I bet you are beginning to see how much we like to eat breakfast for dinner! I am such a zombie in the morning. My husband makes a mighty fine breakfast, which is the only way I get out of bed. But sometimes I make breakfast foods for supper. Pancakes are a great way to save time and money during the week. These corn and chive cakes are a savory twist on corn cakes, also known as johnnycakes. We are not big meat eaters, so we are both happy to eat a nice plate of these for dinner. But if you like more meat in life, I think these would be GREAT with some grilled sausages, or even just some bacon, to stick with the breakfast theme!
These corn cakes get great flavor from from a combination of fine-ground yellow cornmeal and fresh corn. The corn flavor marries perfectly with chives -- really, this is one of my favorite flavor combinations. The sweet caramelized onions and tangy salty feta are a wonderful compliment.
Lately, I have been making large batches of caramelized onions ahead of time. This is a great ingredient to make ahead and have on hand! You can turn them into so many things. They are great fillings for paninis and quesadillas, and delicious whirled into pasta. They can also quickly be turned into French onion soup. I use my food processor to chop or slice the onions, since I have incredibly sensitive eyes. Then they just cook up when I am doing other things in the kitchen. I use less fat in mine than the average bear; water works just fine to keep them from burning and sticking, but I just had a thought to try using a little stock or wine next time! I am curious -- what things do you make ahead to save time?
serves 4 (recipe doubles easily)
2 large yellow onions, sliced or chopped
4 tsp olive oil or butter
water, as needed
1. Place the onions with in a stainless steel skillet with the lid on, over medium heat, for 15 minutes. Check towards the end to be sure that they are not burning.
2. When the onions look dry, and are just beginning to stick to the pan, add the oil or butter. Turn the heat up to medium-high, and remove the lid.
3. Continue to cook the onions, stirring every few minutes. They will be tangy and rich in flavor after about 15 more minutes. You can continue to cook them up to 40 more minutes, at which time they turn deep brown, very sweet, and almost jam-like. Cook them to your personal preference. Add water (about 2-3 Tbsp at a time) if they begin to burn or stick to the pan. (This is almost like making risotto!)
Corn and Chive Cakes Topped with Caramelized Onions and Feta
serves 5 as a main dish, more as a side dish
adapted from Rachael Ray, Best Eats in Town, $40 a Day
1 cup fine-ground yellow cornmeal
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
2 cups buttermilk
2 Tbsp canola oil
corn from 2 large ears, removed from the cob
1 cup chopped chives
1. Heat a griddle over medium-high heat.
2. Mix the dry ingredients (cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar) well with a whisk.
3. Mix the wet ingredients (eggs, buttermilk, and oil). Stir the corn and chives into the wet ingredients.
4. Fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture, gently. Do not overmix.
5. Spray the griddle with cooking spray. Ladle 1/4 cup of the corn mixture into the hot griddle. Cook over medium to medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes on each side. Repeat until you have cooked up all of the batter.
6. Serve hot, topped with caramelized onions and feta crumbles (about 1 Tbsp per person).