Wednesday, May 13, 2009

This girls gone corny!

The other day when I wrote about cornbread, I said that I had found a stellar recipe in the book, The Cornbread Gospels. Indeed I did. I made it up the other day. It was SO easy and SO tastey. I liked it so much that it will be a regular in our house.

One of the best qualities of this "fritter" or "pancake" is that it cooks up with relatively little grease. All I used was cooking spray. AND you can add any left overs or things you want to use up to the batter. Top with sour cream and you are good to go. Or cheese, as Crescent Dragonwagon suggests. Unbelievably delicious.

recipe courtesy of the author, Crescent Dragonwagon
The Cornbread Gospels, Workman Publishing, NY

1 cup unbleached flour
1/2 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal (or 1/4 cup each stone-ground yellow cornmeal and masa harina)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 onion, finely chopped
3 scallions trimmed, white and green portions thinly sliced
kernels cut from 3 ears of fresh corn (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 to 1 green chile, finely minced (with seeds for heat, without for mildness)
vegetable cooking spray

1. Combine the flour, cornmeal or conrmeal and masa harina, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl, stirring well. Set aside.

2. Combine the buttermilk, egg, and sugar in a second, smaller bowl, whisking together. Set aside.

3. Combine the onion, scallion, corn, and chile in a third bowl. Set aside.

4. Using as few strokes as possible, stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture until the two are barely smoothed out. Then stir in all the vegetables.

5. Spray a heavy nonstick skillet with oil, then place over medium-high heat. When it is hot, ladle on the batter; using a 1/4 cup ladle will yield about 12 good size pancakes, which will make 4 Mexi-stacks, see below (a slightly smaller size is good for these when you're using them as a side dish). Flip the cakes when the tops have plenty of bubbles and the sides look done, 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 minutes. The second side takes 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.

6. Serve hot from the griddle.

Make the masa variation of the cakes. Open a can (15 ounces) of black beans and pour the contents, juice and all, into a small saucepan. Heat the beans through while you assemble the following on a tray.

* 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar or monterey Jack cheese
* 2-3 ripe Haas avocadoes, peeled, pitted and coarsely mashed in a small bowl with the juice of 1/2 of a lemon and a little salt
* homemade or bottled salsa
* dairy or tofu sour cream (optional)
* chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Have 4 heated plates ready. As the cakes come off the skillet, lay 1 in the center of each plate. Spoon the black beans over them equally. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the beans and top with a second cake. Quickly spread the mashed avocado over the second cake layers, and top with a third cake. Spoon the salsa on top, add a dab of sour cream and a snowfall of cilantro, if using, and serve immediately - to many wows.

* I didn't exactly do the Mexi stacks but I so liked the idea. Since I did not have fresh corn, I used ramps, yellow, red and green pepper, minced. I also used purple onion. I chopped enough so that I would have a little over 1 1/2 cups to add to the pancakes.


Mary said...

Those corn cakes look divine! I'm tempted.

Lucy said...

Lori, those corn cakes are calling too me in a big way!

tigerfish said...

They look awesome!

kat said...

Yum, those look so great!

Grace said...

i love corn fritters and corn cakes, probably even more than i love cornbread. the frying might have something to do with that...
i love the mexican twist, too. another great recipe, lori!

Screamin' Mama said...

Wow those looks so yummy! My mouth is watering. I'm going to try this!

Ali said...

what fun! i love this kind of a dish. it's a great way to use up buttermilk, too. will definitely make these this summer.


Anonymous said...

Looks good Lori!

The Blonde Duck said...

I'm beyond tempted.

Chow and Chatter said...

they look delicious, like your blog

Jude said...

Never a bad idea to use up cooking spray instead of more grease.

Maya said...

I am a bean lover and am curious to try out the black bean version of these pancakes.