Paring down the cookbook shelves has its advantages. As much as it pains me to let go of books, cookbooks or otherwise, so often the experience is one of renewal and discovery. I looked through books that I hadn’t opened for a while, salvaged some recipes from those marked for the donation pile, and managed to make room for the ones that I truly cherish. My brain was buzzing with inspiration. I was discovering recipes I had nearly forgotten about, others just waiting to be enjoyed again, and new ideas to try.
These savoury pancakes I rediscovered in one of the first vegetarian cookbooks that ever occupied a space on my shelf. I have adapted the recipe over the years to make it my own, but as corn appears only occasionally on the menu, these moist, almost melt-in-your-mouth fritters hadn’t been served up for a quite a long time. Usually they were paired with a zesty and chunky black bean and feta salsa. The corn kernels in these fritters provides a bit of a crunch, along with the grainy cornmeal, with some underlying tanginess from the sun-dried tomatoes and some heat from spices and hot chilies. Serve these up for dinner or enjoy for brunch.
1 jalapeño or 2 green or red chilies, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, drained and chopped
2 cups corn kernels, thawed if frozen
In small bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and soda, sugar, cumin, chili powder and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, applesauce and almond milk. Stir in the chopped jalapeño or chilies if using, sun-dried tomatoes and corn.
Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until evenly moistened.
Heat a few teaspoons of oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, scoop about 1/4 cup portions of the batter into the pan, leaving a bit of space between each pancake. Cook until small bubbles begin to form on the tops, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate and keep warm in the oven, and cook the remaining pancakes, adding more oil as needed.
Serve with your favorite chutney and sauces, with some wedges of lime, or for a sweeter treat, drizzle with syrup.