Kimchi is steadily bringing cultural flavor to contemporary American cuisine. In this recipe, the fermented cabbage pairs really well with these slow cooked collards, a longstanding staple of Southern food in the US. If you have never cooked hoecakes before, they are similar to pancakes but denser and are even better if you have access to freshly milled corn meal. But this recipe is best assembled nice and steadily on a slow Sunday morning. It makes for a great brunch for two but you can always make more and make a party out of it too. It’s all good.
KIMCHI-COLLARDS In a 3-quart All Clad sauce pan on medium high heat, add bacon and onion. Cook out for 5 minutes, until the bacon and onion browns and crisps. Add cider vinegar, brown sugar, chicken stock, and collards and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir to combine and lower heat to a simmer, and cover. Cook for 1 hour. Five minutes before serving, open the lid and check how much potlikker has rendered. If there is more than ½ cup of potlikker in the pot, remove some of the potlikker and reserve it for another use. To finish, raise the heat to medium-high and add butter, cream, and kimchi. Gently stir and fold-into combine and cook for five minutes to amalgamate the flavors until the potlikker, collards, and kimchi-cream are well combined. Cover until ready to serve.
HOECAKES In a medium All-Clad mixing bowl, add cornmeal, flour, brown sugar and salt. Stir to combine. In a separate small All-Clad mixing bowl, add egg whites of one egg and whisk until whites begin to foam. (The whisked egg whites will help thicken up the batter a bit and bring some height to the cakes once they are in the pan.) Add the whisked egg whites and buttermilk to the cornmeal mixture. Mix thoroughly to remove any clumps of batter and whisk until smooth. In a 10-inch All-Clad skillet on medium high heat, add canola oil. When the oil begins to shimmer, ladle three ounces of batter into the skillet to make a hoecake. (For this recipe we are making two hoecakes, but you are welcome to make more cakes than just the two 3-ounce cakes. I ain’t in your kitchen, and you can do whatever you want!) Cook the hoecakes on one side for 2 to 3 minutes, until bubbles begin to appear on top and a nice brown ring begins to form on the bottom of the cake. Flip and cook for another 2 minutes.
POACHED EGGS In a 3-quart All-Clad sauce pan over high heat, add water (about 3 inches deep), a drop of vinegar, and a pinch of kosher salt. Bring water up to a simmer. In two small ramekins or small bowls, crack the eggs. Before adding the eggs to the poaching water, give the water a nice firm swirl to make a whirlpool. This will help wrap the egg whites around the egg and ease the eggs into the water without breaking them. Add the eggs into the swirling water, and cook the eggs for 3 minutes, until the whites begin to set. With an All-Clad slotted spoon, gently lift the eggs out and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain.