Thirty Minute Thursday: Walnut-Sage Corn Cakes

I make to-do lists with goals to accomplish on any given day. Monday, for example, I wanted to have the recipe round up from L’s graduation party posted: check. Tuesday, I wanted to spend time working on my summer graduation course and finish before my dietetic internship conference call at 3pm: check. Wednesday, I wanted to finish up some graduate class homework, write a recipe round-up for my graduation party, have a lovely dinner with L and my aunt and uncle, and drive out to the mountains for a mini vacation get-away with L and my mom.

Wednesday is where it all fell apart.

I didn’t wake up early enough. L’s car inspection that I was driving him to and from took longer than anticipated. When I finally finished my homework I looked at the clock and realized it was 4:30pm. I hadn’t packed yet. I had to leave for dinner at 5. I had to leave straight from dinner for the mountains. I threw everything together and ran out the door and yes, did have a lovely dinner, but was more than a little exhausted by the time I arrived in the mountains at 9:40pm. I can’t remember if I did a #365thanks twitter post last night. I think I did. I should check. I definitely posted on Twitter that the recipe round up wouldn’t happen until today.

And then today is where is fell apart. Again.

I got 2 paragraphs into my post for the recipe round up when a ton of bricks came proverbially crashing down on top of me with one sudden realization: all of my pictures from my graduation party, food included, are on my dad’s camera card. In his camera. At home. 2 ½ hours away. And he’s at work and has much more important things to do than respond to my photo-less crisis.

So you see, I can’t write my recipe round up yet. Or at least, I couldn’t write a very exciting one. After all, it’s the pictures I know you really care about. A recipe round up of only words just wouldn’t do. I promise to have the recipe round up posted on Saturday, but until then, I thought I would tide you over with a Thirty Minute Thursday post. After all, it is Thursday!

Before the school year ended, I turned to Rachael Ray’s recipe for walnut-sage corn cakes. I made several changes to the recipe and the only one I regret is ignoring the suggestion to serve them with a drizzle of honey. You know me; I get so stubborn about added sugar in any form. I just thought that eating the cakes plain or even with a dollop of salsa, they’d be fine, but in my head I can taste the flavor of the corn cakes meeting the flavor of sweet honey drizzled on top, and it’s magical. It really is. The cakes themselves are subtle, almost buttery from the walnuts that brown slightly when they contact the pan while cooking. And if you just add that touch of honey, that little touch of sweetness, you’ll have something truly special. If you make these before I have a chance to try them again, please let me know how they are, how they were intended to be. 


Walnut-Sage Corn Cakes
These griddle-cooked cakes are subtle and simple, versatile in their plain palate but begging for a little drizzle of sweetness to take them to the next level.

Yield: 4 servings (3 corn cakes each)
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Cook Time: 10-12 minutes

The Ingredients
1 ½ cups water
1 cup cornmeal
2 eggs
½ cup milk
¼ cup walnut oil
1 cup (white whole wheat) flour
2-3 teaspoons ground sage
2 ounces chopped walnuts
honey, for drizzling

The Method
Set a nonstick griddle over medium heat to warm.

Meanwhile, bring the water to a boil in a small sauce pan set over high heat. Pour the hot water into a large mixing bowl along with the cornmeal, and stir until combined. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, and walnut oil, then stir that mixture into the cornmeal. Sift the flour into the corn cake mixture, sprinkle with sage, and stir just to combine.

Ladle or spoon the batter onto the heated griddle in 3-inch rounds, allowing space between them. Scatter the walnut pieces over the wet batter and allow the cakes to cook, untouched, 2-3 minutes or until golden-brown. Flip and cook another 2-3 minutes until that side is also golden-brown. Repeat as necessary to finish the batter. Serve with drizzled honey.

Source, adapted: Rachael Ray’s Classic Thirty Minute Meals

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