Posts tagged “quick

Pancakes! New and Improved! Now with NO Gluten!

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So, I’ve loved pancakes since I was a kid.  I guess that is probably not really a big surprise, I mean who doesn’t LOVE pancakes?  I’m going to go out on a limb here, and tell you that there is a pretty good chance that I have made more pancakes than you. (Unless you’ve spent some time as a short order cook, in which case, you win!)  When I was a kid I was in Boy Scouts, and every year we would have a pancake and sausage breakfast.  We skipped mass for that Sunday, and went to the school cafeteria early in the morning.  By early I mean 4:30am.  We had to get everything set up in time to feed people after 6am mass.  How long is mass?  At 6am, not very long at all!  Depending on the priest and his mood, 25 minutes wouldn’t be unheard of!  Masses were at 6, 7:30, 9, 10:30, and noon.  Six was pretty sparse, mostly a few older folks, and it would gradually build.  At 7:30 you got a fair number of people who wanted to get things done, and get the day started early.  Nine, 10:30, and noon would be more or less packed.  I would guesstimate that we made pancakes for 400+ people be the time it was all said and done.  I really couldn’t give you a count.  I just remember spending hours making pancakes at a flattop.  The grownups cooked the sausage, mostly because I think they figured it was a little safer.  We were more likely to get burned?  I don’t know, sure.  All I know is they mixed up batter in the (to me at the age of like 10) gigantic Hobart mixer. (Probably a really good idea. They are big and powerful, and could hurt us worse than the splatter of a little grease! The 30 quart one at work could probably break an arm, and it was probably bought used in 1968!)

What do we need in order to get started?  Well, in this case I will admit that I used a mix.  I used Pamela’s pancake mix.  I will admit that I have never made pancakes from scratch.  I used to always use Bisquick, and just follow the directions.  I guess I figured that it had worked for me in the past I may as well take a shot at it this time too.  Just like the Bisquick I used to use before, the Pamela’s mix had pretty much everything that was needed.  All you have to do is add a couple of things, mix, and cook!

1 cup of Pamela’s gluten-free pancake mix (the dark spots in the picture of the batter are almond meal)

3/4 cup water

1 large egg

1 TBSP vegetable oil

Stir to combine, and set aside.

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Next, heat your skillet or griddle.  In this case I was using the really nice Cuisinart Greenpan that I got when I returned a gift.  Just heat it over medium heat, take your time.  The pan doesn’t need to be screaming hot, but what you should do it sprinkle a little water on the surface.  When the pan is hot enough the water will dance on the surface.

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Once your pan is hot enough lightly coat the surface with a little vegetable oil using a paper towel. Pour the batter in your pan.  Make them pancake size, for lack of a better term.  In other words, You have to be able to get a spatula under them, flip them, and get them back in the pan without landing on any of the others.  How do you know when to flip them?  You will see bubbles form along the edges.  At first they will just pop, but then they will start to set.  When the bubbles pop, and leave little holes gently get your spatula under the edge, and then under, and flip it.  Just gently turn it over, and back into the pan.
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Amy’s little pancakes, flipped.
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Pancakes ready to come out.
How do you know when they are ready to come out of the pan?  There’s no real rule, but they don’t take very long once you have flipped them.  Since you were watching bubbles setting on the tops, they are probably better than 50% cooked.  Really all you’re doing is cooking the surface.  That won’t take long at all.
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Obviously you’re going to be making more than you can probably fit in the pan you’re using to make them, so turn your oven on as low as you can get it, and just stack them up on a plate until you have enough.  Make some extras.  Pancakes can be held very easily!  If you’re going short-term, just spread them out on the plate and stick them in the fridge until they are cool.  Then into a freezer bag.  Long-term?  Spread them out flat.  A cookie sheet will work for this.  Freeze them, then into a freezer bag.  Now, when you’re ready for pancakes, just take a few out of the bag, and reheat them in your oven or microwave.

 

A couple of things about this post:

1 This is a product review of sorts.  I guess, hopefully, you learned how to make pancakes if you didn’t know already.  Amy asked how you know when to flip them when I started, so I guess not everybody knows.  This was my first time using any of the Pamela’s products, and I have to say I was pretty impressed with the results.  Not only did the results taste great they look like pancakes, which although not a huge issue is still important.

2 I don’t use non-stick skillets very often.  For a lot of cooking I don’t think they are necessary.  I own two.  This one, and a smaller and very cheap one.  The smaller one I use for cooking eggs, pretty much exclusively. The nice thing about the cheap non-stick pans is that they are very smooth.  I make scrambled eggs in it without any kind of utensil, and almost no fat.

The one I was using today was pretty expensive, and is not Teflon based.  It uses a ceramic based non-stick, rather than petroleum based.  Regardless of the price you shouldn’t use metal utensils in non-stick.  Once you damage the surface you will have food sticking to your pan.

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Frittata Anytime!

Legend has it that the folds in the French chef’s touque represent ways to cook an egg. Whether or not this is true, is not really the point.  The truth is that the egg is one of the most perfect foods.  It contains proteins, fat, and an emulsifier called lecithin.  Eggs are used in almost any meal, and in any course.  The important thing, for right now anyway, is that they taste great!  Like most people I know, I enjoy breakfast food pretty much without regard for the time of day.  Today for example I decided that I didn’t really feel like dealing with anything overly complicated for dinner, but I also wanted something that would taste great.  I decided to make a frittata.  A frittata is essentially where I quiche and omelet intersect.  So, it is baked like a quiche, but has no crust.  These two factors make it ideal for a quick and easy meal.

I was making dinner for two since Amy would be over.  It was really a pretty simple meal, everything would be in the frittata!  I decided to go with bacon, caramelized  onions, and Jarlsberg cheese.  I put three pieces of bacon in the oven to cook, because I really didn’t feel like dealing with the mess.  Then, I julienned half of an onion.  I put the onion in a skillet over low heat to caramelize it.  The trick with this is not to mess with it.  You have to leave the onion alone long enough to caramelize, and have the heat low so that it doesn’t burn.

Once the onions were caramelized, and the bacon was cooked I chopped the bacon into small pieces, scrambled four eggs, and grated the Jarlsberg. That is it, prep is finished.

The assembled mise en placeAll that remained now was to put this thing together.  It goes quick, so you need everything ready to go before you even think about starting to cook.

Assembling the frittata. From the beginning until it goes into the oven!

First heat a small amount of oil in the skillet, add the eggs, and treat them like you are going to scramble them, as they start to set, mix in the filling ingredients. I added the cheese last, and once everything was incorporated put it straight into the oven. You need to do this fast so that you don’t end up with scrambled eggs though.

I started with the burner down a little low so it took a minute to get going, but once it went into the oven at 375F it only took about 10 minutes.

This was a fantastic dinner, and could have very easily been made into a vegetarian meal.  Just like with an omelet there are almost no limits as far as what you could have in your frittata.  Enjoy breakfast for supper!  I know I do!