Corn Cakes: The Real Way to Win Friends and Influence People

This goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway: I am a huge nerd in the kitchen. Like, drastically nerdy. I am delighted by the most trivial of culinary things and experience big, swelling happiness over tiny details that (I’m guessing) most people don’t even notice. (Mason Jars, anyone?) I’m not your typical foodie, though. I don’t pore over glossy food magazines or experiment with complicated new recipes every week. Nah. I’d rather beam over a plate of simple steamed vegetables or marvel at ruby red grains of rice than I would hit up the trendiest new restaurant. Plus, I have a mile-long list of food sensitivities and a picky discerning palate, so it’s not very often that I can be wowed at a restaurant. I’m usually lucky if I can have one item (usually salad!) on any given menu, so Kitchen Nerdiness it is for me.

Exquisite!

Exquisite!

Anyway. Why am I telling you this? I just want to remind you what a dork I am before I go on to tell you that THESE CORN CAKES ARE EFFING AMAZING! Sure, I’m totally impressed by these corn cakes and feel like a bit of a celebrity chef every time I make them, but maybe you ought to take that with a grain of (Pink Himalayan) salt. I think they’re cool, and I’m pretty certain my mom thinks they’re cool, too, but maybe you’re the type of person who needs more than a geeky, glowing recommendation for a recipe, especially when corn is concerned. That’s fine. All I’m saying is this: if you want to win friends and influence people at your next potluck or cocktail party, make these corn cakes. You’ll impress the hors d’ouevre police, you’ll win the hearts of your vegan and gluten-sensitive friends, you’ll probably win the “Most Delicious Item” award of the evening, and you’ll do it all while being deceptively¬†delicious and healthy.¬†Who knew corn could do all of this? I did. And now you do, too. Yer welcome.

It doesn't get any better than this. Mmm... corn cakes!

It doesn’t get any better than this. Mmm… corn cakes!

Corn Cakes For the Masses!

(Recipe adapted from Christina’s original version at Fruit of Adventure here)

You Will Need:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil (or other high quality cooking oil)
  • 3/4 cup millet
  • 1/4 cup organic polenta (corn grits)
  • 1 medium leek, sliced into fine, short pieces
  • 1 cup frozen organic corn kernels, thawed
  • 2 heaping Tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped (or 1 generous Tbsp dried basil)

How to Make Them:

1. Melt 1 Tbsp of coconut oil in frying pan and saute leeks over low to medium heat, until tender (about 5 minutes).

2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add salt, 1 Tbsp coconut oil, and millet when water is boiling.

3. Slowly add polenta to the pot, stirring gently and continuously to avoid clumping.

4. Simmer millet and polenta on medium low heat (uncovered) for about 25 minutes, or until water is absorbed and millet mixture is sticky. Remove from heat.

5. Preheat oven to 350F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

6. Add leeks, corn kernels, and basil leaves to millet mixture and stir well.

7. Use a measuring cup (1/4 cup to 1/3 cup) to form cakes with the millet mixture. (It helps to have a bowl of ice water at the ready to rinse measuring cup in between cakes. The cold temperature will help keep the mixture from sticking to the inside of the cup. Life-saving, really.)

8. Bake corn cakes for 25 minutes, or until they are slightly crisp/golden on the outside.

9. Serve with fresh guacamole* (and raw kraut, if you’re so inclined).

10. Prepare to amaze and astound your friends, dinner guests, work superiors, priest, etc. CORN WORKS WONDERS!

Corn cakes, pre-baking

Corn cakes, pre-baking

*****

*… and if you’re wondering how in sam heck to make fresh guacamole, I do it in three minutes like so:

OMGuacamole

You Will Need:

  • 1 medium to large ripe avocado, halved and flesh scooped out
  • sea salt to taste
  • red hot chili pepper flakes to taste
  • lemon juice, 1-2 Tbsp (or to taste)
  • handful of fresh cilantro leaves, washed and chopped

How To Make It:

1. Add all ingredients to a small bowl and smash with a fork. Done.

That's it. And now you'll be so savvy in the kitchen! You'll wow EVERYONE!

That’s it. And now you’ll be so savvy in the kitchen! You’ll wow EVERYONE!