Grainy Corn and Cheddar Pancakes with Scallions & Chile Butter

MAKES 4 LARGE PANCAKES; SERVES 2-4

Any melty, flavorful cheese works great in this recipe. As for grains, go for the most toothsome ones, like wild rice, kamut, or wheat berries. If you have barley or farro on hand, all good, just undercook them a bit, so as to retain their texture throughout the pancakes. Pro tip--cook the grains the night before and keep them in the fridge so you can whip these up more quickly.

If you can’t find Calabrian chiles pre-chopped, buy them whole and chop them yourself, being sure to include some of the oil they’re packed in.

Active Time: 50 Mins

Total Time: 50 mins

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Produce

  • 1 ear corn
  • 4 scallions

Pantry

  • ½ cup toothsome grains, such as wheatberries, farro, kamut, or wild rice
  • 1 tablespoon Chopped Calabrian chiles in oil
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • Maldon salt, for serving

Dairy

  • 3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for cooking pancakes
  • ¾ cup buttermilk, from a well-shaken carton
  • 1 large egg

1. Cook your grains:

  • Boil 1/2 cup grains in a medium pot of boiling salted water until tender but still quite toothy. Drain. You should have about 1 cup.

2. Do some prep:

  • Remove the kernels from 1 ear of corn with a sharp chef’s knife. Transfer to a bowl. Using a spoon and holding the cob in the bowl, firmly scrape up and around the length of the cob to extract all of the juicy corn milk. Discard cob.
  • Coarsely grate 3 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese and transfer to the bowl of corn. (About a heaping cup when lightly packed into a measuring cup.)
  • Thinly slice 4 scallions. Add the white and lighter green parts to the bowl of corn and reserve the dark green parts for garnish.

3. Make the Calabrian chile butter:

  • In a small bowl, combine 6 tablespoons softened butter with 1 tablespoon chopped Calabrian chiles, including their oil.
  • Stir and smash until smooth and season to taste with salt and add a touch more chile if desired.

4. Make the pancake batter:

  • In a large bowl, whisk to combine ¾ cup flour, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon baking soda, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
  • Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter and add to another bowl, along with ¾ cup buttermilk and 1 egg. Whisk to combine.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk just until smooth.
  • Add the grated cheddar, corn and scallions, and cooked grains to the batter and stir to incorporate.

5. Cook the pancakes:

  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  • Warm a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Grease with butter and scoop or ladle ½ cup batter into the pan. (If you prefer smaller pancakes, you can make eight ¼ cup sized pancakes instead.) Gently nudge and spread the batter into a circle if necessary. Cook on one side until deeply golden, about 2 ½ minutes. Flip, and continue to cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, until cooked through and crisp on the edges.
  • Transfer to a sheet pan and keep warm in the oven.
  • Repeat with remaining batter, wiping out the skillet and replenishing with butter between batches.
  • Serve, slathered with chile butter, garnished with the remaining scallions and sprinkle of Maldon salt.

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