So last month, I spent a bit of time in Florida attending Olde City, New Blood, which was a rather small but very enjoyable Paranormal Romance convention. I was there as a reader since I haven't had anything released that would be considered paranormal/urban fantasy and I had a great time. I don't know offhand whether this convention will be held again next year (though I hope it is) or where it might be held, but if you happen to be in the neighborhood of wherever (and if) it's held, I recommend stopping by. (To be up front, this was not a specifically M/M or gay PNR con. Het fiction was more prevalent but the environment was wonderful and everyone seemed very interested in the M/M authors and books there. This, to me, defines a successful convention for any kind of romance, be it contemporary, paranormal of whatever.)
Now, this post is not intended as promo for the convention. I wanted to mention why I was in Florida because I don't ordinarily travel there. As most of you know, I seem to end up in Atlanta a lot. LOL
This time, in Florida, I went to a charming little beach restaurant in St. Augustine, where I had the most delicious corn cakes I've ever had. (Okay, the ONLY corn cakes I've ever had. It's not something I've ever run into here in Maryland or even in New Orleans when I lived there.)
These corn cakes were griddle fried (like pancakes) and topped with pico de gallo, avocado, cilantro, and a chipotle cream. They were AMAZING!!!
I've spent the last month and a half trying to recreate the recipe and I think I've managed to come close. As a public service to all of you (especially you, Cardeno C, because these are vegetarian -- though not vegan), I thought I'd share the results of my hard work. *grins*
So, without further ado... Corn Cakes a la St. Augustine!
3/4 c. flour
3/4 c. corn meal
2 t. baking powder
1 T. sugar (add a bit more if you like things sweet)
1/2 t. salt
* * *
1 c. milk
2 T. melted butter
1 egg plus 1 egg white, beaten
1 c. frozen corn kernels, thawed
* * *
Cooking oil (for the pan, or use cooking spray to save calories LOL)
Pico de gallo (recipe follows or store-bought works fine)
1 ripe avocado, cubed (as topping)
Chipotle cream (recipe follows)
Fresh cilantro (if you don't like cilantro, parsley will work too)
* * *
Combine dry items in a bowl, then mix in milk, butter and egg. Add thawed corn and mix well. Let rest 5 minutes.
While your batter is resting, heat your pan with the oil in it.
Proceed as you would for making pancakes (these technically are pancakes, but a bit less sweet). Flip corn cakes when the edges are bubbled and look somewhat dry, then finish cooking.
Plate up, top with pico, avocado, chipotle cream & cilantro, and enjoy!
* * *
Pico de Gallo (this is a variation on a traditional pico):
5 or 6 roma/plum tomatoes, diced (I find romas work best due to their lower water content)
1/2 red onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced, seeded (or with seeds if you like spicy the way I do!)
1/4 t. crushed garlic
1 lime (juice only)
Chopped cilantro (or parsley or scallions), to taste
salt & pepper to taste
* * *
Combine all ingredients and mix well.
* * *
If you happen to have a can of chipotle peppers in your cupboard, you can simply use some of the thick, luscious liquid they're packed in. If not...
Chipotle hot sauce (Tabasco makes one, as does the Texas Pete brand) to taste
Sour cream (this also works with the low fat and fat free varieties)
* * *
Always mix your chipotle sauce/liquid into your sour cream, not the other way around. You'll be better able to control the degree of spice that way.
* * *
So that's it, all. Corn cakes for everyone! *grins* And if you do make this recipe, don't forget the cubed avocado! The avocado makes it extra-super awesome! *grins*
Oh, and SORGBARN, you won my contest from two weeks ago, so if you'd please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let me know which of my stories you'd like in .pdf and where to send it, I'll shoot it off to you ASAP! *grins*
Thanks for reading, guys, and hope you enjoy!