Sometimes I can still surprise myself. Surprise myself on several different levels when I least expect it. For years, I’ve looked on in envy and wished I could get my hands on King Arthur’s little newsletter The Baking Sheet. I’ve stopped subscribing and stopped buying most magazines because they just seem to get drooled over and then pile up all over everywhere until I’m forced to take them all to the library or HalfPriceBooks or the trash before a new pile comes in from the mail box. But this is baking and this would be King Arthur … and then I placed an order and at the end an offer came up … a year’s subscription to YES, the Baking Sheet … for Free! Could you have said no? Well, maybe you’d have been principled and not clicked that box but me, no there were no principles between me and that click. No, that doesn’t surprise me about myself, I know myself only too well.
What surprised me was … you got it, I’m baking from it … well in this case it’s griddleing. (Right that is not a word but I’m using it and I just know you know what it means.)
I’m one that thinks if you buy a cook book and enjoy the reading of it and get even one keeper of a recipe out of it, it was worth the $$$. So to find a little newsletter and get a keeper of a recipe seems so much more a concentrated value. Does that make sense to you?
This recipe came from a book, Yankee Hill-Country Cooking published in 1963 and is a collection of Heirloom Recipes from Rural Kitchens. The author, Beatrice Vaughan, titles these Green Corn Cakes and I’ve no idea why … although when I think about these and that title I conjure up some crazy idea in my head of stacking or layering the corn cakes with fried green tomatoes and finding a nirvana but that’s something else.
Reading the recipe you rather doubt these could turn out: 8 ears of corn, 2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour, salt, Aleppo pepper and two eggs, separated. How’s that going to hold together much less leave you wanting more. Well, trust me, it will. No sugar but these are deliciously sweet and so I added in a finely chopped jalapeño pepper from my garden.
Adding the jalapeño was brilliant, loved it but it also blossomed into the idea that these little cakes would adapt to innumerable flavors. I just know you don’t need any of my suggestions as I’m sure about now you’ve generated 7 great combos. … cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla; ginger; ham … oh, tell me more …
There were only two of us in the house this morning so I cut this way back: used only 2 ears of corn and 1 tablespoon of flour with one egg. Obviously I didn’t need the 6 quart Kitchen Aid to whip that one little egg white into stiff peaks, neither did I really want to do it by hand. Bring on that stick blender whisk!
The two things I think are most important to the success of this are:
1. Score each row of corn down the center of each row.
2. Scrape, do not cut, all the corn from the cob into a bowl. A deep bowl that you can put the cob on the bottom works well to contain all the splattering of corn and it’s juice when scraped.
For more variations, play with the flour and if you want them gluten free: use a gluten-free flour blend or make them with corn meal – try blue corn meal … see what I mean there are just so many possibilities and additions to these.
A tablespoon of delicate delicious! I promise. You see the other thing that surprised me about all this was that both of us really enjoyed these and the talk is to have them again … soon … as in tomorrow!
July 1, 2012 at 3:28 pm
Looking at the photo of your finished product is causing me to want to run to the kitchen and start cooking.
July 2, 2012 at 6:37 am
These look wonderful with fresh corn and jalapeno!
July 10, 2012 at 12:49 pm
I love corn fritters (cakes) and your chilli inspiration has certainly got my interest. I have a family supper this Friday, this is going to work very well with the fried chicken I have planned.
July 10, 2012 at 1:48 pm
Interestingly enough the recipe suggested serving these with fried chicken.
July 11, 2012 at 8:02 pm
I’m all for anything corn and jalapeno. I’ll have to find some Chilliwack (local) corn and try some.
July 12, 2012 at 1:58 pm
I like the idea of corn cakes…. but my sweet corn is too precious to do anything but eat it slathered in butter. We can’t buy it here, you know…. Pig food! I grow it and we eat every cob with great joy. Maybe I could use frozen corn…. If I could find frozen corn. The only thing I’ve seen corn on here is pizza.
July 12, 2012 at 2:33 pm
Fresh sweet corn just warmed enough to melt the butter, YES that’s the best. Here however they do sell it and sometimes it’s really just passed prime, then these corn cakes are terrific. I think key in this recipe is the liquid that comes from milking the cob, so if you could find frozen corn on the cob and it would still have liquid in the cob maybe it would work.
Corn on pizza … well I guess why not. Mostly I think if I like to eat it, it would be good on pizza … but not ice cream.
July 13, 2012 at 1:09 pm
I’ve never seen frozen corn on the cob…. On the rare occasion I see 2 ears, shrink-wrapped in the produce department. It always looks more like field corn than sweet corn and is expensive. I have my standards…..
July 14, 2012 at 6:57 am
How did I miss seeing this until now?! Serendipity? That must be it; we’re just entering corn season now.
While I’m with Katie about reserving sweet corn for grilling on the barbecue whole and slathering with butter (OR lime juice and Indian spices), I think we neeeeeeeeeed to try these (with fried chicken sounds good too but I bet they’d be just as good with barbecued chicken)
Question: what is that implement you used to remove the kernels from the cob?
July 14, 2012 at 7:56 am
Question: what is that implement you used to remove the kernels from the cob?
Am I embarrassed or giggling to say I used my knife 😉 I’ve never had one of those gadgets that’s supposed to slide down the cob and strip it bare. Always wondered if they worked.
One of the things I like best about this recipe is with so few ingredients what you get is mostly the corn.
I send you the original recipe so you can think about how you might change it.
July 15, 2012 at 10:02 am
Ooh, that’s a knife with those little indentations!! (Now who’s embarrassed or giggling?) Clearly, we don’t have any of those kind of gadgets either and have always used a knife as well. 🙂
July 27, 2012 at 12:50 pm
So glad our “little newsletter” has been inspiring enough to avoid the pile in favor of the kitchen counter! Thanks for sharing with your readers. Happy baking!
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August 12, 2012 at 9:27 am
These were fabulous, Tanna! Thank you for posting about them. (We loved them so much yesterday that we’re having them again today)
August 12, 2012 at 1:09 pm
I am so happy you enjoyed these Elizabeth. The corn season seems to last forever where we are and these are finding a regular rotation with our summer meals 😉
August 12, 2012 at 1:11 pm
Oh, in reading “Dearie” I think it was I saw a picture of the corn cob stripping gadget, so Julia must have used that at some point.
August 13, 2012 at 8:32 am
Was it for shucking the corn, or for stripping the kernels?
For our scraping, we started with the back of a knife and then switched to using the edge of our metal half-cup measure. It’s perfect! It fits nicely in the hand and pulls the kernels off beautifully.
We love these so much that we’re going to have them again today for breakfast. 🙂
August 13, 2012 at 9:56 am
It was for stripping the kernels, it was like a ring and it fit on the cob and zipped the kernels off when you ran it down the cob.
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