Other tasty additions to this recipe might include bacon pieces, microgreens, chopped avocado, or fresh broccoli sprouts.
2 cups plain yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 large egg
1 garlic clove
1/2 pound fresh okra, thinly sliced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 cup canola oil
Freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup of your favorite pimiento cheese
1 pound small tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
Fresh basil leaves
How to Make It
Whisk together first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together egg and 1 1/2 cups water; add to cornmeal mixture, whisking until smooth.
Smash garlic to make a paste. Stir okra, jalapeño, and garlic paste into cornmeal mixture. (Batter will be thick and will thicken even more as it sits, so add water, if needed.)
Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Pour 1 Tbsp. batter for each cake into skillet, and gently flatten into a 2-inch cake. (Don't overcrowd the cakes in the skillet.) Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until tops are covered with bubbles. Turn and cook 2 to 3 more minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Keep warm in a 200° oven. Repeat procedure with remaining batter and oil.
Spread each cake with about 1 tsp. pimiento cheese. Top with arugula, tomato, basil, and kosher salt and pepper.
An easy recipe to modify. I will add more veggies and onions next time. I didn't have regular cornmeal so I used self-rising cornmeal. I definitely had to add water to the batter. This was yummy with the cheese added.
The recipe combines my favorite flavors of our sultry, so-hot-you-peel-off-your-clothing Alabama summers: okra, tomatoes, corn, basil, and a personal staple, pimento cheese. Make your own pimento cheese. I love how the cheese starts to melt when it hits the hot cake. It's so important to assemble these right away, when the corncake is still hot and crispy. I thought these were summer on a plate. Delicious.
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