Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pancakes for One

The Setting: Hovering between The Hovel (kitchen table/desk/place where mail goes to die) and the stove.

The Soundtrack: Jack Johnson Radio on Pandora, which for some reason is quite heavy on the 90s alternative/pop. Deep Blue Something, anyone?

On the Stove-top: Multi-grain pancakes. All for me.

The Scenario: Last night I bought some gorgeous organic strawberries and the absolute best, if absolutely most expensive ($7.99 for 6oz, and so worth it!), butter in the world, so pancakes were pretty much a given.

I usually like to do pancakes on weekends when Hoosband is home and we can glide lazily from bed to love-seat and spend the morning watching PBS and coating things in syrup (quiet your dirty mind, I'm talking about pancakes here).

But I have to work early all weekend, I am off today, and the griddle is beckoning.

Leftovers are a negative because I am sure to consume them all by mid-afternoon instead of saving them for future breakfasts, so the challenge is to make just enough for one fairly hefty serving--hey, I am growing a human, I can eat a full stack.

Here's what's cookin'.

1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 tsp white vinegar
1 egg
4 T whole-wheat flour or whole-wheat pastry flour (I used a little of both)
2 T finely ground yellow cornmeal
2 T ground flax seed
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 T brown sugar
1 T melted butter

For serving:
A handful of bright and glossy organic strawberries
A hefty chunk of Vermont Butter and Cheese Company's amazing Cultured Butter with Sea Salt, softened slightly at room temperature (cut off a chunk and let it sit out at least 15 minutes)
The butter and berries are so good, there's no need for syrup!

1. In a small bowl, large glass, or, my preference, a 2-cup Pyrex liquid measuring cup, combine milk and vinegar and let sit 5-10 minutes. Alternatively, substitute 1/2 cup buttermilk for the milk and vinegar and skip this step.

2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients (whole-wheat flour through brown sugar), breaking up any lumps.

3. Add egg to milk mixture (or buttermilk) and whisk together.

4. Pour egg mixture over flour mixture and use a couple strokes of a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to combine just enough so that the dry ingredients at the bottom and sides are moistened. There will be lumps. Swirl in melted butter with an additional stroke of the spoon or spatula. Let batter sit while you heat your pan or griddle over medium heat. I like to butter my pan or griddle, but be ware, butter browns quickly.

5. Pour about 1/4 of the batter into the pan and watch it sizzle. If you are concerned with uniformity, you can use a 1/4 cup or 2-oz ladle to portion out the batter; I like to wing it. The pancake is ready to be flipped when bubbles pop up all over the surface. The second side takes about 1 minute. Transfer pancake to serving plate, and repeat with remaining batter.

Makes 4 delicious and quasi-healthy multi-grain pancakes. Perfect for one with an appetite, or for two wimpy eaters. Serve with strawberries and VBC sea salt butter or your favorite accoutrements.

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