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It's finally here, that time of year that vegetarians and meat eaters alike look forward to with equal anticipation: corn season. For the first week or two after the sweet, fresh stalks start appearing in the market, you probably prepare your corn much as I do after longing for it all year: as simply as possible, briefly boiled and slathered in salty butter, or maybe charred on the grill. Corn on the cob is my absolute favorite way to eat this vegetable, but as corn season marches on, it becomes time to find other ways of cooking this summer produce all-star.
For me, it's next to impossible to think about corn without thinking about Mexico, a country that exalts corn in so many ways: in the ubiquitous tortillas; in hearty stews such as posole; and in simple street food like elotes, in which grilled ears of corn are slathered in crema and dusted with cotija cheese and chili powder.
All of this is to say that when I think corn, I tend to think spicy, and that's what led me to pair sweet summer corn with piquant jalapeño in these light, super flavorful corn pancakes.
These fritters are what I think of as ideal summer food, both because they make such excellent use of seasonal produce and because they're exactly the kind of dish I like to eat during these last hot, humid days of summer, when I want something hot—but not heavy—for dinner, and I certainly can't be bothered to turn on the oven. Lacy and crispy when they come out of the frying pan, the pancakes get a cooling dose of thick lemon- and dill-accented yogurt, making a complete meal for vegetarians, or a killer side dish for the rest of us.
About the author: Lauren Rothman is a former Serious Eats intern, a freelance catering chef, and an obsessive chronicler of all things culinary. Try the original recipes on her blog, For the Love of Food, and follow her on Twitter @Lochina186.