Four award-winning chefs served up hot hoecakes with a twist for visitors at the Hoecake Cook-Off Saturday morning at Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens.
George Washington preferred to take these cornmeal cakes “swimming in butter and honey.” Chefs from Bayou Bakery in Arlington and Restaurant Eve, Bastille and BRABO Restaurant, all located in Old Town Alexandria, cooked their own interpretations of the dish over open fires.
Want to try your own hand at hoecakes? Here’s a traditional recipe, courtesy of Mount Vernon Estate:
8 3/4 cups white cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon dry yeast
Shortening or other cooking grease
Honey and butter
1. In large container, mix together 4 cups white cornmeal, 1 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast and enough warm water to give the mixture the consistency of pancake batter (probably 3 to 4 cups). Cover and set on the stove or counter overnight.
2. In the morning, gradually add remaining cornmeal, egg and enough warm water to give the mixture the consistency of pancake batter (3 to 4 cups). Cover and set aside for 15 to 20 minutes.
3. Add cooking grease to a griddle or skillet and heat until water sprinkled onto it will bead up.
4. Pour batter, by the spoonful, onto the hot griddle. (Note: since the batter has a tendency to separate, you will need to stir it well before pouring each batch.) When the hoecake is brown on one side, turn it over and brown the other. Serve warm with butter and honey!