Dishing Up New Jersey (with bonus recipe)

Dishing Up New Jersey is the title of journalist John Holl’s new release and he’ll be at the Princeton Public Library/Princeton Farmers Market’s Taste of the Market event on Thursday June 2 (11:30am-4:00pm) to discuss and sign copies of the book (you can purchase it there). For the book, Holl scoured the state from top to bottom to discover New Jersey’s best dishes and present readers with 150 recipes that make use of our culinary riches.

Holl has covered all 21 counties in the book, with quite a few Mercer County restaurants and food producers included. For this event  LiLLiPiES owner/chef Jen Carson, will hand out samples of Apple-Blueberry Mini LiLLiPiES based on her featured recipe. Other Mercer County places in the book are: 12 Farms Restaurant, Americana Diner, The Bent Spoon, Cherry Grove Farm, Muirhead Foods, The Peacock Inn, Rat’s Restaurant, Small World Coffee, Terhune Orchards, Tre Piani, and WildFlour Bakery/Café (see recipe from them below).

Dishing Up New JerseyThe Library’s Taste of the Market series ties into the Thursday Princeton Farmers Market (check the library website for upcoming events). The June 2 event takes place at the market in Hinds Plaza (or inside the Community Room if raining). Holl has covered the Garden State for the New York Times and The Star Ledger. He’s also written for the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, and is the award-winning editor of All About Beer magazine, and the author of The American Craft Beer Cookbook.

I know I’m ahead of the season here, but I can’t resist including the book’s gluten-free recipe from WildFlour Bakery/Café below. The scrumptious photo in the book hooked me!

Fresh Jersey Corn Cakes with Avocado Crème and Tomato Salsa

The cakes:

4 ears fresh corn or 2 cups corn kernels

1/2 cup finely diced bell pepper

1/2 cup chopped scallions

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 jalapeño, minced (use other half in salsa, below)

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 eggs, separated

1/4 cup cornmeal

1/4 cup gluten-free flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

The Avocado Crème:

1 avocado, mashed

1 tablespoon sour cream or yogurt

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Salt and freshly-ground black pepper

The Tomato Salsa:

3 plum tomatoes, cored and diced

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 small red onion, finely diced

1/2 jalapeno, minced (optional)

Freshly squeezed lime juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


If you’re working with fresh corn, cut the kernels from the cobs. Mix the corn, red bell pepper, scallions, cilantro, and jalapeño together in a large bowl. Add the oil and egg yolks, whisk to combine. Mix the cornmeal, flour, salt and pepper in a separate bowl, then combine this flour mixture with the corn mixture.

Beat the egg whites to soft peaks, and fold into the batter, which will  end up being quite thick.

Heat a griddle over medium heat. Pour the batter onto the griddle in cakes about 3 1/2 inches across. You should be able to cook the cakes without adding oil to the griddle, but feel free to add a thin film of oil if you like. Cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes, then flip and cook for 1 minute longer.

To make the avocado crème, combine the avocado, sour cream, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl; mix well.

To make the tomato salsa, combine the tomatoes, cilantro, onion, jalapeño, lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Mix well.

Serve the corn cakes topped with the salsa and crème.

Makes 6 servings.

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