Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Bacon Fat Fried-Triple Corn Hoecakes

Bacon Fat Fried Double Corn Hoe Cakes
I truly believe that classic, southern hoecakes have been far + widely overlooked by chefs/cooks around the country. This doesn't make a lick of sense to me because we made these on a weekly basis when we were growing up. Hoecakes are a part of my life... they taught me so many things, like: always use a heavy-duty cast iron skillet. This type of pan retains and holds in heat, so that the temperature doesn't drop down too low when you have loaded up the pan with blobs of batter. Ironically, I think it might have been one of my first foodie/culinary moment as a kid. I loved to put on one of my mom's aprons and just get elbows deep in the kitchen mess. Another vital life lesson, BUY A SPLATTER SCREEN. As many of my followers know, I fry a whole bunch, and a screen can save a trip to the E.R because of possibly retina damage (okay, maybe a little dramatic, but that's totally the case for making homemade caramel, PREACH). Lastly, I cherish this memory because it actually happened to help me learn how to flip a cake, of any sort, to utter perfection. For the life of me, I swear that my pancakes were so poorly made, that they made a Bisquick Mix look like a goddess. But, luckily, I have recovered and moved on from my fried cake-failing day. Now on to the recipe... these hoecakes are quite special to me because I found this hand-written recipe that my grandmother used to make when I was a young child. Although, it's hard to beat a simple, classic recipe... I had to give it a go and make with a little gourmet flair. It first starts with making "Self Rising Corn Flour", which is my own little concoction to double up on the corn-y flavor. The flour mixture includes some corn flour, baking powder, & salt. Then you make the second batch of dry ingredients... ground cornmeal, corn powder, buttermilk, seasonings, leavening agents, bacon fat, and fresh chives. *PS: I am obsessed with using Corn Powder; it's amazing how perfect the flavor. I'm also a sucker for adding milk powder + buttermilk powder for that extra-special little touch. So, shhhh, keep my secret ingredients, well, secret. After frying up the batter, you should have puffed hoecakes with a crusty + golden brown exterior. Now I'm not gonna lie, my recipe was THIS close to adding in some charred/grilled corn/sweet fresh corn. Wouldn't that be fab?? Next time we make these, I'm definitely going to add some of that in. Hoecakes are considered a way of life in the South, I would know because while living in Savannah, we stopped by Paula Deen's  restaurant, which is known for fresh-out-of-the-skillet hoecakes. But to no such luck, they were sold out every time we got there, boo :( So please y'all, don't let this unique southern staple vanish right before our very eyes, get to the grocery store, make them, tell friends, and share with everybody you can!! Enjoy :)
Bacon Fat Fried-Triple Corn Hoecakes
Date Night: Coca Cola Braised Pork Belly, Bacon Fat Fried-Triple
Corn Hoecakes, a side of my "Most Flavorful Braised Southern Collard Greens", Pink
 Pickled Shallots, Coca Cola Glaze + "BTFO" BBQ Sauce
For the Self Rising Corn Flour:
1C Corn Flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Corn Flour)
1 ½t Baking Powder
¼t Salt

For the Double Corn Hoecakes:
1C Self Rising Corn Flour (the entire batch you just made in the previous step)
1C Southern Ground Cornmeal
¼C Corn Powder (this can be made by processing freeze dried corn kernels into powder)
2T Buttermilk Powder
2t Baking Powder (possibly just 1T of this instead)
½t Salt + ¼t White Pepper
1T Sugar, Optional
2 Beaten Eggs
¾C Well-Shaken Buttermilk
¼C + 2T Potlikker Stock (chicken stock or water may be substituted here as well)
¼C Rendered Bacon Fat (plus extra for frying)
1-2T Fresh Minced Chives (depending on your preference)

1. For the Self-Rising Corn Flour: In a small mixing bowl, sift together the corn flour, baking powder, and salt until you have a thoroughly combined mixture. Pour it into a container or plastic bag for storing.
2. Making the Double Corn Hoe Cake Batter: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the prepared Self-Rising Corn Flour, cornmeal, corn powder, buttermilk powder, baking powder, salt, white pepper, and sugar until the components are distributed evenly throughout. In another bowl, whisk together the two beaten eggs, buttermilk, potlikker stock, and ¼C melted fat. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the center. Using a fork, gently whisk together the mixtures until a hoecake batter is formed. Gently fold in the fresh chives.
3. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, and then add some fat to the pan for cooking/frying (I personally like to use bacon fat, but canola oil, melted butter, or duck fat will work as well).
4. Frying the Hoe Cakes: Once the fat is hot enough, scoop or drop ¼C of batter into the hot skillet to form small silver dollar cakes (I used an ice cream scoop for a round shape). Fry them until they are golden brown and perfectly crispy, about 1-2 minutes on each side. Remove the hoe cakes to a paper towel lined plate and briefly drain them of excess oil.
5. Serving the Hoe Cakes: Enjoy these special hoecakes with a big ‘ole bowl of collard greens + potlikker, chili, or you can use them like we did , and serve them along side some braised pork belly and my recipe for “The Most Flavorful Braised Collard Greens”.

No comments:

Post a Comment