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Crackling Cornbread Hoecake

Recipe and photography by Bev Davis.


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Posted April 14, 2017

Cracklings  are  small pieces of pork fat roasted or fried until crispy.  They're located in the  meat  section of most grocery stores.   Drippings from fried cracklings  are  often used to season cornbread, collards, and other vegetables.   While frying cracklings, the vegetable oil will turn golden brown.  This is the famously delicious seasoning used in cornbread, collards, and other vegetables.

According to Dictionary.com, a hoecake [hoh-keyk] is an unleavened cake made with flour or cornmeal.  Decades ago, it was originally baked on a hoe over an open fire.  Now, hoecakes are usually cooked on a griddle or in a skillet on top of the stove.  For this recipe, cornbread batter is cooked like a pancake in seasoned drippings.  Lovely cast iron pan provided by Lodge Manufacturing.  Makes one 10" thin cornbread hoecake.

1 cup self-rising yellow or white cornmeal mix (I used white)
1/2 cup self-rising white flour, sifted
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup whole buttermilk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cracklings, chopped

In medium-sized bowl, combine cornmeal mix, flour, and sugar (if using).  Add eggs and buttermilk.  Stir until smooth.  Set aside.  Add vegetable oil to a 10" cast iron skillet.  Warm over low heat.  Add salt and cracklings.  Stir constantly for 3 to 4 minutes.  Cracklings and oil will be light brown. Turn off heat.  Use a slotted spoon to scoop cracklings from skillet. Add to batter and stir.  Warm skillet (with oil/crackling crumbs) over low heat for 2 minutes.  Pour in batter.  Smooth with back of spoon.  Cook over low heat 4-5 minutes or until edges look dry.  Flip and cook 3 to 4 more minutes.  Slice and serve hot.  Drizzle with salted butter, honey, or maple syrup if desired.