Two for the Price of One

Today we are making pancakes!

Yes the sweet breakfast food slathered in sticky maple syrup BUT we are ALSO making something more savory.

We are going to make savory zucchini pancakes with a lemon zest sour cream and because this is my two-fo-one post, we will also be making the more traditional sweet breakfast pancakes.  So let’s get started on this two-for-one post, it might confuse the hell out of your taste buds but it’ll be one hell of a ride.

Let’s start with breakfast: fresh yet rich blueberry banana pancakes.

These pancakes can be adapted to be whole wheat, gluten-free or kept traditional with all-purpose white flour.  I made these fruity breakfast pancakes with half unbleached all-purpose flour and half whole wheat, just remember that the more whole wheat flour you use, the more dense the pancake will be and the nuttier the pancake will taste.

Now the batter for these breakfast pancakes is what makes them so special.  I incorporate mashed up the banana in the batter instead of using chunks or slices.  This gives the batter a moist texture and more consistent banana flavor.  The nutmeg and cinnamon also used in the batter gives every bite a homey yet sophisticated taste.

Let the batter sit in the fridge for a little while and heat skillet/griddle.  When the hot surface has reached optimal temperature spoon batter using a large spoon or ladle.  The secret to making the pancakes circular is to pour the batter into the same central point, the batter will spread out evenly.

I also highly recommend using the 100% pure maple syrup over the fake stuff.  A little goes a long way and there is nothing that can compete with the flavor or real maple syrup.

To make the presentation beautiful, garnish with a few fresh berries.  Gosh this is making me hungry.  But we’re not done yet.

Now for the savory variety of pancake.

My co-worker is part of a CSA (community supported agriculture) and receives a weekly delivery of fruits and vegetables grown locally in Virginia.  Over the last few weeks, he has received a dozen or more yellow and green zucchinis and because he didn’t know what to do with all of them he was nice enough to give a few to me.  Unsure of what to make, I decided to go outside of the box.  These zucchini pancakes could easily serve as a light meal or play as a killer side dish.

When I initially thought up the idea to make these zucchini pancakes I was envisioning something similar to a potato pancake/latke but what I ended up making was something much more similar in consistency to a traditional pancake.  What really brings this dish full circle is the lemon sour cream, it brings out the earthy notes of the vegetables and coriander.

I used corn in addition to the zucchini, which brought a little extra texture and crunch to these savory pancakes.  Other vegetables would work well too; if I had yellow onion in the fridge, I’m sure that it would have tasted great in these pancakes.

Zucchini is the perfect vegetable for this dish because it is firm yet softens just enough when cooked.  The corn was a nice extra touch bringing a bit of crunch and extra texture to this savory pancake.  You will certainly surprise yourself (and others) with the flavors in this dish.

Blueberry Banana Pancakes

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 ½ cup fresh blueberries

1 egg
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cup milk depending on how runny you want the batter to be (you can also use dairy-free milk, I would suggest coconut or almond milk over soy)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
2 Tbsp canola oil

In a large bowl combine first six ingredients: flour, baking powder and spices.  In another bowl combine the last five ingredients: sugar, milk, vanilla, oil and mashed bananas.  Incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients but do not over mix, the less you mess with the batter the more fluffy and airy the pancakes will be.  Toss in the blueberries into the batter, cover the batter, and let sit in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.

Heat a skillet or griddle on medium heat.  When the skillet (or griddle) is hot enough, spray a little non-stick spray and place little butter on the pan.  Using a large spoon or ladle, pour the batter onto the hot surface.  When the batter bubbles and the edges of the batter are no longer liquidy, 2-3 minutes, they are ready to be flipped.  You can also, using a spatula, peak at the underside of the pancake to check for doneness.  You want the pancake to have a nice golden brown color.

You an garnish the pancakes with fresh berries and slices of fresh banana. Serves enough for 4-6 people.

Savory Zucchini Pancakes

2 medium to large yellow zucchinis
⅔ cup white corn kernels (fresh or canned)
1 egg

½ cup flour (all-purpose, gluten-free or whole wheat)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 ½ teaspoon coriander
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
cayenne pepper to taste (a pinch or two)
Measurements of all spices can be altered

2/3 cup sour cream
zest of 1 lemon
juice of ½ lemon
Olive oil

Clean and grate the two zucchinis and place in a large bowl.  Add the next two ingredients to the large bowl.  In a smaller bowl mix ingredients four through ten, then incorporate into zucchini mixture.  Cover and place batter in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.

Heat skillet or griddle to medium heat.  When the skillet (or griddle) is hot enough, add a little olive oil.  Using a large spoon or ladle, pour the batter onto the hot surface.  This batter will not bubble like traditional breakfast pancakes but the edges of the batter should no longer be liquidy.  After 3-4 minutes they are ready to be flipped.  You can also, using a spatula, peak at the underside of the pancake to check for doneness.  You want the pancake to have a nice golden brown color.

Zest one lemon and juice half.  Combine juice and ¾ zest with sour cream.  When pancakes are done, sprinkle with remaining zest and top with a dollop of lemon sour cream.


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