uly 1, 2007

CONTACT:  Linda Shelton
(615) 837-5160

Moist, Crispy Corn Cakes Something to “Crow” About


Nashville, July 1--  “If you’ve never visited a farmers market or a ‘pick-your-own farm’ before, now is the time to start,” says Tammy Algood.  “From now until Labor Day is the time of year when most of Tennessee’s produce is available.  Just about anything you can think of—tomatoes, peppers, beans, okra, eggplant, melons—is being picked daily and available now.”


“Some types of produce, like squash or cucumbers, have been around since late spring, but there are a few vegetables you just have to wait for.  Sweet corn, which is typically planted in the last half of April, is one of those—and we all know it’s worth the wait!


“Now that sweet corn is ready, it’s time to figure out as many ways as possible to use it while we can shuck it fresh off the stalk.”


Fresh Corn Cakes is the latest recipe by Tammy Algood, available at the “Pick Tennessee Products” Web site,  Pick Tennessee Products is the promotional campaign developed by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Market Development Division to help consumers identify and choose food products grown or processed in Tennessee.  Algood is spokesperson for the campaign and creates recipes featuring food products grown or processed in Tennessee.


“The secret to this dish is frying,” says Algood.  “Since so many people are limiting fats these days, frying is becoming a lost art. Truth is, properly fried food offers a satisfying crunch and taste without retaining much of the oil.”


And what is proper frying?  “Fast frying is the key to low absorption of oil,” says Algood.  “Don’t pour batter, or place whatever it is you wish to fry, into a skillet until a few drops of oil ‘dance’ when dropped onto the already hot surface.  I use a cooking spray when I fry because it coats the pan so evenly and there’s no mess, but a drop or two of oil into the pan can go a long way to reassure you that the skillet is ready.”


“Another way to keep the fat content of this recipe lower is to substitute yogurt cheese for the sour cream,” says Algood.  “Yogurt cheese is the more solid product that’s left when the liquid, whey, is allowed to drain away.  Just put your yogurt in a cheese cloth and let the liquid drain out-- the more solid part that will remain in the cloth is the ‘cheese.’  You can use coffee filters if you don't have cheesecloth handy, or you can purchase a yogurt strainer.  The important thing is for the yogurt to be strained in the refrigerator.  Depending on how much yogurt is in the strainer, the process can take anywhere from an hour to overnight.  The whey can be discarded.”


“If you can get fresh Tennessee sweet corn nearby from your local farmers market or pick-your-own farm, then you can experience the best of the best—the freshest, tastiest corn possible,” says Algood.  “But if this year’s weather conditions have made fresh produce harder to find in your area, all is not lost.”


“Fortunately for all of us, Tennessee’s own Pictsweet brand of vegetables is frozen fresh from picking to retain all the nutrients and flavor.  This recipe works well with fresh or frozen corn, and for that matter, either whole kernel or creamed corn.”


“Whether you use fresh or frozen, whether you fry in oil or with a spray, or whether you use yogurt instead of sour cream, these corn cakes have a bright, satisfying flavor, moist on the inside and crispy on the outside.” 


To find local farmers markets, pick-your-own farms, more recipes featuring Tennessee farm and processed products or listings of local food products, visit the TDA Market Development Web site at




Please see attached recipe!



Please find a hi-res downloadable photograph of the attached recipe at  Click on the featured recipe.




3/4 cup salsa or chopped, seeded and peeled tomatoes, divided

1 cup sweet corn, fresh or frozen

1-1/4 cups Martha White cornbread mix

1 cup sour cream, divided

1 egg, slightly beaten

1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted

Tops of green onions or green bell pepper strips


In a small bowl, combine ½ cup of salsa and 1/4 cup of corn.  Mix well and set aside.  In a medium bowl, combine remaining salsa and corn, cornbread mix, ½ cup of sour cream and egg.  Mix well.  Spray a large nonstick skillet or griddle with cooking spray.  Heat over medium heat until hot.  Drop batter by tablespoonfuls into skillet.  Cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown.  Serve with remaining sour cream and salsa-corn mixture.  Sprinkle with pine nuts and green onions.  Yield: 12 servings

Note: corn cakes can be kept warm in a 200 degree oven until serving time.




This and other news releases from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture can be found at

Market Development/Pick Tennessee Products news releases can also be found at





This and other news releases from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture can be found at

Market Development/Pick Tennessee Products news releases can also be found at