More than a great grilled steak, more than soft-shell crabs, more than caviar, I love corn. Recently I have given you recipes for Chilled Corn Soup and Corn and Tomato Salad. Today, it’s fresh Corn Cakes.
Fresh Corn Cakes
I’m partial to bi-color corn. White corn is more dependably sweeter, but I prefer the corniness and color of bi-color. The fresher the better. You can use either for this recipe — just keep it fresh.
Do ahead It is best to blanch the corn as close to its picking as possible, but once it’s cooked its flavor is set. You can make the batter or actually cook the cakes up to three or four days before serving. Just follow instructions for reheating below. If you make batter in advance and refrigerate, remove from refrigerator at least an hour before cooking to take the chill off. If using cold batter, adjust the cooking temperature a bit to enable to batter to cook through while not over-cooking surface.
1 cup chopped scallion
5 ears corn
2 large eggs
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1. Blanch corn in a pot of boiling water for about 2 minutes. Remove and immediately run under cold water to stop cooking and cool.
2. With a sharp knife, cut corn from cob. Using the blunt edge of knife, scape corn to remove remaining remnants of kernels and the milky corn residue. Place in large bowl. Add scallion.
3. In a small bowl, beat eggs until well mixed.
4. Add eggs to corn. Mix well. Add flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Mix well. Depending on the size of your corn, the batter may be too thick or too thin. Hold out a few tablespoons of flour and add as needed. Batter should be thick and hold its shape on a spoon.
5. Add about 3 tablespoons vegetable oil to medium saute pan over moderate heat. You want a generous amount of oil such that when you put in cakes, oil comes up the sides slightly, but cakes are not swimming in oil. Cook cake in batches. For a medium-sized corn cake — about 3″ diameter — add a heaping tablespoon batter to the oil, pressing lightly to flatten and distribute. When bottom is lightly browned and cake modestly firm, carefully flip and continue cooking until second side is lightly browned. Set aside until all batter used.
6. You can re-heat cakes two ways. Simplest is to preheat oven to 350 degrees, place cakes in a single layer and heat for 7-10 minutes until hot. Better is to quickly grill cakes in a dry, hot grill pan or over moderate grill. Cakes will char lightly where they come in contact with grill adding a nutty flavor to the corn. Serve immediately or reheat according to oven instruction above.
Yield 15-20, depending on size
Hot and Sweet Pepper Relish is an ideal accompaniment.
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