Savory Bacon-Cheddar Pancakes With Corn and Jalapeño Recipe

Savory Bacon-Cheddar Pancakes With Corn and Jalape\u00f1o Recipe

Savory corn pancakes stuffed with bacon, cheddar, and jalapeño. [Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Who ever said American pancakes have to be sweet? What's stopping us from savory-ing them up? These start with a basic American-style pancake recipe, but they come stuffed with crisp bacon, sautéed corn, jalapeño peppers, scallions, and—the kicker—pockets of gooey melted cheddar cheese.

Why It Works

  • Cooking the bacon and corn with jalapeños and scallions before adding them to the batter enhances their flavor and adds texture to the pancakes.
  • Saving some of the corn/bacon mixture and pressing it into the pancakes as they cook gives the outer surface of the pancakes a nice appearance and texture after flipping.
  • Cutting the cheese into cubes creates big pockets of melted cheese that ooze out as you eat.
  • A mixture of cornmeal and flour gives the pancakes deep corn flavor.
  • Yield:Seves 4 to 6
  • Active time: 30 minutes
  • Total time:30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces bacon, cut into fine dice
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 2 ears of corn)
  • 1 to 2 red or green jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded, and minced
  • 8 scallions, thinly sliced (divided)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup (about 5 ounces) fine yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup (about 5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons honey, plus more for serving
  • 2 eggs
  • 10 ounces (about 1 1/4 cup) cultured buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for oiling pan or griddle
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

Directions

  1. 1.

    Heat butter, bacon, and 1 tablespoon water in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until water evaporates and bacon begins to crisp and brown, about 5 minutes. Add corn, increase heat to high, and cook, stirring, until tender and cooked through, about 2 minutes. Add jalapeño peppers and half of scallions and cook, stirring, until aromatic, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to a plate to cool slightly.

  2. 2.

    Combine cornmeal, flour, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, baking powder, baking soda, honey, eggs, buttermilk, 2 tablespoons oil, half of corn/bacon mixture, and half of remaining scallions in a large bowl and stir and fold until no dry streaks of flour remain but batter is still lumpy. Fold in cheese cubes.

  3. 3.

    Heat griddle or large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add a small amount of oil to the griddle and spread with a paper towel. Ladle 1/4 to 1/2 cup of batter onto the griddle, spreading it into an even circle. Repeat to fit as many pancakes as you can. Spread a 1 tablespoon-sized portion of the bacon/corn mixture on top of each pancake.

  4. 4.

    Cook undisturbed until edges of pancakes begin to set and bubbles start to break the top surface, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Carefully flip the pancakes with a thin, flexible spatula and cook on second side until golden brown and completely set, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet in a warm oven while you cook the remaining pancakes. Serve, garnished with remaining scallions and drizzled with honey.