You know it’s high summer when the kitchen counter is piled high with ears of corn and random sized tomatoes in varying degrees of ripeness.
The simplest way of eating seasonal produce is often the best, and we all enjoy eating farmstand corn on the cob simply steamed or charred on the grill and smeared with butter. But when the bounty runs amok, I like to mix it up a little.
These cheddar corncakes are full of the taste of summer, and with the zesty fresh tomato salsa they serve well as appetizers or a light meal for breakfast or lunch.
Cheddar Corn Cakes
Makes 6-8 servings
For the pico de gallo:
2 large,ripe tomatoes
1 small green chile pepper, such as Serrano or jalapeno
¼ cup very finely chopped white onion
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro or basil
Salt to taste – start with ¼ teaspoon
Pinch of cumin
Juice of 1 lime
For the corncakes:
3 ears corn, shucked
1 bunch green onions, trimmed and chopped
¼ cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup grated cheddar cheese, plus additional for sprinkling
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
Prepare the pico de gallo. Chop the tomatoes and stir in a bowl together with the remaining ingredients.
For the corncakes, stand the corn on a cutting board and slice downward with a sharp knife to remove the kernels. Put the corn in the work bowl of a food processor and pulse until the corn is a coarse puree. Add the green onions, eggs and buttermilk and pulse 2 or 3 times to incorporate. Add the remaining ingredients through the cayenne and process briefly, just to form a batter.
Heat a large (12-inch) skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and heat until it begins to shimmer (but not smoke!); add the butter to the pan and let it sizzle. Spoon 2 tablespoons batter per cake onto the skillet and cook about 2 minutes per side, until golden brown, cooking in batches as needed.
Serves the cakes warm, sprinkled with additional cheddar cheese and the pico de gallo alongside.
corn, Mexican, spicy, summer
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