It started when Smithfield asked esteemed Chef Pete Balodimas for some innovative applications featuring our Smithfield Chop Shop™ Pork Chops. It was perfect timing. Luck had it, he had just opened the Oyster Bah, a Chicago seafood restaurant with distinct East Coast influences. Inspired by classics like chicken and waffles and pigs in a blanket, he thought of the popular Eastern classic, the hoecake. What resulted was a collection of unique culinary creations melding the two exceptional tastes into one memorable eating experience. But he didn’t stop there…
Compliments to the Chef!
What exactly is a hoecake?
Hoecake bread dates back to the 1700s, when it was first made by field workers for a lunchtime meal. Legend has it that with nowhere to cook, they used the only flat metal surface available, their hoes, and cooked pancake-style over an open flame. Others believe the iron pan of the times was actually called a hoe. Whichever is accurate, it's the way hoecake got its name!
A classic Southern treat, a hoecake is a flat cornbread cake made with cornmeal, oil and salt on a skillet or griddle. Some variations are baked and include a variety of other ingredients, including flour. Crisp on the edges, dense yet creamy inside, the hoecake is a perfect carrier for a variety of toppings or as a side for a main course.
Chef Pete’s original recipe
Yield: 4 pork chops
- 4 Farmland© Chop Shop™ Boneless Pork Chops
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 oz. olive oil
- Season pork chops with salt and pepper.
- Dredge chops in flour and shake off excess flour.
- Heat large skillet over high heat.
- Add oil and allow to simmer.
- Add pork chops and develop a nice crust on 1 side.
- Flip and cook to desired doneness.
Yield: 6 hoecakes
- 7 oz coarse yellow cornmeal
- 8 oz all-purpose flour
- 1.5 oz granulated sugar
- 0.5 oz baking powder
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 2 whole eggs
- 2 egg whites
- 3 cups whole milk
- 2 cups clarified butter
- 1 Tbsp. whole butter
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Mix all dry ingredients together in medium bowl.
- Mix all wet ingredients except clarified butter and whole butter in another bowl.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ones, mix well and fold in clarified butter.
- In 2-inch cast iron skillet, melt whole butter over medium heat.
- For each hoecake, add 4 oz. ladle of hoecake batter and cook until edges are set, 2-3 minutes.
- Place in oven and cook until almost set, 3-4 minutes.
- Remove from heat, flip cake over and let rest 1 minute.
Going beyond the chops
Recognizing the potential of pork combined with hoecake, and knowing the variety and versatility of Smithfield's vast pork line-up so well, Chef Balodimas then moved beyond the chop. His objective? A pork and hoecake dish for a satisfying combo for every daypart meal, including snacking and dessert!
Click below for each recipe.