Wednesday, August 02, 2006
FRESH CORN GRIDDLE CAKES WITH PARMESAN AND CHIVES
I’ve been obsessed with fresh corn this summer. Now that I’ve finally located the one vendor at my farmers’ market that sells the perfect, sweet white-and-yellow corn prevalent in Minnesota, rather than the plain white corn that is inexplicably dominant in California, I want to eat corn on the cob at least once a week, covered in butter and salt, or butter and salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper, or butter and this awesome spicy seasoning mixture I have a recipe for (remind me to post that, huh?), preferably accompanied by BLTs. I’ve also been gung-ho to try some new corn recipes. This one is from old reliable Jack Bishop, published in Vegetables Every Day. Except for grating the corn, which is a teeny bit of a pain (though it seemed much easier the second time I tried it than the first), it’s incredibly easy and comes together quickly. And the corn cakes taste delicious, a little bit savory, a little bit sweet, crisp outside and tender inside. They’re more like actual pancakes than my beloved zucchini fritters; I like them nearly as much and often contemplate making an entire fritter-based dinner that would feature both of them, but I think all that grating and frying might drive me bonkers. Jack says the corn cakes are “delicious with grilled fish or roast chicken. A tomato salad would round out the meal.” So far, we’ve been eating them as a main dish instead of a side dish, devouring two or three apiece with tomatoes on the side—either Stuffed Tomatoes Caprese or Italian Bread-and-Tomato Salad (which, holy cow, I haven’t posted that here? Well, recipe is forthcoming) works well. I’m thinking you could actually top the corn cakes with a fresh tomato salsa (tomato, olive oil, basil, maybe some onion or garlic), but then why mess with such a good and simple thing?
4 medium ears corn
1 large egg
¼ cup flour
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1. Remove the husks and silk from the corn. Grate the corn on the large holes of a box grater set over a large bowl until the cobs are clean, then discard the cobs. To the bowl of corn, add egg, flour, cheese, chives, salt, and pepper, and stir until the batter is smooth.
2. Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet. Fill a ¼-cup measuring cup with batter. Pour into the pan to form a round cake. Repeat using all the batter. (You should get about six cakes. You may have to cook them in two batches if your skillet isn’t big enough; if so, add a little more butter before cooking the second batch.). Cook over medium heat, turning once, until the cakes are a rich golden brown color on both sides, about 9 minutes. Serve immediately.
Time: 20–30 minutes