• Posted by Califia Suntree on August 12th, 2011, 8:10 AM

    It’s true that I’ve expressed a good deal of skepticism in these pages about the gluten-free mania that has swept the nation in a tide of rice flour and potato starch. I still see it largely as carbo-phobia in sheep’s clothing, but since I’ve been on a doctor-mandated “allergy free diet” for the past few weeks, I will humbly grant that it can sometimes be an actual health issue. I will also grant that I’ve discovered a few rays of culinary sunshine in an otherwise dark world of atrocious gluten-free toast and endless tortillas. This allergy-free diet also has me off soy and dairy (no cheese is so much worse than no bread), which has required me to get creative in the kitchen, particularly at breakfast. These dairy- and gluten-free blueberry corncakes are inspired by a New York Times recipe, and go gorgeously with maple syrup and bacon. (Gotta get my kicks where I can…)

    Serves 2
    (Can be doubled)1 1/2 cups cornmeal (or a mixture of 1 cup cornmeal and 1/2 cup polenta, for more texture and a stronger flavor)
    1 1/2 cups boiling water
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup almond, soy or cow milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Vegetable oil
    1 tablespoon sugar (or to taste)
    1 cup fresh blueberries (or frozen, defrosted and drained. Save the juice for something!)

    1. Combine the cornmeal, water and salt in a medium bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes.

    2.  Stir in the milk until a smooth batter forms (roughly the thickness of cake batter). Add the vanilla, 2 tablespoons oil, and the sugar. When well-combined, stir in the blueberries.

    3. Heat a skillet or heavy frying pan over medium-high heat and grease it lightly with vegetable oil. When hot (a drop of batter should sizzle and jump on the pan’s surface), scoop about 1/4 cup of batter onto the skillet per cake (or less if you like smaller pancakes) and smooth it out. Even thickness is important for even cooking.

    4. Fry the cakes for about 4 minutes per side, until quite golden and crispy.

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