Fresh Peas and Corn Cakes

by on October 5, 2006
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Pink-eye Purple-Hull Peas, Steamed Broccoli, and Corn Cakes

Pink-eye Purple-Hull Peas, Steamed Broccoli, and Corn Cakes

It’s been a crazy, hectic week here. Our 9-year-old E. is in an opera! She and several of the students from her school are part of the children’s chorus in a local opera production, which will (finally) be performed this weekend. Between driving her to and from rehearsals and staying up late to make sure she gets her homework done, D. and I are almost as tired as she is. So our meals have become simpler as our lives have become more chaotic.

One of my favorite fast-but-healthy meals is fresh peas, a steamed vegetable, and a starch. If you can get fresh peas of any kind, the taste is just miles better than the canned version. Here in Mississippi, farmers’ markets and farm stands often sell already shelled peas in several varieties–lady cream peas, pinkeye purple hull peas, and baby lima beans are among my favorites. Whatever the variety, my technique for cooking them is pretty much the same.

First, I chop an onion and sauté it in a non-stick saucepan until it starts to caramelize. Then I add a little garlic, and cook for another minute. Then I add the peas (about a pound for the 3 of us) and enough water to cover them by about an inch. I season them well with whatever herbs I’ve decided to use. This time around, I cooked the adorable pinkeye purple-hull peas with thyme, rosemary, and fresh French tarragon, but for lima beans my favorite combination is thyme and marjoram. Sage, parsley, pepper, basil, oregano–all of these herbs have made their way into my peas at one time or another, and they’re all good.

Once the peas and seasonings are in the pot, I cover it with the lid slightly ajar and let the peas cook until tender. It depends a lot on the peas whether this takes 20 minutes or an hour, so I plan for about an hour. I watch the pot and add water as necessary. When they’re done, I add salt to taste. I sometimes thicken the cooking liquid by adding a cornstarch mixture or by simply mashing some of the peas to release their starches; this makes a wonderful gravy, suitable for “sopping up” with a piece of cornbread. (I skipped this step this time, choosing instead to serve the “pot liquor” in its natural state.)

While the peas are cooking, I prepare my side dishes. Steamed broccoli is a favorite around here, so it’s my fall-back vegetable. As far as starches go, we’re usually potato people. Mashed or baked potatoes both go well with peas, though sometimes I will opt for hash browns. On this occasion, however, I took a little extra time and threw together some corn cakes.

Corn cakes are great when you’re in a hurry; they cook much more quickly than a pan of corn bread, though if you’re feeding a crowd, a pan of corn bread will save more time. I make corn cakes a little differently each time, but here’s the version I made most recently, which should be gluten-free if you use brands of corn meal and flour that are certified gluten-free.

Easy Corn Cakes

It’s going to be a long weekend, so I’ll see you after the opera! 🙂

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dentist in Austin December 18, 2009 at 12:29 am

Hi there, This recipe looks absolutely delicious! I’m gonna try it right away! Thanks for providing this awesome recipe. I am printing this off right now! I found your blog on Google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work! Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

– Shane


2 CK April 4, 2010 at 8:24 pm

These were great with my sauteed cabbage and bbq tofu today! They turned out well even though I used corn flour instead of rice flour, ACV instead of lemon juice, a little extra baking powder and oil instead of the egg replacer and water in place of soymilk. I knew I was making a lot of exchanges but your recipes have been so reliable, I was pretty confident that the outcome would be good…and it was! Thanks for posting another great recipe!


3 ashleigh May 25, 2010 at 4:28 am

just wondering if i could use wholemeal flour in place of the besan or rice flour?


4 neilly August 29, 2010 at 5:42 pm

wow – corn cakes with spinach, garlic, and black pepper!


5 fraxl November 11, 2010 at 10:00 pm

This recipe is amazing!! I adjusted it a bit – using half a can of coconut milk instead of soy and a (small) banana instead of egg replacer. I also added chopped scallions to the mix for some added flavor, since I also left out the red pepper. Finally, I mixed two tasty things – the remaining coconut milk and some maple syrup – into something worlds better than either.

I can’t wait to try this for breakfast with peaches or strawberries! Thank you!


6 Jen November 30, 2010 at 5:06 pm

I made these tonight to serve with lentil soup. I used white cornmeal and whole wheat flour. The kids, who aren’t as happy about going more vegan, ate them happily. We’ll make this again! Thanks.


7 Azahara December 26, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Lovely! I served them with spinach and the combo was really good. Pure comfort food! Plus they are easy to make and pretty healthy.



8 Carlo Kropp July 27, 2011 at 5:10 pm

I am delighted to have discovered your site. I love just about all the recipes so far.this is my kind of cooking!


9 Seasideshawn December 30, 2011 at 9:49 pm

I will be making these corn cakes again to go with our black eyed peas on New Years day (I’ll be using your cashew kale recipe also for the greens)…We’re not superstitious either but what a great time to stock up on beans & greens while the stores have them on sale-Thanks for your wonderful blog & wishing you a happy 2012!


10 Ber June 5, 2012 at 8:12 pm

They seemed runny to me even after adding an extra cup of cornmeal. Not sure but next time I will use half the pseudo-milk.


11 Lisa July 13, 2012 at 11:34 am

Susan, just recently found your site and though I REALLY wanted to make the choc.blueberry cake(didn’t have everything I needed) I went ahead and tried these corncakes. I am just beginning the GF route and don’t feel confident enough to try to convert a recipe, so it was a welcome surprise that these already were! They were really good(i skipped the red pepper) but while the first few were cooking, I heard the batter in the bowl screaming out for blueberries…so I threw about a cup in there. They were great, especially when I poured maple syrup over them and stood at the counter chewing down. They never made it to the table, as my husband came along and finished them! Oh well, guess I’ll just have to make more;-)))))))


12 Susan Voisin July 13, 2012 at 11:53 am

I never would have thought of adding blueberries! Sounds like a great GF treat!


13 Baltimore July 13, 2012 at 2:26 pm

I wonder if you can sub flax meal instead of enerG


14 Susan Voisin July 13, 2012 at 2:47 pm

They may be heavier and more gummy, but it will probably work.


15 Kellie July 15, 2012 at 4:08 pm

I just made these corn cakes and added black beans, chipotle spices, and onion… they were awesome. I wish I had some salsa to top them with.


16 Laina April 26, 2013 at 4:20 pm

Hi Susan,

Would these bake up nicely?


17 Susan Voisin April 26, 2013 at 4:33 pm

You mean like regular cornbread? I have a recipe for that:


18 Laina April 26, 2013 at 8:39 pm

No, I was thinking more like as is and bake instead of fry. Would it crust on the outsides by baking vs frying?

I have tried the cornbread and it was delicious, but it’s too much for just me unfortunately.


19 Susan Voisin April 26, 2013 at 8:50 pm

I don’t think so. Imagine trying to bake pancakes. That’s what this batter is like, just a little thicker. I suppose you could get your frying pan really hot in the oven and then pour in the batter and bake, but that seems to me to be as much trouble as frying them would be.


20 Laina April 27, 2013 at 8:19 pm

Okay, thanks. I can understand now. Thanks for explaining. I’m having to follow the FodMap Diet for IBS and I’m trying to find an alternative for pita bread that I normally eat with my soup.

As always, thanks so much for all the wonderful recipes and camera shots. You’re so appreciated!

21 Sholom July 2, 2013 at 6:00 am

Firstly thanks you’re site has been AMAZING. I made 6 recipes today.
Do you think you could steam these like you did the moin-moin?
Thanks again from down under.


22 Susan Voisin July 2, 2013 at 7:33 am

I’m happy that you’ve had success with the recipes. To answer your question, I don’t think these would be as good steamed, though I guess technically it’s possible.


23 Tracy October 6, 2013 at 3:28 pm

stupid question, for the egg replacer, should I just use the powder dry or mix it with water 1st?


24 Susan Voisin October 6, 2013 at 3:55 pm

Just add it dry with the other dry ingredients.


25 Kristin October 8, 2013 at 6:25 am

Made these this morning and used chia seeds in place of the egg replacer. Worked great! Thanks for the awesome breakfast, Susan!


26 Kristin October 9, 2013 at 6:48 am

I had to make these again this morning. Couldn’t get them out of my mind. I used half course and half fine corn meal, added cumin/onion powder/garlic powder/smoked paprika, then threw in some minced green bell pepper, jalapeno, and a few handfuls of frozen corn. Oh my goodness, were they fantastic!


27 Maggie March 18, 2014 at 3:50 pm

These corn cakes look great – do you think they would go well with your black and red lentil chili?



28 Judeen April 11, 2014 at 4:24 pm

Hope you are recovering quickly.


29 Derk June 10, 2014 at 9:19 pm

I made these, following the recipe, except I used Brown Rice flour instead of Chickpea flour. And I added a pinch of dried Cilantro and made a flax-egg replacer instead of Ener-G. They came out great. They have great flavor and texture. These will definitely be a regular part of my cooking.


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