Pancakes Archive

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

failproof crêpes + a crêpe party

failproof crêpes + a crêpe party

I know what most people think of crêpes — they’re difficult, they require planning ahead, they’re fussy (coughFrench), they rip easily, the first one always goes in the trash — but I respectfully disagree, especially about that last bit (it goes in the nearest mouth). In fact, I think think that a great big stack of crêpes and a few easy fixings are the best thing that can happen to brunch. Hear me out:

what you'll need
everything in

  1. The batter takes 120 seconds to assemble (including the 30 to melt the butter in the microwave).
  2. You can prepare the batter 1 hour or 4 days before you need it; it doesn’t mind rushing or neglect.
  3. Cooked crêpes are basically magic — you can stack them hot or cold, they don’t stick to each other. It’s like some sort of pancake voodoo.
  4. They reheat like a charm so don’t you dare spend the morning frying crêpes. Make them all the day before and be amazed that the difference once rewarmed is undetectable.
  5. Some people like Nutella and berries with breakfast, other people like ham and cheese. Crêpes are the ideal foundation for both.
  6. The vast majority of things that taste good on crêpes require little more prep than chopping, if that — fruit or jam, cheese, dollops of ricotta or yogurt or cured meats. These, too, are meant to be prepared ahead, if you like to sleep in on brunch mornings as much as me.
  7. Think taco bars are fun? This is the fancy brunch equivalent. Until you can put sprinkles on tacos (I implore you: just say no), crêpes are going to win this round.
  8. If you’re besieged by tearing, flimsy exasperating to make crêpes, I think you’re due for a new recipe. Like mine.

lumpy, but you'll whisk it

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Monday, January 11, 2016

swiss chard pancakes

swiss chard pancakes

I read about French farçous pancakes for the first time on Friday morning and by lunchtime I was eating them. As my usual process of funneling the hundreds of recipe ideas swarming around in my head into a single one worth sharing is an exercise in exasperation involving extensive considerations of how I’d like to approach something, ingredient availability, time availability, estimated number of rounds it will take to get said recipe right, scanning my worry meter over all the places I suspect it might flop, number of stores to get to find ingredients, all interspersed with baby feedings, and overdue items on an forever-long to-do list, getting from “yes I want to make this” to “eating it” in a little over an hour alone makes this the best thing I’ve made this year.

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

strawberry cornmeal griddle cakes

strawberry cornmeal griddle cakes

Somewhere it is written, or it is now, that if your mom is a gazillion (cough, 35 weeks and 4 days, not that anyone is counting) weeks pregnant and she is the one that under ideal circumstances provides you with dinner, sooner or later that dinner is going to be breakfast pancakes with a side of bacon. You probably won’t mind.

Continued after the jump »

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

potato scallion and kale cakes

potato scallion and kale cakes

What makes a recipe great? In my head, there’s a list of ten things and eight of them are different ways of saying the first one, which is “It works.”

  1. It works.
  2. For everyone. In every kitchen.
  3. Without requiring an advanced cooking degree or preexisting mastery of obscure techniques.
  4. Or voodoo.
  5. Definitely not prayer.
  6. It explains what you need to do in the clearest language possible.
  7. It anticipates where most home cooks might struggle. If something is a game-changer — i.e. it will kill the recipe if you don’t adhere closely to a step — it will warn you.
  8. Did I mention that it needs to work? Because it doesn’t matter what you’re making or who gave you the recipe or how transcendent it was at the Michelin-starred restaurant that night, if the recipe printed in a publication intended for home cooks doesn’t work for most of us at home, it sucks as a recipe. It leads to bad meals, bad moods and take-out. A recipe flop is about the worst way to spend your limited free time. It is a 100% guarantee that you’re not going to feel like cooking next time you have a chance.

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

cherry almond dutch baby

cherry almond dutch baby

If I were forced, because it was my job or something terrible like that, to come up with some sort of World Cup of Pancakes ranking system, it would go something like this: rumpled bed sheet-like pancakes > flat, round disc pancakes. Pancakes with fresh fruit, baked and leaky within > pancakes without fresh fruit inside. Pancakes recipes that instruct only “mix everything” > pancake recipes that make you separate wet, dry and other ingredients. Pancakes that I can decide to make on a whim and have on my plate in just over 20 minutes > pancakes that will find me still ladling, flipping, turning over a hot frying pan with 2/3 of the seemingly interminable bowl of batter still to go 20 minutes later.

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Monday, January 27, 2014

cheese blintz

cheese blintz with loose strawberry jam

Today, it’s time to correct one of the greatest oversights of the last 7.5 years on this website — sorry, no, not the grammar or excesses of commas and em-dashes, oops, there I did it again — we’re going to talk about cheese blintzes. I mean, really, what have I been waiting for? I’ve got all of the bases covered that would prequalify me for a cheese blintz proclivity: I love crêpes and Eastern European food, I’m Jewish, married to a Russian, had a deep cheese blintz addiction* when I was pregnant, and our little half-Russkie predictably cut his teeth on grandma’s homemade cheese blintzes (and Salad Olivier). And with this, I think we can isolate the real reason I’ve never made cheese blintzes for you: I don’t have to, because my mother-in-law makes them for us.

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

charred corn crepes

charred corn crepe stack, mexican street corn style

For the last three summers, I have had “fresh corn crepes” on my cooking wish list. I was mesmerized by the idea of mixing roughly chopped kernels of the ridiculously sweet bi-color corn we get around here with eggs, milk, some melted butter and salt and cooking them thin and lacy in a pan. What I didn’t have was a clue of what I’d do with them, you know, besides just eating them. Whenever I thought about them, I fell down a culinary philosophical rabbit hole — Why not just put corn on a plain crepe? Does a recipe require a reason, a bigger purpose? Did this need to be done? Was it going to raise the bar somehow on crepes or was it just cool that you could do it? I have found myself at a handful of restaurants lately that have me questioning all the things I love to do in the kitchen (namely, mixing disparate things to make a new thing I think would be quite delicious) because I felt that they were innovating for the sake of innovating, and not actually making a grander version of anything while they were at it. Oh, you cannot imagine how dull the inside of my head has become. The worst outcome of this was that I never made the crepes, despite still wanting to very much.

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