Fresh Corn Cakes
July 16, 2011

These fresh, savory corn cakes are kind of a modern incantation of a johnnycake or hoecake- American cornmeal pancakes dating back to the 1700's. They are still readily found in the South and in New England, but often they are a sweeter version served with honey or maple syrup. The addition of fresh corn pieces make for a lighter cake with more texture, but the cakes are still a very simple, starchy and sweet comfort food. They are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, and combine savory tastes like the green onion with the sweet flavor of the fresh corn. I was attracted to this recipe because of its updated take on a traditional dish, and because I love to use fresh corn when it is in season. I love fresh lightly cooked corn on the cob of course, but I'm always looking for different ways to prepare my favorite foods. These corn cakes are great during late summer when fresh corn is at its best-tasting and most affordable, and because they also have so much summer color and flavor. Cakes or fritters are a great way to incorporate more vegetables into your meals, and allow great seasonal flavors to shine. These corn cakes make a great side dish alongside a protein, but are easily hearty enough for a full meal.

I lightened this recipe by using one less egg, but the rest of the eggs are really needed to bind the dough. The vegetable oil in the corn cake dough as well as what is used for cooking has also been reduced. This is a doubled version of the original recipe, so it can easily be halved. The corn meal helps to give the cakes their crunchy texture, but it can be substituted with half as much flour if desired. Like most of the recipes I share, this one is simple enough to be extremely versatile. Your favorite spices like paprika or cayenne or favorite herbs like sage or tarragon can be added directly to the dough or to an accompanying sauce like sour cream. Salsa and relishes would also go nicely with these corn cakes. Even with the added savory elements these corn cakes are still sweet, so if you were to leave out the green onion and pepper and reduced the salt you could easily serve them with maple syrup or honey.
Fresh Corn Cakes
Adapted from Sunset Magazine

2 cups Fresh Corn Kernels (2-3 ears of corn)
12 cup chopped Green Onion
2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
3 large Egg Yolks
12 cup Flour
12 cup Yellow Cornmeal
1 teaspoon Salt
12 teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
3 large Egg Whites
4 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil

Finely chop corn and green onions together or pulse a few times in a food processor, but be careful not to lose all the texture of the corn kernels. Move mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and the egg yolks.

In another large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, salt, and pepper. Add to corn mixture and mix thoroughly but gently. In a separate large clean bowl, whisk or beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold carefully into corn mixture.

In a large frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, drop large spoonfuls of the corn mixture into the pan. Do not overcrowd the pan, and do not flatten or spread the batter. Cook until the edges of the cakes begin to set and undersides are browned, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until cakes are browned and cooked through. Cook remaining batter the same way. Add oil to the pan and allow to heat in between batches when necessary. Serve cakes hot if possible, or reheat in oven. Serve with sour cream, or your own variation- salsa, honey, relish, et cetera.

Calories*: 174 Fat*: 12 g Carbs*: 14 g Cholesterol*: 42 mg
Sugar*: 2 g Fiber*: 2 g Protein*: 3 g Servings*: 12 (2 Cakes each)

Ease*: 6/10 Categories: Starch, Vegetable
Total Time*: 45 minutes Active Time*: 45 minutes
Kosher: Parve


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