I have been on a cooking slump recently.  I am visiting my parents and have not been cooking at all.  Although, I have been buying local produce and dairy products to no end.  Where my husband and I live it is harder for me to source some things and being in Rhode Island I am almost like a kid in a candy store.  Not to say, where I live does not have local produce, but I have to put in a great deal of legwork and it is not as easy to find as it is in Rhode Island.

Here, in Rhode Island, I grab a million things out of excitement.  I must look psychotic, almost like Rachel Ray trying to maneuver all her stuff out of her pantry and fridge to her cooking area in one trip.  (Not to say she is psychotic, because I am sure she is not. But, she is definitely a little too perky.)

Back to me gathering all sorts of foodstuffs.  I tried Johnnycakes for the first time with my friend at a local diner called, The Liberty Elm.  This prompted me to pick up both white and yellow corn meal and try to make something like a Johnnycake, but with my own spin on it.  I absolutely love  the sweet and savory combination of jalapeno cornbread and wanted to jump from this idea.  I was soon sold on a recipe I found from Gourmet Magazine, one for Corn Cakes.  I worked from this and used my taste buds to get something exactly to my liking.   They turned out quite well and would be great in so many ways.  They would work as an appetizer, a side, a bottom layer for eggs, or beans, or cheese, or all of the above!  I am getting carried away with ideas, I will stop here and give you all the recipe!

Corn Cakes with Serranos, Herbs, and Queso Blanco

adapted from a Gourmet magazine recipe

1/2 cup white corn meal, I used Kenyon’s from RI

1/2 a cup yellow corn meal

1/2 a cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and more for pan-frying the cakes

1 large egg

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup thawed frozen corn, chopped

1/2 a small red onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced finely

1-2 serrano chilies, chopped (remove the seeds if you like)

handful of cilantro, roughly chopped

1 scallion, chopped

10 sprigs of chives, chopped

1 cup queso blanco or monterey jack, shredded

Garnish: sliced serranos, chives, and sour cream or crema

Mix together all the dry ingredients.  Set aside.  Combine the egg, buttermilk, and melted butter.  Add in the onion, garlic, serranos, cilantro, scallion, chives, corn, and the queso blanco.  Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.  Heat a griddle or frying pan with some butter on medium-medium high heat and drop 1/2 cup-fulls of batter into the pan.  Cook on each side for approximately 3 minutes per side.  Garnish with sliced serranos, chives, and sour cream or crema.

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