‘Scarole Soup with Sausage Meatballs and Buttermilk, Bacon, Scallion Hoecakes

“As you walk through forests or the meadows of your mind, Stop and talk to those you fear Good friendships you may find”
Stephen CosgroveButtermilk Bear   

Escarole Soup 

Thumbing through Ruhlman’s Twenty I came across his version of escarole soup and was reminded that I had two containers of roasted chicken stock in the freezer to use so I grabbed a package of sausage and started out on another soup adventure, ‘scarole soup with little sausage meatballs.  The recipe isn’t so different from mine or many other recipes, but the added flavor boost of the roasted chicken broth really is a nice addition.

To go with the soup I made a batch of bacon, buttermilk and  scallion hoecakes, haven’t made them in ages and it was a nice change from bread, good dunkin’ hoecakes.

Buttermilk  & Bacon Hoecakes II

Escarole Soup with Sausage Meatballs

1 large onion, small dice
1 Tablespoon. minced garlic
1-2 Tablespoons
EVOO, as needed
Kosher salt
4 c. roasted chicken stock
1 lb. sausage (any kind you like – I used Italian shaped into little meatballs) browned in a pan,
1/2 lb. escarole, cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced or 1/2 of a 28 ounce can of San Marzano tomatoes, hand squished and don’t worry about the seeds
1 T. fish sauce
2 t. lemon juice
Cayenne pepper

Sweat the garlic and onions in a large saucepan in a little oil.  Season with a 3-finger pinch of salt.  When they have softened, add the stock and bring to a simmer.  Add the sausage, escarole, tomatoes, fish sauce, and lemon juice or vinegar and simmer until the escarole is wilted.  Taste and adjust the seasonings adding some cayenne if you like.
Serves 4.

Bacon Scallion Hoecakes ~ Garden and Gun Magazine
(Makes 14 large, or 28 silver-dollar, cakes)

Ingredients
1 cup self-rising flour ( I never have self-rising flour so I made someone’s version of a substitute shown below)
1 cup fine yellow cornmeal
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tbsp. sugar
²∕³ cup buttermilk
¹∕³ cup water
Scant ¼ cup bacon fat
¹∕³ cup crème fraîche or sour cream
2  eggs
¹∕³  cup scallions, thinly sliced
¼  cup crisp bacon, finely chopped
Canola oil, combined with some bacon fat if desired

Preparation

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and sugar.

In another small bowl, combine buttermilk, water, bacon fat, and crème fraîche or sour cream. Blend well. Add eggs, and mix until just combined.

Pour liquid into dry ingredients, and mix just until a thick batter has formed. Stir in scallions and bacon. To keep the hoecakes tender, avoid over mixing.

Heat oil and bacon fat in a cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Use about an eighth of a cup of batter for smaller cakes, or a quarter cup for larger ones. Cook them as you would pancakes, allowing them to fry on one side for about three minutes or until crisp and golden brown. Flip and cook for another couple of minutes. Replenish oil as needed, to maintain a generous film in the pan.

Batter will keep for a couple of days tightly covered in the refrigerator. If it seems too thick after storing, stir in a bit more buttermilk or water.

Self-rising flour substitute King Arthur

  • 1 cup King Arthur flour (see options above)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Note: If you weigh your ingredients, Unbleached Pastry Flour weighs 3 3/4 ounces per cup; Perfect Pastry Blend, 4 ¼ ounces.

Use as directed in your recipe.