The last time my sister (the soon-to-be-famous writer) was in town we ate at a wonderful place called Tweet and I knew she had out-ordered me when I tasted her arepas. They were heavenly corn pancakes served with salsa, black beans, avocado and sour cream. I may have tried to convince her that she had been given way too much food and should not feel obligated to finish it and that I would take it off her hands as any helpful big sister should. I do know that I thought about those pancakes for a long time afterwards and was, therefore, delighted to find a recipe for something very similar in Miss Sara’s book.
This is some seriously good stuff but it caused me some concern as I was making it. The picture in Miss Sara’s book shows a corn cake that, texture wise, looks a lot like a traditional pancake. My batter, however, was thick and did not spread the way pancakes do. Tablespoon by tablespoon I ended up putting an extra 1/2 cup of buttermilk and it all turned out beautifully but still not pancake-like.
I emailed Miss Sara to ask, ever so politely, if there might possibly be an error in the amount of buttermilk? No, she assured me, it was supposed to be a nice, thick batter that doesn’t spread much. I’m still not sure I believe her but why would she lie to me, a nice little Midwestern blogging lady?
Sara suggests adding a fried egg or some grilled shrimp or chicken to make this a heartier main dish and I think those are great ideas. As written, the fresh corn, cherry tomatoes and basil make it a little summer party in your mouth.
The recipe can be found here.
Here in the part of Georgia where I live, these type of “corn cakes” are called Hoe Cakes. My favorite variation of Hoe Cakes is one with the addition of thin slices of okra and grated or finely minced onion to the cornbread mixture (absolutely under no circumstance add any sugar or sweeteners of any kind).