Sunday, August 28, 2011

Corn Cakes with Tomato Relish

We've enjoyed so much farm-fresh produce through our farm market this year, and while I'm excited about fall being just around the corner, I'm really going to miss all the delicious local veggies we've been eating this summer.

These corn cakes are a tasty way to enjoy the last couple weeks of summer corn and tomatoes. The corn cakes are crispy, the tomato relish is very fresh and flavorful, and the ranch gives the dish the creamy finish it needs. We ate these as a light lunch, but they would also make a delicious side.

Summer won't be around for much longer, so enjoy this one while you can!
Corn Cakes
Yield: 12 Corn Cakes

For the corn cakes:
  • 3 large ears of corn, shucked
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • ¼ cup red onion, finely diced
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp. buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • Canola or vegetable oil, for frying
For the relish:
  • 1 large tomato, cored and chopped
  • 1 scallion, minced
  • 1 tbsp. minced fresh basil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1½ tsp. olive oil
  • 1½ tsp. white wine vinegar
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted and diced (I did not include)
  • Ranch dressing (optional)
Cut the corn kernels off of the cobs and  place in a large bowl. Place 2 cups of the corn kernels in the food  processor and pulse several times, until the corn is slightly pureed but  still chunky. Scrape the mixture into the bowl with the remaining corn  kernels. Add the flour, cornmeal, onion, basil, baking powder, and  baking soda to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir to  mix well. Add the eggs, buttermilk, and butter, and stir just to  combine.

To make the salsa, combine all of the  ingredients except the avocado in a medium bowl and mix well to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 2 days. Just before  serving, mix in the avocado.

Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add just enough oil to barely cover the bottom of the pan and heat  until sizzling hot. Scoop the batter into the skillet a heaping  tablespoon at a time, cooking the cakes in batches of 4 or 5 so that  they are not touching. Fry 1-2 minutes per side, until golden brown. Transfer the cooked cakes to a wire rack and repeat with the remaining  batter.

Serve immediately topped with the relish and drizzled with ranch dressing, if desired.

Source: Annie's Eats, originally from Sara Foster’s Southern Kitchen

    Wednesday, August 3, 2011


    Annnndddd..... I'm back. I've been trying a bunch of new recipes, but a number of them have been so mediocre that I felt it would be a disservice to share. (Maybe I'll throw together an outtakes post...)

    Others have been placed in a "made, but not blogged" file, to remake, photograph, and share because they were delicious, but I just didn't get a chance to capture their loveliness with the camera.

    But this, my friends, was a lovely summer salad that I had to share immediately. This was dinner tonight and was the perfect way to use up some farm market veggies. Imagine this: Crusty ciabatta croutons infused with a Dijon and garlic champagne vinaigrette, tossed with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, thinly sliced red onions, yellow peppers and a sprinkling of fresh basil.

    Summer on a plate. Divine.

    Serves 6
    • ½ loaf ciabatta bread, cut into 1" cubes (approx. 3 cups)
    • 1½ Tbsp. olive oil
    • ½ tsp. kosher salt
    • ¼ tsp. black pepper
    • 2 medium, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1" cubes
    • 1 cucumber, unpeeled, and seeded, sliced ½" thick
    • 1 yellow pepper, seeded cut into 1" cubes
    • ¼ red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
    • 10 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped or julianned
    For the vinaigrette:
    • ½ tsp. finely minced garlic
    • ¼ tsp. Dijon mustard
    • 1½ Tbsp. champagne (or white wine) vinegar
    • ¼ c. good olive oil
    • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
    • 1/8 tsp. pepper
    Preheat oven to 400ยบ. Toss bread cubes with olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper and bake for 8-9 minutes, stirring cubes halfway through baking. Set aside.

    For the vinaigrette, whisk all ingredients together.

    In a large bowl, combine the vegetables and basil. Add bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about a half hour to allow the flavors to blend.

    Source: adapted from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Parties!