These savory corn pancakes, inspired by the current “breakfast all day” trend, are hearty and satisfying for any time of day.
Are you guys as crazy about the “breakfast all day” trend as I am? I’m talking avocado toasts, yogurt bowls, savory porridges, breakfast salads, jammy eggs on everything… I mean, how can you not love this type of food? It’s literally everything I want to eat, and if there wasn’t already a book by that title, I’d probably set out to write it myself. Both NYC and LA are teeming with all-day cafes right now (see: Dimes, Egg Shop, and Westbourne in the former, and Sqirl, Kismet, and Superba in the latter, to name a few) and more are popping up all over the country as we speak.
I’m obsessed with breakfast to begin with since I’m a hardcore morning person and have a certain affinity for my first meal of the day. But what’s special about this trend is that it takes simple, relatively quick-cooking breakfast-y foods and makes them appropriate for any time of day. So whether we call it breakfast, brunch or “brinner” (just kidding, don’t call it brinner…), I hope it’s here to stay – who’s with me?
These savory corn pancakes are pretty much my new favorite recipe, and unsurprisingly, fall under the “breakfast all day” umbrella. Based on my classic DIY pancake mix recipe, these babies are airy yet chewy, and savory-sweet thanks to the cornmeal and fresh corn kernels in the batter; the cornmeal also adds a satisfying crunch.
Here’s how to cut fresh corn kernels off the cob:
- Using a sharp knife (I adore my Mercer 8″ Chef’s Knife), trim about 1/3″ off the tip end of the cob (the tassel), then pull the husks and silks off the cob.
- Firmly holding the cob down with the palm of your non-dominant hand, slice the kernels off the cob. Continue rotating the cob until you’ve sliced off all the kernels. Collect the kernels in a bowl and proceed with the recipe.
- You can save stripped cobs to make corn stock for chowder, if you’d like, or just discard them.
To balance the subtle sweetness of these savory corn pancakes, I paired them with a smoky chipotle cashew cream. Cashew cream is one of the many vegan tricks I picked up while working at Natural Gourmet Institute. As the name suggests, it’s a creamy, tangy condiment that makes the perfect plant-based substitute for sour cream and yogurt and there are endless ways to use it (whether as a spread, dip, or topping). It’s very simple to make: you simply soak some cashews for a couple of hours and then blend them with water, lemon or lime juice, and salt; you can eat it as is or flavor it with almost anything (garlic and herbs being the obvious choices). You can also make a sweet version – with maple syrup, vanilla, and berries, for instance. Once you try it, it’s sure to become a part of your regular rotation.
Shiitake ‘bacon’ is another trick I picked up at NGI. It’s an easy vegan bacon substitute made of thinly sliced and roasted shiitake mushrooms and it really does taste like bacon. It’s chewy, crispy, salty, and savory – an extraordinarily yummy topping for basically any savory dish, and you definitely want it in your “breakfast all day” arsenal.
These savory corn pancakes are hearty and satisfying for any time of day, and a great way to use up that beautiful locally-grown corn that’s all over farmers markets this time of year. Try them before summer’s over!Print
These savory corn pancakes are perfect for any meal of the day! (The cashew cream and shiitake ‘bacon’ recipes are adapted from Natural Gourmet Institute, NYC’s premier plant-based culinary school).
For the Shiitake Bacon:
- 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms (about 8 medium mushrooms), stemmed and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
For the Cashew Cream:
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in cold water for at least 4 hours or overnight, drained
- About ¾ cup filtered water
- 2 tablespoons lime juice (about 1-2 limes)
- About 2 teaspoons chipotle sauce, or to taste (See Note)
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
For the Pancakes:
- 2 tablespoons flax meal (ground flaxseeds)
- ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour (all-purpose flour also OK)
- ¾ cup cornmeal (preferably stone ground and ‘medium grind’, like Bob’s Red Mill)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for the skillet
- 1 ¼ cups raw corn kernels cut off the cob (about 1 ear of corn)
- ⅓ cup finely sliced scallions (1 large or 2 small stalks), plus more to garnish
- Start by making the Shiitake Bacon: Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- Place the mushrooms on a baking sheet, drizzle with the oil and salt, and toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer and roast until browned and crispy, 15-20 minutes, tossing once halfway through cooking. Remove from the oven and set aside; the ‘bacon’ will crisp up as it cools.
- Meanwhile, make the Cashew Cream: In a blender or food processor, combine the cashews, water, lime juice, chipotle sauce, and salt. Blend until completely smooth and creamy – the texture should resemble that of sour cream – stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender as needed. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed. Scrape the cream into a serving bowl and chill until ready to serve. (Cashew cream may be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days).
- Finally, make the Pancakes: In a small bowl, stir the flax meal together with 6 tablespoons of water. Let stand while you prepare the rest of the ingredients (5-10 minutes); the mixture should become slightly thick and gelatinous – this is known as a “flax egg”.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, and flax egg. Then stir in the corn and scallions. Pour the milk-corn mixture into the flour mixture and, using a rubber spatula, gently fold just until incorporated, being careful not to overmix. The batter will be thick and lumpy.
- In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, heat enough oil to evenly coat the bottom. Ladle ¼-cup-fulls of the batter into skillet, making 2-3 thin pancakes at a time. Cook until the pancakes start to set around the edges and are golden brown and crispy on the bottom, 2-3 minutes, then flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter, adding more oil to the skillet as needed for each batch. Serve immediately with the cashew cream, ‘bacon’, and extra scallions.
Chipotle sauce (sometimes called Adobo sauce) can be found jarred or canned in the international or Mexican foods aisle of your grocery store. It’s a spicy, smoky condiment made of pureed chili peppers and vinegar; some brands are spicier than others. You can add it to sauces or use it as a marinade.
- Serving Size: 2 pancakes (without toppings)
- Calories: 300
- Carbohydrates: 34.3 g
- Fiber: 5 g
- Protein: 5.1 g