Johnnycakes with Ham and Scallion-Maple Butter

This is a “sweet meets savory” breakfast with corn griddle cakes (also known as johnnycakes or hoe cakes depending on what area of the country you are in) topped with thinly shaved black forest ham and scallion-maple butter. This recipe is based on the famous thin and lacy johnnycakes of Rhode Island. They are made from part cornmeal and part flour with a crunchy crust from the cornmeal. I like to think of them as a corn muffin top that you can eat a whole stack of. Johnnycakes can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner so this recipe can be served for any meal, but I prefer it as a sweet and savory brunch option. 

 

Ingredients:

For the scallion-maple butter: 

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature 

1 tablespoon whole milk

2 tablespoons maple syrup 

3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion 

 

For the griddle cakes: 

1¼ cups stone-ground cornmeal

¾ cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon granulated sugar 

1¾ cups low-fat buttermilk (or should I use whole milk)

¼ cup bacon fat (or vegetable oil)

 

For serving: 

½ pound shaved black forest ham 

 

Instructions: 

For the scallion-maple butter: 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the whisk attachment, add the butter, and milk and whisk until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the maple syrup and continue to beat until completely incorporated. Add the green onion and mix until combined. 

Remove to a small bowl. If not using immediately refrigerate and bring back to room temperature before serving.

 

For the griddle cakes: 

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, salt and sugar. Stir in the buttermilk until just combined. The mixture should be the texture of heavy cream. 

Refrigerate the batter for 20 minutes then heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat add 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat and heat through. Drop the batter in 1/3 cup cakes onto the skillet and cook until golden brown on each side, about 2 to 3 minutes each. Remove and continue with the remaining batter.

 

For serving: 

Divide griddle cakes among plates and top with ham and a large scoop of the maple scallion butter. 

 

Serves 4.

 

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