excess.


I have a confession to make: I am not really a fan of leftovers.

When confronted with them, I don’t find myself inspired to create marvelous dishes that are greater than the sum of their parts; instead, I think longingly of those food disposal units that would allow me to stuff the uneaten portions of our meals down the drain and grind them into oblivion.

For some reason, I find opening the fridge to the sight of shelvesful of little containers a bit anxiety-provoking, and I would be quite happy if they were to simply disappear without my having to give them a thought (and to be fair, they often do, thanks to my husband, whose appetite is tremendous and somewhat less discerning than mine).

The leftovers problem becomes complicated when I acknowledge that generally, when cooking, I prefer an abundance of ingredients. Because we are only four, and only two of us can really be said to actually consume our meals, the result is that I tend to make quantities of food from which leftovers are inevitable.

So basically, I go to as much trouble to generate leftovers as I do to avoid dealing with them once they’ve been created.

I know, it’s a problem.

But we’re not here (well, not really) to delve too deeply into my complicated relationship with food. We’re here to celebrate the fact that, when I was dispirited by the bits and pieces floating around our fridge one recent rainy day, I decided to make these pancakes for lunch. All four of us gobbled them up, and there wasn’t a leftover to be had.

Corn and Cheese Pancakes

I processed the corn kernels in deference to our baby, but you could just as easily leave them whole and stir them in at the end with the cheese.

1c fresh or frozen corn kernels
2 eggs
1/2c olive oil
2c buttermilk
2 tsp sugar
1c whole wheat flour
1/2c corn meal
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 heaped cup grated cheese (I used cheddar)
a little butter, for the pan

Process corn kernels in the food processor (if frozen, they will make quite a racket). Add eggs, oil, buttermilk and sugar and process until combined.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, corn meal, baking soda, and paprika. Add corn mixture to flour mixture and stir until just combined. Gently fold in cheese.

Heat a large heavy pan on medium-high heat. Melt a little butter in the pan.

Make pancakes in batches, using a quarter-cup measure. Cook each pancake about 3 minutes per side.

My husband and I ate ours with salsa and sour cream, my daughter had hers with maple syrup, and the baby ate his au naturel.

Makes 14.

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