Jalapeno Johnnycakes Topped with Smoked Fish
Henry & Marty, a wonderful restaurant in Brunswick, serves these savory little cakes as an accompaniment to their luxurious lobster salad. The Johnnycakes have so much intrinsic flavor that I love them as an hors d'oeuvre, topped with a small piece of almost any smoked fish - salmon, arctic char, smoked Maine shrimp, or scallops.
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup low-fat or whole milk
2 tablespoons finely chopped seeded jalapeno chiles
2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions (about 4 scallions)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon liquid hot pepper sauce
1 cup corn kernels (thawed frozen corn is fine)
1 tablespoon butter
60 small pieces (the size of a quarter) smoked salmon, arctic char, smoked shrimp, or scallops
Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, cumin, oregano, and salt in a bowl.
In another bowl, whisk the egg with the milk. Whisk in the jalapenos, 2 tablespoons of the scallions, oil, and hot pepper sauce. Gently whisk the egg mixture into the cornmeal mixture. Stir in the corn.
Heat the butter in a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Spoon out the batter by half-tablespoons to make pancakes about the size of silver dollars. Cook, turning once, until golden brown and cooked through, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove to baking sheets and repeat until batter is used.
Serve immediately, or reheat in a 375 degree oven until just warm. Top each pancake with a piece of seafood, sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons scallions, and serve.