Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Polenta Corn Pancakes (savory)

This recipe is from Whole Grains Every Day Every Way.

Pancakes for dinner? Definitely with these Polenta Corn Pancakes. You can serve them as a side dish like I did--I paired them with some veggie black bean chili--or they can be a main dish with a salad or some steamed vegetables on the side. Either way they're delicious, and unusual. They have an almost souffle-like texture and they're much more delicate than you'd expect. I made extra pancakes and they held up relatively well overnight in the fridge--just a few broke into pieces.

Polenta Corn Pancakes
1 cup fine yellow cornmeal, preferable stone-ground
3 tablespoons corn oil, plus additional for the griddle
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk, plus more if needed
3 large eggs
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
2 tablespoons seeded, finely chopped jalapeno pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage or 1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle, or more to taste (optional)

If you plan to hold the pancakes to serve all at once, preheat the oven to 200F.

In a heavy 2-quart Dutch oven or saucepan, blend the cornmeal and 1 1/2 cups of water. Stir in the oil and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook at a gentle boil, stirring frequently, until the mixture becaomes thick and porridgy, about 2 minutes.

Transfer the cornmeal mixture to a mixing bowl, and stir in the corn kernels and buttermilk. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in another large mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Stir in the red bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, sage, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and chipotle (if using). Add the cornmeal mixture and stir to blend. The batter should be thick but pourable, like pancake batter; if necessary, thin by stirring in additional buttermilk.

Preheat a nonstick griddle or large skillet over medium heat. Brush the griddle lightly with oil, if necessary, to prevent sticking. Pour 2 tablespoons (1/8 cup) of batter per pancake onto the griddle, allowing space in between for the pancakes to spread. Cook until the bottoms are set and lightly browned, about 2 minutes.

Flip the pancakes. Reduce the heat to low, and cook until the second side is browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Continue with the remaining batter. Serve immediately or, to keep warm while you cook additional pancakes, place them in a single layer on a rack in the oven. 

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