Thursday, May 24, 2007

Party Favorite

It always amazes me that it takes weeks of planning for a party, days of cooking for a party, but only hours for the party to consume all the preparation and food. Seems like we should be able to party for longer, don’t you think? Well, in all fairness, there is a lot of booze left…..

So last Friday night we hosted a cocktail party for our recently engaged friends, John and Jen. Jen spent almost 10 years in the Bay Area and has amassed a large number of friends here, many of which had not yet met the groom-to-be. So the happy couple flew in from Las Vegas and John put on his best happy face to do a meet and greet with all Jen’s NorCal pals (and John’s uncle). It was a rousing success: everyone loved John, saw how happy Jen is, and devoured almost every single morsel of food available. And given the feedback, the mini corn cakes were the hit of the party. Small rounds of corn-based goodness topped with a small dollop of sour cream, and a strip of roasted red pepper. The recipe is an easy one, makes about 50-55 corn cakes, and allows you to cook them the night before to minimize any frantic last minute rushing around. Just reheat and dress. Maybe this is just the thing for your Memorial Day weekend bash?

Ricotta-Corn Cakes

2 c ricotta
1 c green onions, tops and bottoms, finely chopped
½ c sun dried tomatoes, diced
2 T sugar
1 1/2 t salat
1/2 t black pepper
2 cups corn kernels (can use fresh or thawed frozen corn)
3 large eggs
2/3 c cornmeal
1/3 c all purpose flour

Olive Oil
Sour Cream
One of the following for topping: cilantro sprigs, thin slivers of roasted red pepper, salsa

Mix ricotta, onion, tomatoes, sugar, salt & pepper in large bowl to blend. Combine corn and eggs in food processor or blender until coarse puree forms. Stir puree into cheese mixture. Add cornmeal and flour and mix until well incorporated. Allow mixture to rest at 1 hour at room temperature.

Heat pancake griddle or large fry pan over medium heat. Lightly brush with olive oil and beginning dropping heaping tablespoons of batter onto hot pan. (I used a small ice cream scoop.) Cook until brown on bottom, then flip and continue cooking, about 3-4 minutes total. Repeat with remaining batter.

Corn cakes may be kept warm on baking sheet in oven as you cook them. They can also be cooled and stored overnight. Reheat in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Top with a small dollop of sour cream (I used a pastry bag) and one of the recommended toppings.

NOTE: The sun-dried tomatoes were not in the original recipe, but I wanted more color in the corn cakes. You could add finely diced fresh tomatoes, roasted red pepper, or fresh red pepper.

FYI - Good hostess that I am, I completely neglected to get the camera out! Hopefully Tea will have a shot or two that I can add????

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