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