When I was a teenager, my mom and I visited some family we have on the eastern shore of Maryland. They live about 30 minutes from the beach in a sleepy little town with quaint houses and a 'downtown' walking distance away.
During that particular visit, the town was having a fair called The Blessing of the Combines. Being from quite a suburban area I remember blinking at my mom multiple times and then saying "they bless their farm equipment!?" To be honest, I still don't quite get the concept, but whatever works for you.
Anyway, as we wandered around the streets marked off for this fair, we happened to stop at an older ladies stand who was frying up these little corn pancakes. I had never had anything like it before and I can still clearly remember biting into this silver dollar sized pancake and getting a burst of sweet corn flavor. I could have easily stood there and ate these corn pancakes all day, but eventually I was dragged away to look at some lighthouse statue my mother wanted to buy.
I've never had anything like that corn pancake again. I've looked for it on menus before but never found it, which I think is a damn shame. Everywhere should serve them! It took me quite some time to realize that the closest thing I was going to get to that corn pancake was a fritter. I resigned to this fact and figured a corn fritter was better than nothing, but then I found this recipe in Eating Well and knew I needed to try it out.
Corn Basil Cakes
Source: Eating Well
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup low-fat milk
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp. canola oil
- pinch each of salt and pepper
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 ears corn, kernels sliced off
- 1/2 cup basil, thinly sliced
1. Whisk together the flour, milk, eggs, 1 tablespoon of oil, and salt and pepper until smooth. Stir in the corn kernels and the sliced basil.
2. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Scoop 1/4 cup fulls of the batter into the skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until lightly golden.
3. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to absorb any excess oil.
I think this is probably the closest I've had to those corn pancakes. That lovely old lady definitely wasn't using whole wheat flour and probably had either a bit of sugar added into her batter, but at least I know I have a really good chance of recreating those pancakes.
I decided to dip my corn cakes into a Sriracha-ranch mixture, because why not?