2 Ears of fresh corn, kernels removed
1/4 Cup All-purpose flour
1/4 Cup Cojita cheese, crumbled
1/2 Tbsp. Granulated garlic or Garlic spice rub
1/2 Tsp. Cumin
1/2 Tsp. Chili Powder
3 Green Onions, sliced
Lime zest, from one lime
Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Flaky Salt to finish
1/2 Cup Fresh Pineapple, diced
1/2 Cup Fresh tomatoes, diced
2 Tbsp. Red Onion, diced
1/2 – 1 Jalapeno, finely minced
1 Tbsp. Fresh basil, julienned
1 Tbsp. Flat leaf parsley, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1) In a large bowl, add all the ingredients except the vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Then, drizzle with the vinegar and sprinkle with a large pinch of salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Put it to the side while you make the corn cakes.
2) In a large bowl, whisk the two eggs. Add the corn, flour, cheese, garlic, cumin, chili powder, 3/4 of the green onion, lime zest and a large pinch of kosher salt and black pepper. Mix well.
3) Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering but now smoking (about 350 degrees F if using a thermometer), add the corn cake batter using a quarter cup measuring cup or ice cream scoop. Cook on one side until golden. Flip and cook on the other side until golden brown. Total time should be about 5 minutes.
NOTES: Oh boy are you going to love these! The corn cakes with pineapple and basil salsa are crunchy, sweet and a little spicy and get these huge flavor boost from the light and tasty salsa. These are perfect as an appetizer, are great with cocktails or as a starter at a BBQ. I cooked these up on a grill recently and they went fast. These will make great appetizers this winter on game day too.
To get started, you’ll want to make your salsa. It is very simple. You are just putting everything in a bowl, then add a little of my secret ingredient (The Pineapple White Balsamic Vinegar), some salt and pepper and you are done. It doesn’t get any easier. If you don’t have the pineapple vinegar, use a white balsamic vinegar. If you don’t have the white balsamic vinegar, just squeeze the juice of the zested lime into the salsa. It will be great.
Next up is the incredibly simple corn cake batter. The most difficult thing is shucking the corn and let’s face it, that’s not that hard! Here are some basic instructions for getting the job done.
- Start by selecting fresh corn on the cob. Look for ears of corn with bright green husks and plump kernels. Preferably from a farm stand during corn season. (Hey, a girl can dream!) From the grocery store is just fine.
- Hold the corn cob firmly at the base with one hand, and grasp the husk near the top with your other hand.
- Gently pull down the husk toward the base, peeling it away from the corn cob. Continue pulling until the entire husk is removed, exposing the kernels. I always do this over the garbage can or over the sink to make cleanup easier.
- Once the husk is removed, you will notice silky threads called “corn silk” covering the kernels. To remove the silk, there are a few options:
a. Use your hand or a brush: Hold the corn cob firmly and rub your hand or a soft brush over the kernels. The silk should come off easily.
b. Use a vegetable brush: If the silk is stubborn, you can lightly scrub the corn cob with a vegetable brush under running water. This can help remove any remaining silk strands.
- Rinse the corn cob under cool water to remove any remaining silk threads.
Now, you are ready to remove the corn kernels from the cob. Here is what I’ve found to be the easiest way to do it.
- Take the shucked corn cob and stand it upright on a clean kitchen towel that is sitting on a cutting board or the kitchen counter. This keep the corn from slipping and also captures all the corn kernels that try to escape! Alternatively, I’ve done it in a very large and shallow bowl where the sides aren’t to high (otherwise they interfere with cutting down the entire ear of corn.) If you have a large, shallow “pasta” type bowl, this is great since it will capture all the kernels right in the bowl.
- Hold the top of the corn cob with one hand to keep it steady and use your other hand to hold a sharp knife. I use a serrated knife which works well for this job. Safety tip: Make sure it is a very sharp knife. Dull knives can cause accidents.
- Angle the knife slightly towards the center of the corn cob and position it just above the top of the kernels.
- With a downward motion, slide the knife along the length of the corn cob, cutting off the kernels. Try to cut as close to the cob as possible without including any tough parts of the cob.
- Continue rotating the corn cob and stripping off the kernels until all sides are done. This method allows you to quickly and easily remove the kernels in one smooth motion. Be sure to exercise caution when handling the knife and maintain a steady grip on the corn cob to avoid accidents.
Now that you’ve got your corn kernels, you are ready to make your corn cake batter. In a large bowl, beat the two eggs. Then add the corn kernels, flour, cheese, lime zest, seasonings and 3/4 of the chopped green onion. Leave some of the green onions for garnish. Mix it together and you are ready to form and fry your corn cakes.
I use an ice cream scoop so each cake is the same size and shape. But, you can also use a 1/4 cup measuring cup.
Heat your basil olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. You’ll hear a lot about not using olive oil to fry since it has a lower smoke point. I personally don’t have any problem with that. This recipe calls for shallow frying so you are using a lot less oil. Olive oil is so much better for you and this basil oil is packed with flavor. So, even the oil in this recipe is contributing to the taste. However, if you don’t have the specialty olive oil or don’t want to use plain olive oil, go ahead and use canola oil. You won’t hurt my feelings.
Add the corn batter to the oil and fry for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Carefully flip the cakes over and continue cooking on the other side until brown and cooked through. Drain on paper towel lined plated to remove excess oil. Sprinkle with the flaky salt and then top with some salsa. Serve any extra salsa on the side. Sprinkle on the remaining green onions and a little flaky salt. You can serve with lime wedges too. That’s totally optional.
These are delicious and a new favorite around here. I’ve already made them three times and the month isn’t over yet! Try this one, you are going to love ‘em.
Looking for other tasty and fast appetizer ideas? Try these: