Smoked Fish Johnnycake Stacks
With Natasha MacAller
Smoked Fish Johnnycake stacks with vanilla citrus sauce
Johnnycake photograph taken by Manja Wachsmuth
Johnnycakes, originally known as journeycakes, are a cornmeal flatbread credited to the American tribes of 1800s New England. Additional native ingredients—black beans and wild rice—layered with plentiful trout transform these crusty-outside, moist-inside cakes into a substantial course. If trout is unavailable, use another delicate smoked fish, such as gurnard or tarakihi. By substituting oil and water for the butter and milk, these Johnnycakes taste just as delicious and are gluten- and dairy-free.
Vanilla citrus sauce
egg yolk, large 1 30 ml
garlic clove, minced 1
lime juice 1 Tbsp 15 ml
lime zest ½ tsp
orange zest 1 tsp
vanilla paste ½ tsp
agave syrup or honey 2 tsp 10 ml
grapeseed oil ½ fl cup 120 ml
fine cornmeal or masa harina ¾ cup 115 g
fine sea salt ½ tsp
brown sugar 1 Tbsp 15 g
milk or water 1¼ fl cups 300 ml
butter or vegetable oil 2 Tbsp 30 g
black beans, cooked, drained ¾ cup 100 g
wild rice, cooked, drained ¾ cup 90 g
red onion, minced
(reserve a sprinkling for the garnish) ½ 90 g
hot sauce 1 tsp
lime zest 1 tsp
butter or vegetable oil, melted (for skillet) ¼ fl cup 60 ml
smoked fish, such as terakihi, in pieces 200 g
microgreens such as
micro coriander/cilantro or watercress small handful
red onion, diced garnish
Vanilla citrus sauce
In a small bowl, whisk yolk with a pinch of sea salt, garlic, lime juice, citrus zests, vanilla paste and agave until well blended.
Using a whisk or stick-blender, whisk egg mixture continuously, then drizzle oil in a slow, steady stream until sauce begins to come together and thicken. If too thick, whisk in an additional teaspoon of water until well combined. Cover and chill until ready to use.
In a medium bowl, whisk cornmeal, salt and sugar.
In a small pot, heat milk and butter (or water and vegetable oil) to a simmer. Slowly pour milk mixture into the cornmeal, whisking to prevent lumps.
Combine beans, wild rice, onion, hot sauce and zest and gently fold into the batter. Cover and chill the batter for at least 1 hour (or up to a day), until just before serving.
Heat a heavy or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add a pat of butter and wait for the sizzle.
Using a tablespoon, spoon batter into the sizzling butter and cook until crisp and golden brown on one side. Gently turn over and repeat. Place Johnnycakes on baking tray in oven to keep warm while cooking the rest. Add additional butter or oil to pan as needed, making sure the pan doesn’t get too hot or the fat will burn.
Place a Johnnycake on the plate, top with sauce then smoked fish and a sprinkling of microgreens. Stack layers 1 or 2 more times. Top the stack with more sauce and garnish with micro coriander and diced red onion.