Jalapeno Corn Cakes with Honey Whipped Goat Cheese and Bacon
These Jalapeno Corn Cakes with Honey Whipped Goat Cheese and Bacon make an amazing appetizer!
I think that the most fabulous dishes are born from a combination of contrasting flavors and textures. But they have to also compliment each other. In order for the contrast to work, they each have to push one another in positive directions. Apart, yet together, with the same end goal of deliciousness. And that’s what these Jalapeno Corn Cakes with Honey Whipped Goat Cheese and Bacon are all about!
The National Pork Board asked me to develop a recipe that illustrates the fabulously diverse food world that we live in, crave, and often demand. A recent exploration of 30 million social media posts conducted by the National Pork Board (NPB) in conjunction with social media analytics firm Crimson Hexagon, found that the ultimate American meal may not be as traditionally “American” as many might think. While one meal didn’t emerge as America’s No. 1, NPB’s data did reveal socially driven trends in flavors, ingredients, and pairings:
- Americans love their pork, quite passionately, with bacon being the top-mentioned pork product in the majority of the U.S. When it comes to this nationwide favorite, 23 percent mentioned maple as a preferred seasoning and 35 percent want it crispy.
- America’s most popular food topping is cheese. It doesn’t matter the kind. Just top it with cheese, please!
- Bread is the most frequently mentioned grain to go along with proteins. Think wraps, buns, and pitas.
- Americans like their pork hot (28 percent), spicy (18 percent), and smoked (16 percent) – and the most popular cuisines across all proteins include Cajun, Mexican, Italian, and Asian.
- When it comes to side dishes, Americans are still all about their meat and potatoes, with 38 percent of sides consisting of some form of potatoes.
(To read more about this collection of social media eating data, go here.)
(Cheesy Maple Bacon Cajun Pulled Pork Sandwich, photo courtesy of National Pork Board)
As part of exclusive content produced for food and dining site Eater, NPB took the results of that data and developed a recipe representative of America’s favorite flavors and foods: Cheesy Maple Bacon Cajun Pulled Pork Sandwich. This sandwich has everything going for it, combining all the most popular ingredients and flavors and textures of America’s social media shout outs. The NPB was so thoughtful to send my family a meal of these incredible pork sandwiches, with a side of smashed potatoes and sriracha yogurt. It really got my juices flowing, to share with you about America’s Most Mouthwatering Mashup!
Here’s that graphic found on Eater, demonstrating the meal that combines all of America’s favorite flavors:
I highly recommend you check out that pork sandwich recipe. My family loved it!
And then let’s get back to the mouthwatering mashup that was created right here in our own kitchen >>> these jalapeno corn cakes with honey whipped goat cheese and bacon.
When sitting down to create this recipe, all I could think about was the awesome bacon found at our local Hagberg’s Country Market. I knew I wanted it to be the highlight of my recipe. When we step up to that glass enclosed meat counter, we ask for “Double-smoked, thick-cut, please.” And the bacon never disappoints. It’s always very meaty, with the perfect amount of bacon fat marbling.
At the base of this individually portioned appetizer is a simple round of shortbread-like cornmeal cake, sweetened with honey and speckled with dried jalapeno flakes. I could eat these all on their own. So good!
Also be sure to check out my Honey Cornbread Muffins!
The jalapeno corn cakes are topped off with a swirl of honey whipped goat cheese (amazing!), fresh jalapeno, and a piece of that incredible double-smoked bacon. The finishing touch is a light sprinkle of cinnamon.
The flavors. The textures. This appetizer combines so much greatness in one little package. It’s the perfect pork mouthwatering mashup!
Jalapeno Corn Cakes with Honey Whipped Goat Cheese and Bacon
for the jalapeno corn cakes:
- 1.5 c. all-purpose flour
- ½ c. yellow cornmeal
- 2 T. sugar
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- ¾ c. cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2″ pieces
- ¼ c. honey
- 2 T. dried jalapeno flakes
for the honey whipped goat cheese:
- 8 oz. goat cheese at room temperature
- 4 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
- 2 T. honey
- 1 T. half and half
to finish the jalapeno corn cakes with honey whipped goat cheese and bacon:
- approximately 1/2 lb. thick-cut double-smoked bacon
- 1 to 2 jalapeno peppers sliced into thin circles, and then halved into semi-circles
- For the jalapeno corn cakes: In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt. Using a rigid pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in honey with a fork. Then sprinkle dried jalapeno flakes over the mixture and knead it in the bowl until it begins to cling together and form a dough. Gently fold dough 4 to 5 times, until it holds together. Form dough into a slightly flattened disk and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 325° F. Divide chilled dough in half and form each into a slightly flattened disk. On a lightly floured surface, roll one dough half to 1/4” thick. Cut into circles with a 2” round cutter. Place 1” apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Reroll as needed. Then roll out the second half of the dough and repeat.
- Bake for about 12 minutes, or until edges are firm and tops are lightly golden brown. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.
- For the honey whipped goat cheese: While dough is chilling, whip goat cheese and cream cheese in a medium bowl on high speed with an electric mixer. Once incorporated, add the honey and half and half, and then whip for a minute or two, until smooth and fluffy. Place mixture in a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip. Place in refrigerator until ready to assemble the corn cake appetizers.
- To finish: While dough is chilling, heat a skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add bacon and fry until just barely crisp. Remove bacon from skillet to a paper towel lined plate. Once cooled, cut bacon strips into pieces almost 1-1/2" long.
- Using pastry bag and pastry tip, place a swirl of the honey whipped goat cheese onto each of the cooled jalapeno corn cakes. If you don’t have a pastry bag and pastry tip, simply use a small spoon to place a dollop of honey whipped goat cheese onto the jalapeno corn cakes – just make sure that the center of the dollop is tall enough to support the bacon and fresh jalapeno slice. Or place the honey whipped goat cheese in a ziplock baggie, snip off a corner of the baggie, and pipe goat cheese onto the jalapeno corn cakes. You will probably have some honey whipped goat cheese left over – save it and use it as a cracker spread!Tuck a piece of bacon and a fresh jalapeno semi-circle into the honey whipped goat cheese and then sprinkle lightly with cinnamon (I like to use this sifter spoon for an even sprinkle). Serve immediately.
All the individual components (jalapeno corn cakes, honey whipped goat cheese, bacon pieces, jalapeno slices) can be prepared a day prior to serving, but it’s best to wait to fully assemble the appetizers no more than an hour prior to serving for ultimate freshness. Then just refrigerate them until ready to serve.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the National Pork Board. Thank you for supporting the brands that I carefully choose to work with, that help make this site possible. All opinions are 100% my own.
There is an Amazon affiliate link in this post. FYI: if a purchase is made through this link, a farmgirl’s dabbles earns a small percentage of that sale.