Makes 24 small johnnycakes (serves 6 as an appetizer).
1 cup white cornmeal
1 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 Tbsp minced fresh basil
1 Tbsp minced roasted red pepper
Large pinch of fresh black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
Set a large nonstick frying pan on the stove top.
Bring 1-1/2 cups of water to boil in a microwave (HIGH for 3 minutes).
While the water is coming to a boil, combine cornmeal, salt, cheese, basil, red pepper and black pepper in a large mixing bowl.
Stir the boiling water into the cornmeal mixture, until everything is well combined.
Turn the stovetop to medium heat, and add the olive oil in the pan. Swirl it around to coat the bottom of the pan.
When the oil is heated, using a tablespoon measure, drop round spoonfuls of the cornmeal mixture into the pan. The cakes should be 1-1/2 inches in diameter, more or less.
Cook on medium for 6 minutes. Do not lift, peek, touch or fuss! Leave the johnnycakes to cook, undisturbed. After 6 minutes, flip them over and cook 4-5 minutes on the second side, until nicely browned.
Repeat until all of the mixture is used. You might need to add more olive oil for the second batch.