Mexican Johnnycakes

Ever since October’s Johnnycake Festival, I’ve had a box of Kenyon’s Johnnycake Corn Meal sitting around the house. Earlier this week, as some chicken was cooking away in my new Crock Pot, I decided to break out the corn meal and try out an idea that’s been percolating in my mind for a while.

It was time to whip up some savory cakes. The last time I’d seen anyone make these, I was still losing my teeth. I followed the recipe from Kenyon’s, mixing up the thick batter. After adding a liberal pat of butter to the pan, I plopped the uneven scoops of batter down and left them alone, as instructed.

I don’t have any cast iron available to me, which is unfortunate because that’s the cooking surface my great-grandmother used to make hers. The ones she made were easily as twice as thick as these, and nearly charred on the outside when finished. I opted to remove mine from heat when just lightly golden brown.

In my family, these were served as an alternative to bread, with a big heap of butter on top. But I opted to integrate some South American flavors into my very New England side dish. (I think the Rattlesnake’s menu is seeping into my brain, in addition to expanding my waistline.)

Avocados were on sale, so I elected to make some guacamole.  As a kid, I refused to eat the green goo my grandmother would make when we had taco night. Oh, what a fool I was! Now I eat guacamole at every possible opportunity.

I tried out a new recipe for enchilada filling in my new Crock Pot, which, as was pointed out to me on Twitter, wasn’t good scientific process. The chicken came out very dry, despite cooking in liquid. It was a disappointment, but I soldiered on and completed my dish.

While my staging is lacking (I was hungry!) I was really satisfied with my dinner. The middle of the johnnycakes were still somewhat loose, giving a rough kind of polenta consistency to the cornmeal. It offset the spice in the sauce, and the guac was a cool element on a warm dish. With a better protein on top (maybe Crock Pot Chili next time?), I think this is going to appear frequently on my table.

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