Recipes: Johnny Cakes


Johnny Cakes
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What is a Johnny Cake?
Johnny Cake Meal is simply Stone Ground White Corn Meal.  Johnny Cakes are made from hot boiling water (sometimes milk) and a little bit of sugar and salt.  They are then put on a greased griddle and cooked for about 6 minutes per side.  This traditional food used to be called a "Journey Cake", because the settlers took them on their journeys.  Did you know that Johnny Cakes are cooked differently across the world?  It all started in New England.

Traditional Recipe
For a basic and detailed recipe, click
here.  Look below for alternative recipes.  Click here for videos.

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here to order Stone Ground Johnny Cake Meal fresh from Kenyon's Grist Mill in Usquepaugh, Rhode Island.

2014 Johnny Cake Festival
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.  This is our largest event... and it gets better every year.  Explore what Rhode Island has to offer and celebrate the autumn harvest at Kenyon's Grist Mill in the quaint village of Usquepaugh.  Enjoy free samples of local food, beverages, Johnny Cakes, sweets, wine, craft beer, and more.  Take a free tour of the historic mill, learn about Rhode Island's history and heritage, and enjoy a colonial encampment.  Support over 100 vendors, including area farms, artisans, and restaurants.  Listen to live music, visit with the alpacas, sheep, and goats.  Meet special guests, and watch a variety of old world demonstrations along the scenic Queen's River and waterfall.  Admission is only $4 per person.  Children 5 and under are free.  Please donate food and/or clothing to the Jonnycake Center.  Free parking is exclusively at the Washington County Fairgrounds, only minutes from the mill.  Free and continuous shuttle buses are provided.  Visit the website, www.JohnnyCakeFestival.com for photos, participant listing, featured items, directions, and more details...


"A Gift of the Indians" Written By: W.L. Watson
The Native American Indians ground corn into meal by pounding and rubbing it between two flat stones - something like a mortar and pestle.  Roger Williams had defined it as "Noekhick Parched Meal".  It was a "readie" and very wholesome food, which they ate with little water, hot or cold.  The Native American Indians would also mix their Noekhick into a stiff batter and bake it in the hot ashes of the camp fire.  This is believed to be the real origin of the Rhode Island Johnny Cake.

As time went on, the methods of grinding the corn improved. Windmills, and later, the water powered mills were erected for the sole purpose of grinding corn.  The result was a great improvement and corn meal soon became the principle article of food.  Though, with all their inventive genius, the earlier settlers never invented a dish that could equal that which the Native American Indians had taught them to make, namely the Rhode Island Johnny Cake.

Alternative Recipe Suggestions For Cooking Johnny Cakes
Johnny Cakes are not just for breakfast. Serve them in place of potatoes for a delightful change! Put them under your favorite newburg (like lobster) or serve them under creamed chipped beef, chicken a la king, or creamed cod. You can use them in place of dumplings in a stew. You can also try spicing the batter with a pinch of ginger, allspice, nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice.

 
 

South County Style Johnny Cakes (Thick)
1 cup Kenyon's White Johnny Cake Corn Meal - order
½ - 1 teaspoons sugar (depending on how sweet you prefer)
½ teaspoon salt
1¼ - 1½ cups of boiling water (add gradually)
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.  Gradually add boiling water to make a ploppy consistency that will drop off the end of a spoon.  By the spoonful, drop onto a well greased, medium hot griddle or fry pan at 340° - 380° for 6 minutes until you see a dark brown ring form around the outside edge.  Drizzle with oil then flip and cook an for additional 5 - 6 minutes.  Don't be afraid to press them down. South County Johnny Cakes are traditional eaten with just butter.  Most South County folk believe that you should not use maple syrup!    

 
 

Newport Style Johnny Cakes (Thin & Chrisp)
1 cup Kenyon's White Johnny Cake Corn Meal - order
½ teaspoon sugar (some prefer to omit sugar)
½ teaspoon salt
1¾ cups milk
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix thoroughly.  By the spoonful, pour onto a well greased, hot griddle or fry pan at 380°. Cook for approx. 3 - 4 minutes until the edges turn lacey and brown.  Drizzle with oil then flip and finish the other side for 3 - 4 minutes.  These are slathered with maple syrup & butter. his is really a two batter recipe.
1. In a small bowl or cup: ½ cup of Kenyon’s Corn Bread & Muffin Mix -
order

 

Southwest Style Johnny Cakes - Dick Donnelly: Saunderstown, RI
Sweet, spicy, soft, crunchy, salty - all rolled into one little cake.
In a small bowl mix:
1 cup Kenyon’s Corn Muffin Mix -
order
1 egg
1 Tablespoon corn oil
1 heaping Tablespoon of left over sweet corn, drained (optional)
4 Tablespoons med/hot salsa
Approx 1/3 - ½ cup of water (add gradually)
White corn chips (Tostito Round Chips recommended)
With the back of spoon, mix to a thick pouring consistency (as cake mix).  Place by Tablespoon on to hot griddle (around 350° - 360°).  When almost ready to turn, place a round corn chip on top and push down gently, then turn over.  These can stay on the griddle, chip-side-down, for an extended time without over cooking.  Top with sour cream and chives.

 

Chocolate Johnny Cakes - Dick Donnelly: Saunderstown, RI
This is really a two batter recipe.
1. In a small bowl or cup: ½ cup of Kenyon’s Corn Bread & Muffin Mix -
order
To this dry mix add a small amount of water, milk or root beer (yes, root beer) - just a small amount, increase as needed, and mix with back of spoon to form a smooth batter - not too thick - not too loose.  Set aside.
2. Put 5 or 6 Johnny Cakes on the griddle and let them cook for a while, but do not turn them over at this time - instead, place a chocolate nonpareil on top of each cake.  Work quickly and cook only a few cakes at a time so the chocolate doesn’t melt right away.  Place an ice tea spoonful of the corn muffin batter on top, covering the nonpareil.  Now turn - carefully - so the cake doesn’t slide.  Practice this step before calling in the neighbors.  Remove to a platter when the muffin side is brown and before chocolate oozes out.  This one is really great with coffee syrup drizzled on top!  No need for the butter.  Then sprinkle a few taps of powdered sugar tapped through a fine sieve.  We always used the old tea strainer.    

 

Pumpkin Johnny Cakes - Station House Restaurant: Kingston/South Kingstown, RI
1 pound of Kenyon's White Johnny Cake Corn Meal - order
1½ teaspoons sugar (depending on how sweet you prefer)
1 ½ teaspoon salt
3 - 4 cups of boiling water (add gradually)
4 - 6 oz. pumpkin puree
dash of cinnamon
dash of Allspice
sprinkle of Sugar In The Raw
Combine dry ingredients (corn meal, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and Allspice) in a bowl and mix thoroughly.  Gradually add 3 cups of boiling water and fold in the pumpkin puree.  Sprinkle in Sugar In The Raw.  Adjust the consistency so that it will slowly drop off the end of a spoon.  By the spoonful, drop onto a well greased, medium hot griddle or fry pan at 340° - 380° for 6 minutes until you see a dark brown ring form around the outside edge.  Drizzle with oil then flip and cook an for additional 5 - 6 minutes.  Don't be afraid to press them down.  
 Feel free to top with whipped cream and nutmeg.

 

Yankee Grandmother Cooks Johnny Cakes - Tim Larson: Boston, MA
This video shows another technique - video                                                                                                                          

   
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