Tuesday, May 11, 2010

May 9th - Hoe Cakes and J's Killer Guacamole

D is repainting the kitchen so I have to make breakfast.  That's cool. I have been meaning to make Hoe Cakes for a while so good deal.  It is a southern breakfast specialty, often made with no flour at all.   I often add a bit of Cornmeal to my 'regular' pancakes for texture.  I love cornmeal anything so this is an quick breakfast alternative to Cornbread. YUM!

Buttermilk Hoecakes

1 1/2 c Yellow Cornmeal, fine
1/2 c Wholewheat Flour
2 t Baking Powder
1 T Sugar (optional)
1/2 t Salt
2 Large Eggs, beaten
1 c Buttermilk

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the Cornmeal, Flour, Baking Powder and Salt.  In a large mixing cup, beat the eggs and measure the milk.  If you do not have Buttermilk, you can substitute with 1c Milk (not skim) with 1 T of Lemon Juice.

Mix the wets with the dries with a wooden spoon.  You want it slightly looser than cake batter.  Since I am using flour, you do not want to over mix to avoid touch Hoes :^P.  Some recipes do not use any flour and as corn does not have any gluten, you wouldn't need to worry about over beating. I was not brave enought for that this time.

Heat a Cast Iron pan on medium heat.  Add some canola oil or if it is your predeliction, use bacon fat.  Spoon out 2-3 T of batter into small rounds.  I use a 1/4 c measure to spoon out the cakes but obviously do not fill them up as it is 4 T full.

Let them sit for a good 1-2 minutes until it is safe to move around with a spatula.  When nicely browned, flip carefully.  Continue to cook on the other side for another 2 minutes.  I keep them warm on a plate in the oven at 200F.

Serve with Maple Syrup, Agave Syrup and your favourite Jams. MMMMM

This is not as killer as I would normally make because D is not a mouth searing eater. I cut back on the spice slightly  I would double the Serranos or Jalapenos. D adds a teaspoon of Cumin but I think it makes it a bit TexMex for my taste.  I added some Grape Tomatoes but normally, as a purist, would not but they are about to go off so in they go.
J's Killer Guacamole

4 small Avocadoes
1/4 c finely minced Onion
2 cloves Garlic, minced
2-4 Jalapenos, seeded and minced
1 1/2 lime, juiced
1/2 c Cilantro, chopped
3/4 t salt
1/2 c Grape Tomatoes, quartered (optional)

In a cup or bowl, juice the limes and add the salt.  Swirl to dissolve.  This way the Salt is evenly distributed.

Run a knife, carefully, around the long hemisphere of the Avocado.  Twist and open.  To remove the pit, gently tap the centre of the pit with a knife until it sticks.  Hold the knife still and turn the Avocado until the pit loosens.  To remove the pit from the knife, pinch the pit between your thumb and forefinger from the BACK (safe side) of the knife.  Keep them aside.

Dice the Avocado in the shell, and scoop out with a spoon into a large bowl.  Add the Garlic, Chilies and Onion.  Mash gently with a large fork.  Add the Lime Juice and continue to mix. You can add the Tomatoes here if you wish. Mash as finely as you like it.  Lots of people like to keep it all folksy with large chunks of Avocado to make it more authentic but I have to say everytime I have had Guac in Mexico or made by a Mexican friend, it is rather finely mixed.

Add the Cilantro at the end and mix in.  Or just as Garnish.

To store it in the fridge, keep the whole pits sitting on top.  It is disputed if this will actually keep it from turning brown but it works for me.  As well, you can cover with plastic wrap pushed down to touch the surface.

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