I couldn’t get corn out of my mind, succumbing to the smell of it at the farmer’s market or at roadside stands. My friend Ashly made a corn and walnut soup last week, and the taste of it lingered on my tongue for days. Tonight, I had to have corn. And Alice Waters had the perfect recipe for this cloudy evening. Taken from her cookbook Vegetables, the corn cakes offer inspiration for both sweet and savory dishes.
I opted for savory and made a meal of it. The fluffy egg whites made the pancakes soft and light, a perfect complement to the denser fresh kernels inside. Using fresh corn is the only option; don’t even think about canned.
After making the pancakes (see below), surround them in a bed of wilted spinach, top with crumbled goat cheese, and use a sparing amount of Maple Balsamic Syrup. Other options include topping the pancakes with jam, dousing them with honey and butter, or eating them plain.
Corn Cakes (from Vegetables, by Alice Waters)
1 1/2 cups corn flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 T honey
1 cup milk (soymilk works great too)
4 T unsalted butter (I only used 1 Tablespoon and the pancakes were still delicious)
2 ears sweet corn
Remove kernels from uncooked corn. Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. On the stovetop, heat butter, milk, and honey until butter is all the way melted. Separate egg yolks from whites. Whisk the yolks into the stovetop mixture, and then pour the whole mixture into the dry ingredients. Add the fresh corn.
Whip egg whites until they form soft peaks, and then fold into the corn batter. Ladle onto a lightly oiled medium-hot griddle, making 2 inch pancakes. Makes around 18.
Maple Balsamic Syrup
- 2 T Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 t Maple Syrup
- 1 T sweet hot mustard
- Freshly ground pepper
- a pinch of cayenne