentucky. Theirs is a twelve on a ten-point scale and also where I got the recipe. If you ask for it today they'll tell you it's a closely guarded secret but... Ha! Ha!... I have an old recipe book of theirs from the 1950's. So here it is... Kentucky manna:

2 cups corn (fresh or frozen)
8 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons sugar (rounded)
4 tablespoons butter (melted)
1 quart (4 cups) whole milk*
4 whole eggs (beaten)

Here's the recipe as written:

"Stir into the corn the flour, salt, sugar, and butter. beat eggs well, put them in the milk. Then stir into the corn and put into a pan or pyrex. Bake inside of oven slowly -- about 40 or 45 minutes. Stir from bottom 3 times while baking."

I mixed everything in my big roasting pan, then added the liquids and stirred really well. You want to get the flour well distributed. I call a "slow" oven about 250 degrees, maybe 300. I baked at the lower temp because milk isn't edible if it burns. My pudding took about an hours this way and was utterly perfect in consistency. You absolutely must stir several times, bringing the goop up from the bottom, to get it all to cook evenly. What you end up with is a tender custard with corn nicely distributed throughout.

* Use the best quality eggs and milk you can get! This is a supremely simple dish and what goes in definitely determines what comes out. As you know, I'm a fan of low-temp pasteurized milk from organic, pastured cows. It has more flavor!!! I'm also a great believer in using eggs from pastured poultry. Not only do they have more nutrients than caged or "floor raised" hens, they have beautiful yellow yolks and tons of flavor. (I can also drop an egg on the counter at six inches and not have it go splat.) Yes they are more expensive but you'll probably be buying them from a real person who will immediately spend that money in your community. Oh, and eggs last at least a month in the fridge whether they've been washed or not so it's a good buy even if you don't eat them all the time.


Sara Hemingway said...

I hope that you also experienced their fried chicken. Simply the best!

Mrs. Fuzzy said...

Everything they serve is five star!