It's common for corn cakes to include corn kernels for a little texture. Instead I went the flavor route and did a riff on Asian scallion pancakes by adding scallions to the batter. The result was very satisfying. They were good all on their own as a side; even better with some butter. (Isn't everything?) Next, I used the scallion corn cakes as a base for for serving chili, and that was definitely a winner. I can imagine the would be a good base for any sort of stew, or pulled pork or beef.
Of course you could substitute any sort of onion for the scallion. If using regular onion, shallots, leeks, etc. I would just be sure to slice thinly and saute a bit before adding to the batter.
Buttermilk Scallion Corn CakesBased on Barbara Ferrell's Georgia Cornbread
1 egg, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup self-rising white cornmeal / cornmeal mix*
1/2 tsp baking soda
4 to 6 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 Tbsp melted butter
Preheat a griddle or skillet, preferably non-stick, over medium-high heat.
Combine the egg & buttermilk. Gently stir in the cornmeal and baking soda and mix until just moistened; it's ok if there are still a few lumps. Stir in scallions and butter.
If the griddle or skillet is not non-stick, add a small amount of butter or oil. Add the batter to form the corn cakes, a few tablespoons or more to make cakes of the desired size. Cook until the edges are slightly dry and the cakes are golden brown on the bottom. Flip and cook on the other side until done.
White Lily girl, but Martha White is OK if you must. If self-rising cornmeal/mix isn't available in your area, you can make your own: http://www.food.com/recipe/self-risi...eal-mix-254874