Art and Soul's Maple Ham Hoecake

Southern flavor abounds in this hearty dish.

Maple Ham Hoecake

Courtesy Wes Morton, executive chef of Art and Soul, Washington, D.C.

1 cup white corn meal
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 slices maple or country ham
2 tablespoons goat cheese, soft enough to spread
Salt and pepper, to taste
5 sprigs watercress

Preheat a griddle to 350˚F. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the melted butter and mix. Add in water, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture has a thick batter consistency.

On the preheated griddle, spread the oil on the surface to prevent the cakes from sticking. Pour a 2-ounce portion of the batter on the griddle and cook for 1½ to 2 minutes per side. Place the cake on a holding platter. Repeat for the remaining batter.

Once cooked, place hoecakes on a plate. Spread the goat cheese to cover in an even layer. Season with salt and pepper to taste and a drizzle of olive oil. Lay two slices of ham on top of the cheese on each hoecake, and top with watercress. Serves 2.

Wine Recommendation:

“With the combination of sweet and savory flavors of this hoecake, I think the best pairing would be the Dobogó 2008 Furmint-Hárslevelű-Muscat Lunel (Tokaj) from Hungary,” says Director of Operations Patrick Chiappetta. “This dry Tokaj has wonderful complexities, and its almost-creamy finish will be a perfect combination.”

Wine Enthusiast asked Art and Soul, a 100 Best Wine Restaurant, "Which dish would start a riot if it were taken off the menu?" Their riot-worthy dish is...

Shrimp and Grits

Recipe courtesy Wes Morton, executive chef of Art and Soul, Washington, D.C.,

1 cup coarse organic white grits*
1 cup fine organic white grits*
¼ cup olive oil
1 ounce andouille sausage, cut into ½-inch cubes
5 fresh shrimp, 21/25 count, shells removed and deveined
Salt, to taste
2 tablespoons butter
Lemon juice, to taste
Worcestershire sauce, to taste
2 tablespoons crème fraîche
1 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoons chives, shaved

In a large pot set over a high flame, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.

In a medium bowl, combine the course and fine grits. Slowly add the grits to the boiling water, whisking vigorously. Lower the temperature to allow the grits to come to a slow simmer, whisking every 10 minutes to prevent scorching until they are tender, approximately 4 hours.

In a large sauté pan set over a high flame, heat the oil until it lightly smokes. Add the andouille sausage and cook until it all of the sides are caramelized, about 5 minutes. Remove the sausage to a paper-towel-covered plate.

Season the shrimp with salt. In the same pan used to cook the andouille, add the shrimp and cook over high heat, fully cooking the shrimp and caramelizing both sides, about 5 minutes. Remove to a holding platter.

Pour the oil out of the pan and add 2 tablespoons of water and the butter to create a pan sauce. Allow the pan sauce to reduce until it thickens slightly, about 2–3 minutes. Add the lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Adjust the seasoning with salt. Return the andouille to the pan sauce to rewarm it.
Meanwhile, add the cooked grits to a medium pot set over medium heat. Whisk in the crème fraîche, cheese and chives, and season with salt to taste. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring to ensure a smooth consistency.

To serve, spoon the grits into the center of a serving bowl. Top with the shrimp, and pour the sauce and sausage over the grits. Serves 1.

*Chef Morton recommends enjoying the left over grits for a hearty breakfast of eggs and bacon the following morning.

Wine Recommendation:

“[With] the combination of the spice from the andouille and the creaminess of the grits, it is important to have a wine with enough acid to stand up to the bold flavors of this dish,” says Patrick Chiappetta, director of operations. “Domaine Merlin-Cherrier’s Sancerre is light in body, but has a great midpalate that is ripe with acid, and has a great mineral finish.”

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