Or hoecakes.. But I have this thing about the word “ho” being in a recipe title..
There is so much more I want to say there but I’m gonna exercise a little restraint and leave that alone.. So let’s go with the alternative name of the Johnny Cake, which I think is more commonly known than other anyway. Think of a savory cornbread flip jack creation with bits of fresh thyme and buttery manchego and you have a close idea of how insanely wonderful these corncakes are. Traditionally, (as in southern soul food style traditional) these are made with white cornmeal and hot water.
Closely resembling the method of hot water cornbread, they were almost always drizzled with sorghum or molasses and served hot. I've had this craving for manchego cheese that I just could not kick, so I changed things up a bit using yellow cornmeal, manchego and thyme. The result was incredible or “totes amaze” as my 13 year old would say. Topping these cakes off with a little runny egg action made me feel like I was at a fancy lady brunch. So what if I was really just sitting on my sofa in my pajamas watching Golden Girl re-runs..it's all about the feelings ya know.
Manchego Thyme Johnny Cakes
Prep Time- 15mins Cook Time- 10 mins Yields- about 6 cakes
1 cup yellow cornmeal
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup boiling water
2 tablespoons bacon fat (rendered from about 4 slices of bacon, more if needed)
¼ cup manchego cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
Combine the cornmeal and salt in a medium bowl. While stirring constantly, pour in boiling water. Add in cheese and thyme. Stir to combine until smooth. Let stand for about 2 minutes.
Heat bacon fat in a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. For each cake drop about 2 tablespoons of the cornmeal mixture into the skillet and pat gently into a flat circle, about 4 inches in diameter. Cook several cakes at a time until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side, turning with a wide spatula. Remove from skillet and transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain off any excess grease. Serve while warm.
*If needed, add more bacon fat to the skillet to make the remaining cakes.*