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summer corn cakes with chopped tomato and avocado salsa

September 15, 2011

So now that corn season is almost gone and ears are slowly getting more expensive at the grocery store, I’m gonna share a delicious corn recipe with you. My logic is unassailable.

I made this recipe in Vermont (where I was–um, oops–during Hurricane Irene), with corn from a farmer at a nearby farmer’s market whose table was filled with corn and only corn. So obviously it was delicious. And despite the fact that our kitchen tools are minimal up there–and, more importantly, that we don’t have a dishwasher, so I didn’t particularly feel like lugging out the food processor so I could wash it by hand–the cakes were pretty yummy, too. Crispy on the outside, sweet and pancake-y on the inside, full of corn flavor all the way through. And the salsa obviously had to be delicious, too, considering its ingredients, but it also paired really well with the cakes, with the acidity of the tomatoes (and, I guess, if you actually added the jalapeno that I avoided because groceries are so freakin’ expensive up in our neck of the woods, the spice from that, too) balancing out the sweet, creamy, corn deliciousness.

Summer Corn Cakes with Chopped Tomato and Avocado Salsa
3 ears corn, shucked
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons well-shaken buttermilk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 large tomato, cored and chopped
1 scallion, trimmed and minced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove, minced
juice of 1/2 lime
1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced

1. For the corn cakes, preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a brown paper bag or aluminum foil.
2. Cut the corn from the cobs into a large bowl and scrape the stripped cobs with the back of the knife or a spoon to release the juices into the bowl.
3. Place 2 cups of the corn kernels into a food processor and pulse several times, until the corn is slightly pureed but still chunky [or just chop it up as finely as you can with the not-quite-sharpened knives you have on hand]. Scrape into the bowl with the remaining corn kernels.
4. Add flour, cornmeal, onion, basil, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper to the corn. Stir to mix.
5. Add the eggs, buttermilk, and butter and stir just to combine. Do not overmix.
6. Place large skillet over medium heat. Add just enough canola oil to barely cover the bottom and heat until sizzling hot.
7. One heaping tablespoon at a time, scoop the batter into the skillet. Cooking in batches of 4 to 5 to avoid overcrowding, fry the cakes 1 to 2 minutes per side, until golden brown.
8. Drain on the lined baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm while cooking the remaining corn cakes. Serve warm topped with salsa.
9. For the salsa, place all of the ingredients except the avocado in a bowl and stir to mix. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to serve, for up to 2 days. Just before serving, add the avocado and mix gently.

Source: Ezra Pound Cake

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