September 22nd, 2009

Baby Corncakes, in transition

I wanted to share this ensemble recipe with you, made recently for another of our community pot luck dinners, because its elements lend themselves to so many tasty variations.

Here we’ve got smoked pork loin, peach chutney, sauteed arugula layered on one of the South’s best culinary contributions: the corncake. I made these “pick-up” size, so that you can enjoy bitter, sweet, smoky, and savory pretty much in two bites. This particular combination was based on ingredients I had on hand. It’s got a nice season-transition feel. And, color!

But, using the corncake as the base, you should feel free to improvise. Sauteed kale, chard, or collards would work equally well. Try ham or smoked turkey for the meat.

And, the beauty of chutneys is that it’s really hard to make a bad one, provided you have good ingredients used in a good ratio. The chutney recipe below is a guideline, ready for substitutions. With pears and apples coming onto the seasonal market, I’m sure I’ll be making chutney with those, paired with cranberries. Different chili peppers and sweet peppers are welcome additions. Have fun with it.

And, if nothing else, enjoy this corncake recipe. Make ’em BIG for dinner. They are delicious, too, with bits of corn, chilis, or cheese mixed in….

Happy Fall to all!

Baby Corncakes
1 ½ cups Cornmeal (can be yellow or white corn meal)
1 cup All Purpose Flour (make sure it is All Purpose, NOT Self-Rising)
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 ½ sticks (12 tablespoons) melted Butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups lowfat milk

skillet

In a mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients (the first 5 ingredients) and whisk them together.
In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, butter, and milk.
Add to the bowl of dry ingredients.
Stir until well blended and smooth, but do not overbeat.
Heat skillet and ladle out batter–about 1 Tablespoon size per corncake–and cook as you would pancakes–flipping after the edges brown.

Makes about 4 dozen baby corncakes.

Add-ins: kernel corn, or minced jalapeno peppers, or green onions, or shredded cheddar cheese folded into the batter before baking!

White Peach-Blueberry Chutney
3 fresh white peaches
1 fresh Serrano chili pepper
2 T. grated fresh ginger root
3 T. brown sugar
1 T. cider vinegar
1/3 cup blueberries

Place sliced peaches, peppers into a saucepan and slowly cook these down together for about 15-20 minutes on low heat, breaking up the peaches as you stir. Stir in ginger root, brown sugar, cider vinegar and blueberries. Continue to cook until the mixture has a coarse but glazed appearance.

Cooks Notes:

The white peaches were a novelty–a pleasant surprise at our farmers market. Use whatever good peaches are available.

The arugula was especially pungent–mature—and I sauteed it in a little olive oil, with minced garlic and onion, and a little salt. I didn’t add any red pepper flakes, which I often do with cooked greens, as the arugula was already peppery.

Posted in Appetizers/Hors D'oeuvres, Breads, Fruit, Recipes, Sauces

4 Responses to “Baby Corncakes, in transition”
  1. ben frank from I Ate That! Says:

    these are beautiful and sounds amazing. and you’re so right, the possibilities are endless! thanks!

  2. Cousin Cathy Says:

    Both the corn cakes and the chutney look like fun.

    Do you serve the corn cakes warm, or can they be made ahead and served at room temperature?

  3. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Cath-the corncakes can be made up in advance and served room temp, and they rewarm nicely in the oven, if wrapped in foil so they don’t dry out.

  4. Leisa Hammett Says:

    I’m here to snatch! Looks like I’ve found someone to make them for wedding dinner. Thanks so much!



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