Sometimes I can still surprise myself. Surprise myself on several different levels when I least expect it. For years, I’ve looked on in envy and wished I could get my hands on King Arthur’s little newsletter The Baking Sheet. I’ve stopped subscribing and stopped buying most magazines because they just seem to get drooled over and then pile up all over everywhere until I’m forced to take them all to the library or HalfPriceBooks or the trash before a new pile comes in from the mail box. But this is baking and this would be King Arthur … and then I placed an order and at the end an offer came up … a year’s subscription to YES, the Baking Sheet … for Free! Could you have said no? Well, maybe you’d have been principled and not clicked that box but me, no there were no principles between me and that click. No, that doesn’t surprise me about myself, I know myself only too well.
What surprised me was … you got it, I’m baking from it … well in this case it’s griddleing. (Right that is not a word but I’m using it and I just know you know what it means.)
I’m one that thinks if you buy a cook book and enjoy the reading of it and get even one keeper of a recipe out of it, it was worth the $$$. So to find a little newsletter and get a keeper of a recipe seems so much more a concentrated value. Does that make sense to you?
This recipe came from a book, Yankee Hill-Country Cooking published in 1963 and is a collection of Heirloom Recipes from Rural Kitchens. The author, Beatrice Vaughan, titles these Green Corn Cakes and I’ve no idea why … although when I think about these and that title I conjure up some crazy idea in my head of stacking or layering the corn cakes with fried green tomatoes and finding a nirvana but that’s something else.
Reading the recipe you rather doubt these could turn out: 8 ears of corn, 2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour, salt, Aleppo pepper and two eggs, separated. How’s that going to hold together much less leave you wanting more. Well, trust me, it will. No sugar but these are deliciously sweet and so I added in a finely chopped jalapeño pepper from my garden.
Adding the jalapeño was brilliant, loved it but it also blossomed into the idea that these little cakes would adapt to innumerable flavors. I just know you don’t need any of my suggestions as I’m sure about now you’ve generated 7 great combos. … cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla; ginger; ham … oh, tell me more …
There were only two of us in the house this morning so I cut this way back: used only 2 ears of corn and 1 tablespoon of flour with one egg. Obviously I didn’t need the 6 quart Kitchen Aid to whip that one little egg white into stiff peaks, neither did I really want to do it by hand. Bring on that stick blender whisk!
The two things I think are most important to the success of this are:
1. Score each row of corn down the center of each row.
2. Scrape, do not cut, all the corn from the cob into a bowl. A deep bowl that you can put the cob on the bottom works well to contain all the splattering of corn and it’s juice when scraped.
For more variations, play with the flour and if you want them gluten free: use a gluten-free flour blend or make them with corn meal – try blue corn meal … see what I mean there are just so many possibilities and additions to these.
A tablespoon of delicate delicious! I promise. You see the other thing that surprised me about all this was that both of us really enjoyed these and the talk is to have them again … soon … as in tomorrow!