Now That's a Mouthful

Episode 74: Pancakes!

Episode: 74: Pancakes!

Pancakes are easily made with things you probably have in your home kitchen. They can get you from breakfast through lunch to dinner and can even be dressed up for an elegant snack. We’re talking everything from griddle cakes, the Dutch baby, or its French cousin - the pascade, and even  crepes. They're all a variation of basic pancake ingredients and they're fast! We give you options for flavorings, ingredients, and toppings or fillings. Everything from savory to sweet. Pancakes are THE PERFECT dish to make any day for any meal.

THE SAME INGREDIENTS.
All pancakes rely on the basic combination of eggs, flour, and milk. Trade out any of these and you not only change the texture, but also the taste!. Pancakes can satisfy just about anyone at your table

USE THE BEST INGREDIENTS; MIX, THEN REST.
Use whole milk: fat gives structure and stability to your pancakes. Once mixed, it MUST rest to fully hydrate; any gluten needs to relax. The longer that batter rests the lighter and airier the pancakes. Mix up your batter first, then get everything else ready.

Don’t overwork the batter. Whisk your wet ingredients into the dry until JUST incorporated.

BEYOND BREAKFAST.
Our SWEET CORN GRIDDLE PANCAKES are perfect for lunch. Melt cheese over top, like mozzarella, or feta, and then add a protein like grilled chicken, or top it with greens – be it a lightly dressed arugula salad, or whether its braised kale, mustard greens or really even just some chopped herbs. It’s like the best version of an open face sandwich – but instead of bread you have a delicious savory – bread-like pancake!

USE YOUR CAST IRON SKILLET; PERFECT FOR PANCAKES OF ANY TYPE OR KIND.
Listen to our pilot season EPISODE 14 – CAST IRON COOKING for tips on perfecting your cast iron cooking. A CAST IRON SKILLET can be the workhorse of any kitchen. Especially when it comes to pancakes!

Cook the French PASCADE, which is similar to the DUTCH-BABY, which is similar to the popular German pancakes in a cast iron skillet. Fluffy light airy pancakes – that are something between a soufflé and a crepe!

A THINNER BATTER, A DIFFERENT PANCAKE.
With the DUTCH BABY AND PASCADE, the ratios of eggs, milk and flour are different than for your standard breakfast pancakes so you get a wetter, thinner batter – more akin to a crepe batter – if you’re familiar with making crepes or you’ve ever seen them made. But for these you want A VERY SILKY SMOOTH BATTER. Use your blender if it’s handy. STILL – YOU HAVE TO LET THAT BATTER REST.  But when this pancake comes out of the oven you’re in for a crowd-pleasing photo opp kind of a dish. Serve to a waiting crowd; THESE PANCAKES DEFLATE ALMOST IMMEDIATELY!

These are a puffy light eggy breakfast pancake, but you can add toppings – like lightly dressed greens or fresh chopped herbs for a delicious elegant little brunch; add fruit, add cinnamon sugar or a slathering of ice cream and caramel sauce and you have dessert.

THE LIGHTER, THINNER SIDE OF PANCAKES: CREPES | CRESPELLE.
Crepes are easy to make! The trick is to make sure you use a hot pan and a small one, like a tiny 6” skillet. A thin coating of batter is all you need, and some patience! You’ll want to leave that crepe in the pan just a hair longer than you think you should before flipping it. Too soon and the crepe is too delicate and will tear.

OPTIONS FOR CREPES. A simple spritz of lemon juice, some lemon zest and a dusting of sugar is literally ALL you need. Or, stack them high with layers of jam and fruit in between to make a crepe cake. You can go savory with meats and cheeses and herbs and greens.

Try our EGGY OAT FLOUR CREPE/PANCAKE RECIPE for a more sturdy crepe. This recipe uses OAT FLOUR, so you’ve got some options here – especially if you’re looking for that gluten-free edge.  These can double as breakfast burrito wrappers, too. Just add some soft scrambled eggs, and sauteed vegetables, finish with cheeses and breakfast meats or sausages.

ITALY’S VERSION OF THE CREPE: CRESPELLE.
This crepe-like pancake is probably the sturdiest of the crepe-like pancakes. In our recipe for SQUASH AND RICOTTA CRESPELLE – we combine the pancakes with a savory butternut squash filling, some ricotta, herbs and then a béchamel sauce to create an almost lasagna like result. This gives you all sorts of ideas about using those thin pancakes beyond breakfast.

EVEN GREEN CURRY GETS IN THE MIX.
Green curry is having a moment right now. And when it comes to pancakes, well, somehow the combination of ingredients just works. Chris Shepherd in COOK LIKE A LOCAL says, you really do need to keep true to his recipe. Flavor your pancake batter with green curry paste and coconut milk, then top the pancakes off with a sweet soy sauce and honey syrup, and a dollop of greek yogurt infused with the zest of some limes. Chopped peanuts for a garnish and well… there you go. A brand new spin on pancakes.

Chef Donna’s One Thing to Learn from this Episode: Pancakes have a lot more purpose, and place in our daily eating repertoire than we give them credit for. Say goodbye to the heavy, sit-in-your-stomach-until-it-aches kind of heavy griddle diner pancakes. Done right pancakes are light, airy and fluffy, that can be a treat any time of the day!  Whether you choose to top your pancakes with savory cheeses and greens, or make the lighter versions, like the DUTCH BABY or PASCADE, the Crepe or CRESPELLE, pancakes can help fuel your body, or even wind down a meal in the most memorable of ways!

Just commit to the idea of trying pancakes in a new way and we’ll get you the rest of the way there. With all the ideas and recipes you need to get you started. You'll find them on our blogcast page AND on our RECIPES PAGE at nowthatsamouthful.com.

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These RECIPES are referred to in this episode. You can find more information on our Cookbooks Page.