whatever pancakes

I said I would make rice flour pancakes for breakfast but instead, I came across this recipe for buttermilk pancakes on the Smitten Kitchen and changed course. It happens. I say I will make something and get inspired to do something else. I should explain that title… Not having buttermilk on hand, I substituted sour milk and this is what I got:

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The Whatever Pancakes

Pancakes

Makes 10 x 4 inch pancakes, enough for two

2 tablespoons (30 g) butter plus more for frying
2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup sour milk* plus 2-4 tablespoons (can use buttermilk, of course)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup flour

*1 tablespoon vinegar in a 1 cup measure topped up with milk = 1 cup sour milk

Partially melt the butter in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave. Whisk in the sugar. It shouldn’t be too hot but if it is, let it cool slightly before adding the egg as you don’t want to cook it. Whisk in the egg into the cooled butter. Add 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sour milk and whisk to combine. Whisk in the salt and baking soda. Finally, whisk in the flour. The batter should be thickened.

Heat a griddle over medium heat until sizzling and add a pat of butter. Spoon batter onto the hot griddle and cook until it is browned on the underside. Flip and continue browning on the second side, about 1-2 minutes per side. Continue making pancakes until the batter is finished.

Deb Perelman says to let the pancakes finish in the oven for 5 minutes but I found that step wasn’t necessary. They were tall, fluffy and light straight off the griddle.

high-fiber pancake mix

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I am running out of breadfruit flour so I thought I would stretch it by mixing it with all purpose flour, and still get the high-fiber benefits. This is my go-to recipe for pancakes, and has been for years, from the Betty Crocker cookbook. I’ve made it with spelt flour and now breadfruit flour, and it has worked every time!

High-Fiber Pancake Mix
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 2-3 minutes per pancake
Makes 12-16 pancakes

1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup breadfruit flour or spelt flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup low-fat milk
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Add all ingredients to a medium bowl and mix well with a fork. Using a dinner tablespoon, spoon a spoonful of batter onto a hot griddle and cook until it is bubbly. Flip the pancake and cook until the bottom is golden.

gluten-free breadfruit flour pancakes

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This is the first time I’ve tried breadfruit flour. In taste and texture breadfruit flour is mildly flavored and gritty like cornmeal. In short, it is very bland. But with the addition of vanilla, spices, and flavored milk powder, this turned out to be wonderfully delicious. I created this pancake recipe,  and I recommend it.

Breadfruit flour is a project of Trees That Feed Foundation, an organization that distributes food-bearing trees to poor communities and supports sustainable farming practices. This breadfruit flour is grown and milled in Jamaica by Tacius Golding High School in  the parish of St. Catherine. To order call 876-836-7277.

Breadfruit Flour Pancakes
Makes 12-14 pancakes each about 2” in diameter

2/3 cup breadfruit flour
3 tablespoons vanilla flavored milk powder
2/3 cup water
1 beaten extra-large egg
1 tablespoon sugar
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon each cinnamon and nutmeg

In a large bowl, beat egg. Add flour and milk powder, water, sugar, vegetable oil, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix with a fork until well blended. Let rest about 10 minutes.

Spray cooking spray on a griddle. Heat the griddle over medium high heat. Using a dinner-table tablespoon, drop one tablespoon batter on the hot griddle, spreading it out a little. Cook about 30-60 seconds on one side then flip.Cook the second side until golden brown.

Serve pancakes with maple syrup or strawberry jam.

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danish aebleskiver pancake balls with banana

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Aebleskiver pronounced “able-skewer” refers to both the pancake ball and the griddle it is cooked in. The basic recipe below came with the griddle, s. The pancake balls turned out light and fluffy, not too sweet, and very addictive! You can’t have just one.

Banana Aebleskiver Pancakes (based on Great Grandma’s Danish Aebleskiver)a heavy iron pan with seven shallow cup

Basic Recipe
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sour milk (2 tablespoons white vinegar topped up to 2 cup line)
3 eggs, separated

Filling (optional)
Mashed ripe banana, about 1/3 cup

Special Equipment
Aebleskiver, a cast iron griddle
Metal Chinese soup spoon, bamboo skewers, or teaspoon

  1. Sift together flour, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Add sour milk and egg yolks. In another large bowl, beat egg whites until light and fluffy, until soft peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into batter. Put the batter into a small pot with a spout, e.g. a teapot; a measuring cup; or a large squeeze bottle, the kind used in commercial kitchens.
  2. Heat aebleskiver griddle on medium heat. Grease each cup with melted butter, oil, or vegetable oil cooking spray. Reduce heat to low. Then fill each cup half full. If using filling, fill the cup only half full with batter and place a small amount of fruit in each cup. Top with batter.
  3. On low heat cook for approximately 8 minutes on the first side or until golden brown on the bottom. When the top starts to look shiny and have bubbles, it’s close to time to flip. Look for the batter to pull away from the sides. It will be easier to flip when the bottom is cooked. Don’t be tempted to flip them too early for they’ll stick to the sides and tear. Flip using a metal Chinese soup spoon. This kind has a thin edge around the rim and is useful for getting under the bottom of the pancake to flip. If you don’t have a metal soup spoon, you can improvise with skewers or a teaspoon; scoop up the edges and turn. Cook the second side for 2-4 minutes or until the bottom is cooked through and slightly browned. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until all the batter is used up.
  4. When both sides are done, serve with confectioner’s sugar or cinnamon sugar for rolling the pancakes, or honey or maple syrup for dipping. Also,  try this chocolate-y Nutella thinned with milk to the desired consistency. Best eaten warm.

Cook’s Notes: I used an Oxo salad dressing mixer to pour the batter into the aebleskiver griddle. Try using a dome lid to cover the griddle during cooking. It will speed up the cooking of the pancake balls and contribute to overall browning.

Yields 35-56 pancake balls

Variation:

    • Mix chopped apple and mashed banana together with brown sugar. Yum.
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home made poh pia

Poh Pia is sometimes called the Chinese tortilla. It is a thin wheat pancake made of just flour and water,  that is filled with meat, vegetables, and sauce. The fillings make the poh pia outstanding; the pancake is merely the holder. These fillings vary regionally as well as from family to family. Usually, we buy the pancakes, because it’s easier than making them. But I was wrong. Making them from scratch is not only delicious, it’s fun to play with your food! Our friend Arun and his wife Ann invited us to share their family meal and taught me how to make these delicious unassuming pancakes. Two of them are rolled out together with a little oil in between to make a double pancake. After you fry up a double pancake, you peel them apart and you have two pancakes again!

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low fat broccoli tomato fritters

broccoli-tomato-parmesan fritters

I had an indecent craving for shrimp fritters, a Jamaican-Chinese specialty, but I recoiled at the thought of using all that oil to fry them–up to a cup or more. However, I found this recipe for broccoli-parmesan fritters on the Smitten Kitchen blog and it satisfied my craving! After following the original  recipe straight through, I realized I could get away with making some changes.  First of all, I doubled the recipe because 9 fritters just wouldn’t be enough. Gotta have left overs too! Then I added a large chopped and seeded tomato to the batter, and a third cup of Romano cheese. The batter was a tad dry so I added up to a quarter cup of cream. But nonfat milk would do fine. You just need to add enough milk or cream so the batter clumps together. Lastly, I fried the fritters in cooking spray rather than in cooking oil to cut down the calories. The fritters came out luscious, moist and savory.

Low-Fat Broccoli Tomato Fritters

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 28 three-inch fritters (approximate)

16 ounces fresh broccoli (6 cups chopped)
2 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 large tomato, chopped and seeded
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup finely grated Romano cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4-1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes or several grinds of black pepper (add more to make it spicier)
1/4 cup cream or nonfat milk, or less as needed to add cohesion to the batter
Cooking spray

To prepare the broccoli, cut the florets from the stems. With a vegetable peeler, peel off the tough outer coating of the stems. Chop stems roughly into 1/2 inch pieces. Separate the florets into 1 inch pieces.

Fill a large pot with about 3 inches of water and bring to a boil. Add about a teaspoon of salt to the water. Add the broccoli. Cook 5-6 minutes or until tender. The broccoli will be a bright green color. Drain the broccoli in a colander and rinse under cold water to set the color and stop the cooking process. Mash the cooked broccoli coarsely with a potato masher. Broccoli should still be chunky and not too small.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the flour, tomato, cheeses, garlic, salt, and red pepper or black pepper. Add the mashed broccoli. Use a large wooden spoon to mix all the ingredients together. Add the cream or milk if the batter doesn’t cohere. It should clump together when dropped from a spoon.

Cook’s Note: The tomato not only adds a pop of color but it also adds moisture to the fritter—a neat little trick I learned from my cousin Cathy whose shrimp fritters are to die for!

Spray a large skillet with cooking spray. Heat the skillet on medium heat until the pan sizzles when a drop of water is sprinkled in it. Using a 1/4 cup measure or a cookie scoop, scoop up the broccoli batter and plop it in the hot skillet. Flatten slightly with a fork. Continue scooping, flattening, and frying fritters with cooking spray. Leave about 2 inches between each fritter. Each batch will include 6 fritters. Fry on one side 3-5 minutes or until golden brown, then flip, and fry 1-2 minutes on the second side.

Cook’s Note: Dip the 1/4 cup measure or scoop in water to ensure the batter releases as you scoop the batter into the skillet.

Transfer fritters to a serving plate. If the fritters won’t be eaten right away, they can be kept warm in a low oven. Serve these fritters with tzatziki sauce or lemon-garlic yogurt. To make lemon-garlic yogurt, to one cup of Greek style yogurt, add fresh lemon juice and lemon zest to taste. For a garlic flavor, add minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

gluten-free brown rice flour pancakes with strawberries

gluten free brown rice flour pancakes with strawberries

Because I made some key substitutions, such as the nonfat milk, almond oil, and the honey, the result was not exactly like the original recipe. This is a delicate rice-flavored pancake, with a top-note of almond.

Gluten-Free Brown Rice Flour Pancakes (adapted from the roasted root)

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 16 minutes
Yield: 8 four-inch pancakes

Ingredients
1-1/2 cup brown rice flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄4 teaspoon cardamom (or nutmeg)
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
3⁄4 cup nonfat milk (or nut milk of your choice)
1 tablespoon almond oil (coconut oil or oil of choice)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon honey (or agave nectar)

Preparation
1. In a small bowl, add the eggs, milk, oil, vanilla, and honey/agave. Mix until combined.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and cardamom. Stir to combine.
3. Incorporate the flour mixture into the egg mixture and stir just until combined.
4. Heat a skillet to medium heat and add a dollop of butter, oil, or cooking spray.
5. Spoon batter into the heated skillet (about 2-3 tablespoons each) and cook 1-2 minutes, until the sides begin to set, then flip to the other side.
6. Cook another minute until pancakes are cooked all the way through. Serve with maple syrup, jam, fruit preserves, fresh fruit, or powdered sugar.

Variation
• Mash 2 ripe bananas and add them to the egg mixture.
• Slice 2 cups fresh strawberries. Add 1 cup to the flour mixture and toss to coat. Stir in the egg mixture. To the remaining cup strawberries, add a little powdered sugar, toss to coat, and serve as a topping for the pancakes.