Detroit corn cakes

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This weekend we had friends over to watch game three of the World Series and eat chili.  It was a pretty exciting game and we were on our feet numerous times, cheering for our team or making our way to the kitchen for seconds.

Making chili is the Mister’s department, but I do have a go-to recipe for fried corn cakes.  A few years ago, when I was living in Michigan, I clipped it out of a copy of the Detroit Free Press, and they’ve been a hit at every chili night I’ve been to since.

Green onions, corn, sea salt, cornmeal, flour, sugar, milk, egg, butter, jalapeno

Green onions, corn, sea salt, cornmeal, flour, sugar, milk, egg, butter, jalapeno

Adapted from a recipe by Chef Shawn Loving, first published in The Detroit Free Press

  • 1 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar or less to taste
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh black pepper
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/8 vegetable oil
  • 1 cup fresh cut corn
  • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1 medium jalapeno, seeds removed, minced
  • Oil for frying

In a large bowl, combine corn meal, sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper, stirring with a fork to combine.  In a smaller bowl, lightly beat the egg and milk, then pour into the larger bowl of dry ingredients.  Mix well.  Next, add corn, green onions, chopped jalapeno, butter, and oil.  Stir yet again, until vegetables are well mixed in the batter.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Use a large spoon to scoop out batter–about 1/8 cup per scoop–and drop in oil.  Use flat side of spoon to flatten batter into a 4-inch round cake.  A large skillet can accommodate about three corn cakes per batch.  After about 90 seconds, small bubbles will appear in the top of batter.  Flip with a spatula and fry other side for an additional 90 seconds, then remove from heat.  Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before eating.  Makes about 30 corn cakes.

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A few tips:

I halved the original recipe to work for four people. Double the recipe for a larger party.

The original recipe didn’t include the jalapenos, so they could easily be removed or substituted for a different pepper.  I like just a hint of spice in my corn cakes or corn bread.

Try letting the corn cakes cook for two full minutes on each side or until they get a little crispy.  Delicious.

These are best hot, so if you aren’t serving right away, toss them onto a sheet pan and pop them in the oven for a few minutes to rewarm.

These also go well with pulled pork or other kinds of barbeque.

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