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Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Almost fritter-like, but not fried, these are an excellent supper side dish and an off-the-charts entree when served as a Mexi-Stack (see the variation that follows). If you like, substitute ¼ cup masa harina for ¼ cup of the cornmeal, to give the cakes a bit of corn tortilla-like flavor and a smoother texture.
1. Combine the flour, cornmeal or cornmeal and masa harina, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl, stirring well. Set aside.
2. Combine the buttermilk, egg, and sugar in a second, smaller bowl, whisking together. Set aside.
3. Combine the onion, scallion, corn, and chile in a third bowl. Set aside.
4. Using as few strokes as possible, stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture until the two are barely smoothed out. Then stir in all the vegetables.
5. Spray a heavy nonstick skillet with oil, then place over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, ladle on the batter; using a ¼-cup ladle will yield about 12 good-size pancakes, which will make 4 Mexi-Stacks, see below (a slightly smaller size is good for these when you’re using them as a side dish). Flip the cakes when the tops have plenty of bubbles and the sides look done, 2½ to 3½ minutes. The second side takes 1½ to 2 minutes.
6. Serve hot from the griddle.
Make the masa variation of the cakes. Open a can (15 ounces) of black beans and pour the contents, juice and all, into a small saucepan. Heat the beans through while you assemble the following on a tray:
1. 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
2. 2 or 3 ripe Hass avocados, peeled, pitted, and coarsely mashed in a small bowl with the juice of ½ lemon and a little salt
3. Homemade or bottled salsa
4. Dairy or tofu sour cream (optional)
5. Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
Have 4 heated plates ready. As the cakes come off the skillet, lay 1 in the center of each plate. Spoon the hot black beans over them, dividing equally. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the beans, and top with a second cake. Quickly spread the mashed avocado over the second cake layers, and top with a third cake. Spoon the salsa on top, add a dab of sour cream and a snowfall of cilantro, if using, and serve immediately—to many wows.
Nutrients per serving (% daily value)
Nutritional information is based on 4 servings.