This was an easy meal to maneuver and very tasty at that. Johnnycakes are an old cornmeal pancake recipe heralding back in time to early settlers in the New England area. A simple batter of cornmeal, hot water and milk, cooked in pork fat was common in Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts all throughout the 1800’s and even before then. Jonnycake corn meal is flint corn meal, which was quite commonly milled in New England, and although there are many renditions of this recipe (historically because cornmeal can vary in characteristics) I tried making mine with our Wood Prairie Farm cornmeal (which looks great by the way). The result was a tasty cornmeal fritter. Very enjoyable.
Jonnycakes: (serves 4):
- 1 cup of cornmeal
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp salt
- hot water
- whole milk (expect about a total of 1/3 cup liquid between the milk and water)
- frying oil (high heat vegetable oil or butter will do)
- Mix cornmeal and salt.
- Cream in the butter.
- Add enough hot water to make a dough.
- Then add enough milk to make a thick batter.
- Heat up the oil in a shallow pan or skillet.
- Spoon the batter into the pan (it should sizzle).
- Press the batter down with a spatula to make a shape like a pancake.
- Let it cook ~ 5 minutes on each side.
- Note: I used only a little bit of oil, and on sticking (not non-stick) pans, and so it was a little difficult to flip them.
- Once they are firm and golden brown, they are done.
- Set them to cool, then serve.
I will admit that frying them was a little oil intensive. I think that next time I will be trying an alternative baking method to cook jonnycakes. The traditional method in some parts of Massachusetts was to cook it on a board facing the hearth, such that it was slow cooked throughout the day by reflected heat. I don’t think that I’ll be able to manage that, but I think baking is an option. Still, this was very tasty and fun to make as is.
The Boston Beans in this meal were made using the same recipe as the Boston Baked Beans recipe I used a while ago. However, instead of cooking them and then baking them, I simply put the dried cattle beans, all of the ingredients from the old recipe, added 1 and 1/2 cup of water and put two country style ribs in a crockpot together and slow cooked it all day (~8 hrs). The result was delicious! There was a delicious watery sauce still in the crockpot, once the beans and meat were done that we saved for the future to cook grain in and to skim the fat for our collection of animal fat for cooking. The beans and meat didn’t need the extra sauce since they had soaked it up during the cooking process, but if we had wanted to, we could have cooked the watery sauce down and thickened it to serve on top.
The radicchio slaw was an idea from Ona, Red Fire Farm’s chef. I wanted to make a slaw with the ingredients at hand, and sort of emulated her recipe. The result was a nice mild and light slaw that complemented the heavier parts of the meal.
Radicchio Slaw (serves 4-6):
- 1 head of cabbage, sliced or chopped
- 1 head of radicchio, chopped
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 1/2 kohlrabi, shredded
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch of chopped cilantro
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 2 pressed cloves of garlic
- some crushed red chili flakes
- Assemble all vegetable ingredients. Mix together well.
- Assemble all dressing ingredients in a bowl. Mix well.
- Pour dressing on top of vegetables. Mix well.
- Let set for a few minutes and serve.
For dessert, we had brownies; we luckily still have some cocoa powder around. This is a good trusty brownie recipe from American Wholefoods Cuisine.
Brownies: (serves 18)
- 2 tbsp of cocoa powder
- 6 tbsp milk
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup honey
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup oil
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Combine cocoa powder and milk.
- Beat eggs with honey, maple syrup and vanilla.
- Beat in the cocoa milk and the rest of the ingredients.
- Pour into a baking pan.
- Bake for 25 minutes at 350 F.
- Let cool and cut into squares to serve.
We served with whipped cream sweetened with Demerara sugar and fresh blueberries- killer combination.