Wednesday 3 December 2008

Corn pancakes and salsa

On the weekend we went to the Vegie Bar in Brunswick Street and I had a huge burrito for lunch so I only needed a light dinner. Corn pancakes and salsa seemed just the thing! But I was planning a St Andrews Day meal the next night so I didn’t really want leftovers. That was when I realised leftovers would be perfect to go with tattie scones for St Andrews Day brunch.

I knew just where I would find the recipe. Unfortunately I had to hunt for the cookbook among my piles. It is called Pancakes A to Z by Marie Simmons. I was randomly selected to be sent it by Susan of the Well Seasoned Cook when I participated in her Pancakes on Parade event back in July.

You can imagine that this is a book to open your eyes to the variety of pancakes just as Susan’s event did. I have spent some time drooling over the great ideas which is why it was caught up with reading matter rather than tucked away on the shelves. The recipes are nicely presented with chatty introductions and tempting pictures.

I quite fancy the idea of making savoury pancakes for meals and am inspired by quite a few recipes such as Ginger Sesame and Carrot pancakes, Indian Spiced Red Lentil Cakes with Coconut Raita, Little Crunchy Rice pancakes, and Zucchini Ginger pancakes with Thai Dipping Sauce. Of course I want to try lots of the sweet ideas too – Apple Cottage Cheese pancakes, Cocoa pancakes with Susan’s Fudge Sauce and/or Rich Raspberry Sour Cream pancakes all sound so good. And I am eager for the opportunity to make raspberry maple syrup. So much good food and so little time! Thanks Susan!

There were two recipes I was drawn to on the weekend – Corn Pancakes with Sour Cream and Caviar and Fresh Corn Cakes with Tomato Salsa. I combined the Corn Pancakes with the Tomato Salsa. In the book the pancakes were a lot plumper than mine but ours tasted delicious – light and fluffy with a buttery crust (due to me misreading the recipe when it came to melting the butter so I had plenty left for frying).

I had a bit of pesto leftover so I added a spoonful to the pancake mixture. This gave the pancakes some green specks but not much extra flavour so I wouldn't bother next time. I took quite a few liberties with the tomato salsa and served it on capsicum and corn which I enjoyed. If I had remembered to buy yoghurt I would have spooned a dollop on the salsa but it was still great without it. A nice light evening meal.

The next morning I warmed up some leftover corn pancakes on the frypan and popped them in the oven to stay warm. Then I fried up the remaining salsa with some mushrooms. I believe that the salsa tasted better warm with the pancakes than cold so next time I think I will serve it that way. This was a nice easy accompaniment for the tattie scones and a very filling breakfast!

All in all, a very pleasing first plunge into the book. Like many things in my life, it has taken some time but I am sure it is the first of many great meals from it. I am looking forward to eating the leftover pancakes which are in the freezer.

Corn Pancakes with Tomato Salsa
(adapted from Marie Simmons)
Serves 4 to 6 - makes about 24 small pancakes

½ cup yellow cornmeal
½ cup plain white flour
¾ tsp baking soda (bicarb soda)
½ tsp salt
Kernels of 1 corn cob (or ½ cup corn)
¼ red onion, finely chopped
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk plus 1 tbsp lemon juice)
2 tbsp butter (60g), melted
2 large eggs, separated
Extra oil or melted butter for frying
Plain yoghurt or sour cream to serve (optional)

3 tomatoes, finely chopped
¼ red onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1 dessertspoon olive oil

To make the salsa, mix all ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside at room temperature so the flavours can mingle while you make the corn pancakes.

In a medium bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, soda, salt, corn and onion. In a small bowl or measuring jug, lightly whisk together the buttermilk, melted butter and egg yolks. In another small bowl, use an electric beater to beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Combine buttermilk mixture and flour mixture. Fold in egg whites till just combined.

Heat a little butter or oil in a non stick frypan over medium heat. Drop dessertspoonfuls of mixture into frypan and fry 2-4 minutes until air bubbles appear in mixture. Flip over and fry another 1-2 minutes. Keep frying batches. Place the cooked pancakes on a plate covered in paper towel and keep warm in the oven on medium low heat.

If desired, heat salsa in a frypan before serving with corn pancakes, or serve salsa as an accmpaniment at room temperature.

On the stereo:
Angel of Ashes: a tribute to Scott Walker – Various Artists


  1. These pancakes look really yummy! My mom used to add corn to our pancakes when she made pancakes for dinner and I forgot all about that! I'm totally bookmarking the recipe and I may have to see if I can find the cookbook!

  2. I love sweetcorn pancakes and always make them when I have some leftover corn. I like to add some chopped spring onions into the batter and somtimes some chilli for a bit of a kick.

  3. Sounds like a perfect light supper! I love corn pancakes. Hadn't thought of heating the salsa, though--I agree it would taste better that way!

  4. Beautiful. Those burritos are huge, aren't they?

    Summer's here and the corn is just starting to be deliciously sweet. Bookmarking the recipe right now.

  5. thanks Mary - I've never seen the cookbook in stores here but it does have lots of good ideas if you find it

    thanks Katie - I like the idea of spring onions - now I am regretting not using up some chives in these - probably would have been better than the pesto

    thanks Ricki - I still find salsa a little strange - is it is a salad or a sauce???

    Thanks Lucy - the burritos look deceptively small but the accompaniments make them very filling

  6. That is so like I love to eat! You win my heart with this meal!

  7. thanks Tanna - we had the leftover corn pancakes tonight with some more vegetables from the fridge - wish I had more in the freezer now!

  8. Hey thats cool. I make a pancake very similar to this. My recipe came froma different book though. I have to say that I probably make this at least 7 to 10 per summer. Boy does it get gobbled up. Do you make it a lot too?

  9. Thanks Lori - I have seen other similar recipe but I confess this is not my usual pancake recipe - though pancakes don't last long in my house when I do make them


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