In addition to making fine breakfasts or brunches, these cornmeal cakes have many savory applications.
Makes 24 to 30 griddle cakes • 1 2/3 cup corn meal, preferably medium grind (polenta corn meal is perfect)
• 1/3 cup all-purpose flour • 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon baking soda • 3/4 teaspoon plus a pinch of salt
• 1 1/2 to 2 cups buttermilk* (less will make a puffy 1/4-inch thick cake, more, a thinner crisper one) • 2 beaten eggs
• 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter or bacon fat, plus extra to grease the skillet
In a medium bowl, combine the corn meal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter.
Heat a large, heavy griddle or skillet over medium heat until a drop of water bounces across the surface. Brush the surface lightly with melted butter. Drop the batter, 2 tablespoons at a time, onto the surface, leaving enough room for pancakes to spread (The cakes will be about 3 inches in diameter). Adjust the heat if necessary to keep butter from burning.
Cook the cakes until the surface is bubbled and set and edges on underside are brown. Flip the cakes and cook until second side is brown. Repeat until all the batter is used, brushing the pan with butter before each batch.
Serve the cakes as they come off the griddle or keep them warm, layered in (and covered with) clean tea towels in a slow 200'F oven.
*If you don't have buttermilk, substitute cup milk mixed with 1 cup plain yogurt.