Parmesan Corn Cakes with Lime or Chile Cream

From Geoff Last

2012 Nov/Dec


  • 1/2 c. unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 c. stone ground cornmeal
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • couple grinds of black pepper
  • 1/2 t. crushed dried red chiles
  • 1/4 c. grated parmesan
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 c. fresh or frozen corn (thawed if frozen)
  • 2 scallions, green and pale green parts only, chopped

Lime/Chile Cream

  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 2 T. lime juice
  • 1 T. hot sauce, medium heat, such as Frank’s, or Sriracha if you want more kick
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • Whisk ingredients together in a small bowl and serve alongside the corn cakes.
  • Wine: A slightly off-dry riesling would work well with the sweetness of the corn and the spice component; try the Max Ferd Richter Estate Riesling 2009.


grapeseed oil for frying (this a neutral-tasting oil with a high smoke point; it is also among the healthy oils, along with olive and canola)

When fresh corn is available I like to grill the cobs (husks removed), rubbed lightly with olive oil, on the top rack of the barbecue for about 10 minutes, turning them several times just until they take on a little colour. This caramelizes the natural sugars and brings out the sweetness. Stand them on their ends and, with a sharp knife, strip the cobs of the kernels and reserve them.

Whisk the first 7 ingredients together in a large bowl. Whisk the eggs and buttermilk together in a medium bowl, and then whisk the mixture into the dry ingredients. Add the corn and scallions to the batter and mix well. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add enough oil to coat the bottom. Drop blobs of the mixture into the pan (about 1/4 c. each) and flatten them slightly with a spoon. They should be about 3 to 4 inches in diameter. Fry the cakes for about 3 minutes a side until golden brown. You’ll need to do this in batches – about 4 at a time. You will likely need to add a little more oil between batches. Transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels and serve them warm with lime/chili cream.

Makes about 12 cakes.