Top | Emily Horton
(recipe, Emily Horton)
Supposedly, the flat cornmeal cakes known as hoecakes got their name from 16th-century European settlers who used hoes to cook their cakes over an open fire. Most of us aren’t cooking over open fires any longer, much less using hoes as a cooking tool, so a heavy skillet works just fine for turning out these crisp, dense, earthy-tasting breads. If you’re looking for a hearty, rustic accompaniment to dinner, hoecakes are the ticket. Or serve them drizzled with cane syrup, as they are in the deep South, for an early-morning meal.
It can take a little practice to cook hoecakes without leaving half of them on the bottom of the pan, so if you’d like to stay on the safe side, use a nonstick skillet, in which case you won’t need to preheat the skillet first.