Corn pancakes: a year-round taste of summer

Sharon Jessup Joyce

Blog - corn pancakes close-up

We are corn connoisseurs at our house, preferring the fuller flavour and firmer texture of golden corn varieties. Bi-coloured corn, often and incorrectly called Peaches and Cream (only one of many bi-colour varieties is Peaches and Cream), is just a little wimpy for us.  From early August to mid-September, crops permitting, we buy corn at our Saturday farmers’ market, eating some right away and freezing the rest in two-cup amounts. We even have a ranking system, based on how good each batch tastes right out of the pot: good corn (for chowder and chili); better corn (for corn pudding and pancakes) and best corn (reheated and served as a side dish as is). One year we had a batch Adrian labelled Ambrosia, so we must have decreed that it was even better than the already-labelled best corn.

Is our home-frozen corn really better than commercially-frozen stuff? Yes it is. And a lot cheaper.

A couple of years ago, I started making corn pancakes to universal acclaim. Okay, by that I mean Bob and Adrian loved them. We tried different recipes, seeking inspiration from our cookbooks and our own modifications – some were too bread-y, others too bland, others too full of other flavours. We eventually developed our own favourite recipe that has a nice balance of corn and batter, with hints of other flavours in amounts that don’t compete with the corn.

The first time I made these I served them as a side dish, with grilled chicken and a big green salad. I had not known two things: how filling even one corn pancake is; and how unlikely we were to eat just one. Now when we eat corn pancakes, we eat corn pancakes, with perhaps a dab of salsa or some sliced cucumber or tomato.

Blog corn fritters with tomato-cucumber salad

Ingredients

(This makes about 10 pancakes – most people will eat 2 or 3 as a main dish, and up to 4 if they get carried away by corn lust.)

About 2-1/2 cups cooked corn, or the yield from 4-5 medium-sized cobs

3 large eggs

1 tablespoon melted butter

¼ cup buttermilk

5 tablespoons flour, any kind (we usually use unbleached all purpose wheat flour, but have used others)

5 tablespoons corn meal or corn flour

2-3 scallions, finely chopped

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley (optional)

1 teaspoon chili powder or smoked paprika

1 teaspoon sugar (optional)

1 teaspoon baking powder

Salt and pepper

Melted butter to brush on cooked pancakes (optional)

Directions

  1. Cook corn and remove from cob.
  2. Preheat electric or stovetop griddle to medium.
  3. Combine dry ingredients.
  4. Lightly beat eggs, milk and melted butter together.
  5. Mix dry and liquid ingredients together; blend until just combined.
  6. Stir in corn, scallions and cilantro or parsley.
  7. Let batter stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.
  8. Put ¼ cup of batter on griddle for each pancake (a soup ladle usually works well), leaving about two inches between mounds of batter.
  9. Flatten batter slightly with a spatula – just enough to achieve even cooking.
  10. Cook for about 4 minutes, then turn with spatula and cook for another 4 minutes.
  11. Cooked pancakes are golden to golden-brown on the outside, and moist on the inside.
  12. Brush a bit of melted butter on the top of each pancake and add a bit more chopped cilantro or parsley.

These are  great on their own, or with a dollop each of salsa and sour cream. In this picture, they’re served with a simple salad of tomato, cucumber, scallion and basil in a balsamic vinaigrette.

You can set aside leftover pancakes  and reheat them briefly under the broiler, turning after a minute or so.

We eat these all year round. They’re fast, easy and inexpensive. And when we pull out a bag of corn we froze last summer, and make these on a cold February evening, it’s late summer all over again – at least for a few minutes at the dinner table.

Sharon lives in Kingston, Ontario – now nearing the end of corn season – where she dabbles in the domestic arts and eats very well.
Welcome to our family’s discussion forum on food. If you’d like to submit a post, please consider yourself family, and email us at familyfoodforum@gmail.com.

After a good dinner, one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.”

– Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance

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8 thoughts on “Corn pancakes: a year-round taste of summer

  1. I’ve actually been craving smoked salmon since we had those pancakes, so that must be why.

    The plates (as you know, Livy) are from Chez Glass in Nova Scotia. I should send them a copy of this photo, bad as it is, because they like to know the various uses people find for this particular style of plate. The artist first made them years ago as individual bread dip serving pieces for a local restaurant, and the plates were so popular with the diners that Chez Glass Lass started selling them in their store in Chester.

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