Thursday, August 18, 2011

Savory Corn Cakes with Fresh Greens

Light, wholesome, and fresh. Savory corn cakes are great with arugula, or your own favorite salad greens, and grilled salmon. Easy to make and reheat, the cakes are best eaten the day you make them, but they do reheat well. You could also eat the cakes with eggs at breakfast too. Although the cakes are probably best when you prepare them with fresh corn, I've also used frozen corn in a pinch. 

Savory Corn Cakes with Fresh Greens
-Serves 4

1/2 cup fine or medium ground cornmeal
1 1/2 cups corn kernels cut from ~2 ears of corn (frozen corn works too)
3 tablespoons diced shallot (about 1 large shallot)
1 jalapeño, seeds and membranes removed and diced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup lowfat plain yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and more for cooking the cakes
3 eggs, separated
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
Sour cream or yogurt, for serving (optional)
Hot sauce, for serving (optional)

4 cups arugula or a mix of baby greens, washed
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
~6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh chives, finely diced (optional)

*I don't find the cakes to be very spicy, but you can adjust the amount of jalapeño you use to suit your personal taste.

- In a large bowl mix the cornmeal, corn, shallots, jalapeño, cumin, salt, and pepper with a fork. Add the yogurt, 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, and one egg yolk. Mix well again. Save the other two egg yolks for another use.

- In a empty jam jar combine the lemon juice, 6 tablespoons of olive oil, and dijon mustard. Screw the lid on tightly and shake vigorously to combine (you can also whisk this together in a small bowl). Season to taste with kosher salt and pepper, add the fresh chives if you are using them, and set the dressing aside.

- In another large bowl whisk the egg whites until the form soft peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the corn mixture in two stages. Let the mixture rest while you pre-heat your large sautée pan over medium heat.

- Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to your pre-heated skillet and let it heat. Once heated, drop ~1/4 cup (large serving spoonfuls) of batter into the pan. I usually fit in 4-6 cakes depending on the pan I'm using. Cook the cakes as you would pancakes- flip the cakes when the underside is golden brown, the edges of the cake are starting to dry and look dull, and there are small bubbles forming in the top of the cake. You may need to adjust your stove heat to see all of these traits before the underside over cooks. Flip the cake and cook the other side until it is also golden brown, about 1 minute. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and keep in a warming oven while you cook the remaining cakes.

- Toss the greens with a bit of the vinaigrette in a large bowl. Note: there is much more vinaigrette than you'll need for one meal, but it goes well with most salads. Plate the greens and place 2-3 corn cakes on top of the greens and drizzle them with a bit of vinaigrette. Dot the plate with a spoonful of sour cream or plain yogurt and serve.

Recipe very loosely adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi in the Wall Street Journal.

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