Episode 001 - Ryan Bondy & Johnny Cakes

Ryan Bondy — an actor presently in the Book of Mormon — eats Johnny Cakes and ham, a meal inspired by the food tastes of the Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism. @RyanBondy34

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Recipe for “Tennessee Honey” cocktail

1.5 oz bourbon
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2-3 drops Angostura bitters
Fill small tumbler with ice and club soda

Recipe for Johnny Cakes

Cornbread is one of my favourite things. It goes with virtually everything and is a perfect mix of savoury and sweet. And Johnny Cakes, like many other quickbreads, is dead easy. Johnny Cakes can be made in many different ways, but most commonly it takes the form of a cornmeal pancake. Others use the term Johnny Cake to make what is essentially a cornbread loaf.  For my Johnny Cake, I took the best of both worlds and made one large “pancake” cooked in a small cast iron pan. These individual Johnny Cakes were big enough to eat on their own.

Makes 1 small loaf, or 6 small pancakes

Johnny Cake

2 eggs, beaten
2 cups buttermilk (substitute 2 cups milk with 2 tbsp vinegar if you don’t have buttermilk)
2 tablespoons honey or sugar
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons bacon fat or butter (plus more to grease your pan)
 
½  cup smoked prosciutto, crisped in a pan
Pickled jalapenos, to taste (I used about 8 jalapeno slices for the recipe)
¼ cup fresh parsley, minced plus extra for garnish

Parsley Lime Puree

Puree all ingredients together:
½ cup fresh parsley, packed
1 lime, fully zested and juiced
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

First, make the "Tennessee Honey" cocktail to drink while you cook.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees if making a Johnny Cake cornbread. If you want to make Johnny Cake pancakes, no oven is necessary.

Get two big bowls, one for wet ingredients, one for dry ingredients.

For the wet bowl, add 2 well beaten eggs, 2 tablespoons of something sweet (white sugar, honey, molasses, agave, whatever you like), and 2 cups of buttermilk. If you don’t have buttermilk simply add 2 tbsp of vinegar to 2 cups of milk. Mix well.

In the dry bowl, bring together 1 cup of cornmeal, 1 cup of flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix well.

When you have the wet ingredients and dry ingredients mixed in your separate bowls, THEN you can combine the wet and dry ingredients together, and it should have the consistency of a thick pancake batter.

When the batter is mixed, crisp up some smoked prosciutto in a frying pan on medium heat. Once crispy, add to the finished batter. Then add your fresh parsley and pickled jalapenos.
 
If you decide to go the pancake route, simply add the batter to a greased hot frying pan, wait til the edges of the pancake firm up, flip and cook a little longer on the other side.
 
If you want to do more of a cornbread loaf, get a large, pre-heated, greased cast iron pan or loaf pan. Pour in the batter and throw it in the oven at 425 degrees. Check the Johnny Cakes at the 15 minute mark by inserting a toothpick in the centre – when it comes out clean you are ready to eat.

Recipes by Mike Christie

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About Back of the House

Back of the House is a comedy and food podcast in Toronto. Host Mike Christie invites comics and entertainers over for a meal that has special significance in the guest's life and they discuss food, comedy, urbanism, and whatever's irking them in the moment. Remember, this is water and some are lakes.