Tuesday, August 17, 2010

sweet corn pancakes

sweet corn pancakes, butter, syrup

Unfortunately, we had to come home from the beach. You see, I’d left my chef’s knife at home and seriously, people, I never knew I was the kind of person who had to have their creature comforts to cook. In fact, I get some sort of sick enjoyment out of making do with whatever’s in front of me (see also: my shoebox kitchen with a mini-stove, single tiny counter and a climbing baby over- under- and hanging-off-of-foot, putting everything he can find into his mouth) but I got bested last week by a drawer full of dull knives and not a sharpener in sight. You don’t want to know what the best of the lot did to some tomatoes — it should be ashamed of itself! Plus, there were the small matters of a city baby who refused to sleep in such foreign places with large rooms, crickets and scary flowers outside and the fact that we’d only rented the house for a week. What were we thinking? Two weeks! A month! More! Farm preschool, here I come!

our beachour house had the cutest pinwheel

And so, I’m back, at least physically. (My brain is still with the swans.) These were supposed to be the perfect beach house breakfast, as what could be a better embodiment of high summer than fresh corn kernels sauteed in butter, lightly salted and tucked into a barely sweet pancake? Nothing, clearly. Alas, they never made it into our rental kitchen but they’re quickly becoming a regular at home and they seem gunning for a savory application too — nixed sugar, a dollop of sour cream and fresh tomato salsa. And now that I’ve given you an excuse to have pancakes for breakfast for dinner, I think my work is done here and I’ll go back to looking at North Fork real estate working hard on that cookbook.

cobssweet white cornbatteroops

One year ago: Grilled Eggplant and Olive Pizza
Two years ago: Slow-Roasted Tomatoes
Three years ago: Plum-Almond Tarts

Sweet Corn Pancakes

About the sweetness: in my family, we drench our pancakes in maple syrup so I prefer the pancakes themselves to have little or no sugar, for contrast. If you’re one of those noble beings that like your pancakes plain, you might like an additional tablespoon of sugar in them. As I mentioned above, I think these have great savory potential by skipping the sugar and increasing the salt, served with sour cream or salsa.

New to homemade pancakes? I have a slew of tips over here.

Makes about 9 to 10 4-inch pancakes

2 tablespoons butter (1 ounce or 28 grams), plus additional for brushing pan
3/4 cup kernels cut from one large ear sweet fresh corn
1/8 teaspoon (1 gram) salt plus additional for seasoning corn
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups (296 ml) buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon (13 grams) sugar
3/4 cup (3 3/8 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (3/4 ounce or 22 grams) cornmeal, any kind
1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Melt butter in a large cast iron skillet or griddle pan over medium heat. Add corn and saute for 4 to 5 minutes, until it begins to brown ever-so-slightly. Sprinkle with salt and set aside to cool. Wipe out skillet.

Lightly beat egg in the bottom of a large bowl, then whisk in buttermilk, corn, vanilla and sugar. In a smaller bowl, whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Stir dry ingredients into wet, mixing until just combined but still lumpy in appearance.

Reheat your skillet or saute pan to medium. Brush the pan with butter and ladle 1/4 cup batter at a time, 2 inches apart. When the pancakes have bubbles on top and are slightly dry around the edges, flip them over and cook them until golden brown underneath. If they seem to be cooking too quickly (dark on the outside, raw centers) turn your heat down to low for the next batch and inch it up as needed. Repeat with remaining batter, and serve immediately with a pat of salted butter and a healthy dose of maple syrup.


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