Wednesday, May 2, 2012

RECIPE: Quinoa and Zucchini Corn Cakes

I've been making some variation or other of corn cakes for years. They are a quick and easy vegetarian (a.k.a. cheap) meal that is perfect for the warmer months of the year as preparing them doesn't heat up the kitchen too much. I've been experimenting with quinoa a lot lately and decided to try adding some to these corn cakes to give them a nutrition boost. They were a lot more filling than I expected! If fresh corn is in season, it will make these extra special, but you can use frozen or canned corn if fresh isn't available.

These are great with any type of salad on the side - you can find some of my favourite spring & summer salads here. In the above photo, they are shown with my Build a Cucumber and Bean Salad.

It also occurred to me that this batter is suspiciously similar to the one I use for making hushpuppies. So, I think you could probably get away with deep frying these by the spoonful like you do with hushpuppies if you want a special treat (and with the additional of the veggies and quinoa, they'll be a lot more nutrient-dense than your average hushpuppy!)

1 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup flour
1 tbsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup grated zucchini
1 cup corn kernels
1 cup cooked quinoa

oil or bacon fat for pan frying

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, egg, butter, onion, zucchini, corn and quinoa. Add the buttermilk mixture to the cornmeal mixture, stirring gently just until combined.

Heat about a tablespoon of oil or fat in a large frying pan (I like to use my cast iron skillet for these). Pour about 1/4 cup of batter into pan for each corn cake. Cook until they start to form bubbles on top; flip and cook another minute or two, or until golden brown on second side.

Serve with salsa and sour cream.

Makes about 3 dozen corn cakes.

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