When I first started dating Jenny decades ago, she introduced me to these things called hoecakes. At first, being the native northerner I am, I was skeptical. Hoecakes? You mean pancakes? Why are they hoecakes? You mean johnnycakes(I see you Mentor, Ohio)? Doesn't matter what you call them, any doubt quickly vanished after that first crunchy bite of these creamy beauties! Hoecakes have become a staple when we barbecue. Cornbread? Sure, alright but hoecakes are just better.
The perfect plate might be a hoecake with a side of jalapeño slaw, some bourbon beans and a slab of fatty brisket. This time, we went vegetarian and it was pure heaven. These hoecakes are all Jenny. I did contribute the pico and the crema, which, honestly, is completely unnecessary.
Here's how we hoecake:
Green Chile Hoecakes
With fresh pico and cojita lime crema
- 6 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped.
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped.
- 1 jalapeño, chopped.
- 1 half red onion, chopped.
- 1 lime, zested and juiced.
- kosher salt, to taste.
- black pepper, to taste.
- cilantro, to taste.
- 1 cup sour cream.
- 1 half lime, zested and juiced.
- 2 tablespoons cojita.
- 3/4 cup of cornmeal.
- 1/4 cup of all purpose flour.
- 1 tsp of baking powder.
- 1/2 tsp of baking soda.
- 1/2 tsp of salt.
- 1/4 tsp of ground cumin.
- 1/4 tsp of chile powder, we used ancho.
- 3/4 cup of buttermilk.
- 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese, grated.
- 1 4oz can of diced green chiles.
- 2 tbsp of cooking oil. Bonus points for bacon fat.
- Make the pico first. It is best once it has set up. For the pico, zest and juice 1 lime into a bowl. Add garlic, onion, jalapeño, and tomatoes, mixing to combine. Be sure to taste the mixture and season accordingly. Add chopped cilantro and let rest for 30 minutes before serving, should be just enough time to make everything else. I like my pico fairly rustic, so you don't have to be incredibly precise with the uniformity of your chop. Be aware though, that the larger the chop, the longer the rest to give the acid time to do its work.
- For the crema, add the sour cream, lime zest and cojita to a bowl whisking in lime juice to desired consistency. Place bowl in refrigerator to set up.
- For the hoecakes. In a medium mixing bowl, mix dry ingredients: cornmeal, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, chili powder, and cumin. Add eggs and buttermilk to the mix and stir. Drain half the liquid from the diced chiles and fold into mixture along with shredded cheddar cheese. Spoon about 1/4 C batter onto heated griddle or oiled cast iron skillet. Cook approximately 2 minutes on each side till golden brown.
- Serve while hot with a generous portion of pico and a dollop of crema! Sprinkle some extra cojita because reasons.