|Menu Part||Appetizer/Small Plate|
Chef Louis Robinson
Chef Louis Robinson created this recipe when he launched Spice as a pop-up restaurant. It features a johnnycake as the base—a pancake with New England roots—fused with Caribbean flavors. The appetizer is rounded out with buckwheat honey-glazed bacon, grape tomatoes, butter lettuce, avocado, serrano chilies and burnt scallion mayo.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. cold butter, cubed
½ cup cold water
Canola oil, for frying
3 tbsp. buckwheat honey
½ tsp. cracked black pepper
9 slices Cherrywood smoked bacon
8 tbsp. good-quality mayonnaise
Baby butter lettuce leaves
2 avocados, cut into small cubes
6 large grape or cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
1 serrano chili, seeded and very thinly sliced
1. In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add butter; rub into flour with hands or pastry blender. Add cold water; mix until dough forms.
2. Divide dough into six equal-size balls; flatten each ball into a thin round. Add about ½ inch oil to large skillet; place over medium-high heat. Fry each dough round in hot oil until golden brown and puffed up, flipping at least once. Remove to wire rack to drain; sprinkle with salt while hot.
3. Preheat oven to 400 F. Combine honey and pepper in small bowl; set aside. Place bacon on sheet pan; cook in oven 10 minutes. Brush bacon liberally on both sides with honey mixture; cook 5 minutes longer or until crispy.
4. Remove bacon from oven; cool, allowing glaze to set. Break bacon into pieces.
5. Cut roots off scallions and hold them over gas burner, turning until blackened in spots and softened. Chop scallions very fine. Measure mayonnaise into small bowl; stir in scallions.
6. To assemble, slather johnnycakes liberally with the scallion mayonnaise; top with bacon pieces, a lettuce leaf, avocado cubes and tomatoes. Garnish with serranos.
Photograph courtesy of National Honey Board