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Fresh corn cakes with tomatoes, herbs & grilled shrimp

For the cakes:

1 cup milk
2 ½ cups dried ½ -inch whites bread cubes, crusts removed
1 cup fresh corn, cut off the cob
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
peanut oil

For the tomatoes:

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
2 cups diced tomatoes, peeled and seeded
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp. Fresh tarragon, chopped
1 tbsp. Fresh chives, chopped

For the shrimp:

24 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
peanut oil
salt and pepper

Prepare your grill, especially if using charcoal. Brush shrimp with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a small sauce pan. Add the garlic, cook for one minute and then add the tomatoes. Reduce heat to low, stirring occasionally until pancakes and shrimp are ready.

Pour the milk over the bread in a medium bowl. Let it soak 3 minutes. Strain the bread in a fine sieve, pressing gently with the back of a spoon. Discard the milk. Return the bread to the bowl. Using a fork, blend the egg into the bread mixture until smooth. Mix in the cheese. Fold in the corn kernels. Add the salt and pepper.

Preheat your oven to its lowest setting. Heat a large, heavy nonstick skillet over medium-low heat and brush it lightly with peanut oil. Ladle the batter onto the skillet by tablespoonfuls, each pancake should be about 2-inches across. Cook the cakes until bottom sides are brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the pancakes and cook on second side until brown and cooked through, another 4 or 5 minutes. Transfer the cakes to a baking sheet and keep them warm in the oven.

Quickly grill the prepared shrimp until they are nicely marked, but not overdone, about 4 minutes. Remove shrimp to a bowl. Place 2 pancakes on each of eight serving plates. Top with 3 grilled shrimp and a spoonful of warm tomatoes. Sprinkle fresh chopped herbs over all and serve immediately. Makes 8 servings.

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