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!
Watch Chef Pete Balodimas in the kitchen as he explains the inspirations behind his creations.
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.