Basil Cornmeal Muffins

For dessert, Jorge prepared another item made with cornmeal. This time, it’s a sweet cornmeal muffins.


Jorge kicked it up a notch by adding basil to it. Jorge served the Basil Cornmeal Muffins with Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce which I will post next.


  • 1 1/4 cups fine or medium grind yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 7 basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 cups corn kernels
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese for sprinkling (optional)


Source: Jorge Viduenez

Prep time: 20 minutes;  Bake time: 25 minutes;  Serves 12


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Jalapeno Chili Corn Bread

Jorge served the Chicken Ratatouille with Jalapeno Chili Corn Bread.  Corn bread is native to the New World and was discovered by the Europeans during the European exploration of North America.


This Jalapeno Chili Corn Bread is not as spicy as it should be because Jorge toned down the heat by using less jalapeno due to not many of the seniors can tolerate the heat.


  • 1 cup of coarse corn meal (also packed as polenta)
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 3/4 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup of firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 2 jalapeno chili
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


Source: Jorge Viduenez

Prep time:  30 minutes;  Bake time: 30 minutes;  Serves 12


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Honey Cornbread

What is better than cornbread to serve with chili? Carol and Helmut made some Honey Cornbread to be served with the Turkey Corn Chili in the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors.


The Honey Cornbread is a bit dry-ish on its own. But it makes a perfect companion with the Turkey Corn Chili to soak up the sauce.


  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • additional vegetable oil to grease pan


Source: Charlene Dy

Prep time: 15 minutes;  Bake time: 25 minutes;  Serves 12


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Polenta with Smoky Mushroom Ragout

The South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors meets again for their forthrightly cooking fun.  I envied these group of seniors who are filled with enthusiasm and making full use of their retirement.  They enjoy cooking, gardening and each others company.


For this week’s cooking session, Charlene picked four recipes from Cooking Light.  The seniors are very careful with their food intake and they practice healthy eating.  The first recipe is Polenta with Smoky Mushroom Ragout.  To our surprise, this dish turns out to resembles lasagne.

The polenta in this recipe is baked in the oven, as opposed to using the traditional method of stovetop cooking.  This method frees you from constantly stirring the polenta and you can prepare the mushroom topping while the polenta is in the oven.

This recipe serves 8.



  • 6 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups dry polenta
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 cups sliced oyster mushroom caps (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon chopped drained canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup (6 oz) crumbled queso fresco cheese, feta, or goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


Polenta, at its most basic, is boiled cornmeal mush, a cousin of grits.  Popular in northern Italy, it can be served as a starch to be topped with sauces, or as an accompaniment to meats.  Once chilled, it becomes firm and can be sliced and grilled, fried, or layered in casseroles and baked dishes.

Composed primarily of carbohydrates, it is low in fat and a good option for a gluten-free side dish.  Many polenta recipes call for copious amounts of butter and cheese, as polenta by itself is very bland, so exercise good judgement while cooking.

Here in Canada, you can use cornmeal to make polenta.  The smaller the grind, the quicker it cooks.  Traditional Italian polenta is quite coarse, and can take between 20 to 40 minutes of stirring on the stovetop.  Cooking for less time results in grains that are more distinct; the longer cooking time results in a creamier consistency.

You can also make polenta using a microwave which I had blogged before here.


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Polenta with Meat Sauce

Jane made Polenta with Meat Sauce in the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen. I love to go to Jane’s kitchen as she has lots of stories and experiences to share especially about her marriage and her life experiences in Italy.


Polenta is made with corn meal. Corn meal comes in fine and coarse texture. You may use either according to your preference. The Polenta can be cooked on the stove which takes about half an hour or cooked using microwave in less than 15 minutes. Fine corn meal may takes less time.

Allocate about 1/4 cup of corn meal per person.


  • Corn meal for the polenta
  • Water, about 3 to 4 times of the amount of polenta used. For example, 3 cups of water for 1 cup of corn meal

Ingredients for meat sauce

  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 carrot, scrapped and finely grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can crushed tomato
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese



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Cornmeal Pancake

In the South Arm Community Kitchen, Ming shared a very simple Cornmeal Pancake recipe with us. She also make use of okara, the insoluble material left over from making soya milk from soya beans.


The Cornmeal Pancake is crusty and filing. It is good for teething toddlers. Ming also made some cornmeal porridge with the leftover cornmeal she brought. The porridge can be easily prepared by bringing a pot of water to a boil and add in the cornmeal (amount depend on how thick you want the porridge) and cook for a few minutes until the porridge thicken.


  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup okara (can be substituted with more cornmeal, a little milk or melted butter to moisten the batter)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder dissolved in a little water
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)


Click on the link below for the instructions.


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