Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Nopi Corn Cakes....wowza

So the new Ottolenghi cookbook NOPI is not for the beginner cook, but ok, there are a few recipes that we can make on a regular weeknight without a major production.

This is one of them.

I had all the ingredients in the house.

It's not fresh corn season in NJ, so I used a bag of frozen white corn.

OMG. These are dangerous little things.
They are fantastic.
Nothing like a corn muffin at all....almost like an airy quiche or souffle.

The unusual combination of tarragon, toasted fennel seed, cumin and celery seed make these little cakes crazy good, (and the fennel seed is from my garden last year).

The original recipe wants you to use corn husks to be really authentic......and if you can't use the husks, then fit parchment paper into muffin tins for a nice effect.

Would you believe I had no parchment paper left? So I used these great wax coated paper liners that peel off with ease.

The recipe makes 6 muffins.

I might serve these instead of stuffing at Thanksgiving, but there could be mutiny.
I did a trial turkey day run last week.

Nopi's Corn Cakes (adapted from the book by Yotam Ottlenghi with the same name). makes 6 muffins

5 medium ears of corn, husked and sliced off the cob or a 1 lb. of frozen corn, defrosted
3 small shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp fennel seeds, toasted
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp celery seeds
1 tsp dried tarragon, 1/2 oz. if using fresh
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup (5 tbsp) melted butter
2 large eggs, yolks & whites separated
2 tbsp flour
6 chunks of good quality feta cheese
sea salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 375F and grease or spray 6 muffin liners.

In a food processor, combine the corn, shallots, garlic, fennel seeds, cumin, celery seeds, tarragon and baking powder in 4 whizzes. It should be chunky.

Next add in the melted butter and egg yolks plus 2 tbsp flour, salt & black pepper.

Whiz another few times to combine. Don't overprocess.

Dump everything into a large bowl.

In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks. Yes, I do this with a whisk and muscles and it is my least favorite chore besides pitting cherries.....I am too lazy to take out my hand mixer.

In 3 additions, fold in the egg whites into the corn batter, gently. Just to combine.

Scoop the batter evenly into the 6 prepared muffin tins and using your hands, push a cube of feta cheese into the center of each little cake/muffin. The batter will bake up around the cheese, I promise.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until puffed and golden.
Let fully cool.

I think I will make the batter, then bake them up just before serving the bird.



Anonymous said...


Wow! Can I come over to your house for Thanksgiving!?

Looks fantastic! Those corn cakes look amazing....


Ciao Chow Linda said...

I took out that book from the library - something I frequently do with new cookbooks before deciding whether to buy them - and returned it right away. The recipes were far more complex than his previous cookbooks. But this one - well you've made it look easy - and delicious. I'm off to buy some tarragon.

Katie C. said...

I think I might make a test run with these too. Two questions: 1) do you think these would overflow a standard muffin? And 2) do they deflate or could they be reheated after cooking? If they are too big for the standard muffin tin, what about using a Pyrex cup? Ok, that was three. Who says I can count!

I do the same thing as Ciao Chow Linda. I am a huge library user. I'll have to put my name on the list for this cookbook.

Natalia said...

You are amazing when it comes to new recipes! These corn cakes look fabulous and if not for a side Thanksgiving dish, would make for a great lunch dish anytime in the fall.

Fennel seeds from your garden - wow! I'm lucky if my dill, parsley and rosemary survive indoors after summer..

I also like your paper liners - they make the corn cakes look fancy.

Stacey Snacks said...

Katie C.
I would use a standard paper muffin liner in a standard size muffin tin for these....they are not muffins, they don't rise too much. They are more eggy, like a dense quiche. No pyrex, they will stick.

The fennel seeds are from actually 2 summers ago, when the plant goes to seed, you pick them, then dry them. I have them in a tightly sealed jar, they are wonderful!