Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tonight's Menu: Brinner!

It has been a while since I have done a cooking blog. I wanted to get settled into the new house a bit and get used to the new appliances. I have an oven that works very well, but it is probably the original piece from when the house was built in the early sixties. The stove is one of those flat smooth electric cooktops and it works great as well, but very different from the conventional coils I'm used to. In any event, last night I made some Brinner (that's breakfast for dinner, for those not in the know) and took some pictures for your enjoyment. Enjoy.

On Tonight's Menu: Homemade Buttermilk Pancackes with Scrambled Eggs and Maple Sausage Patties

Now I don't use any store bought mix to make my pancakes, I don't want to do that to my mouth. Instead I use a homemade "instant" pancake mix that I got from my hero Alton Brown from Food Network's Good Eats. For this mix you fill your container of choice with:

  • 6 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar

Then shake everything up and you should be able to keep it in your air tight container for about three months.

When you are ready to make your pancakes get two mixing bowls and separate two eggs.

Now whisk two cups of buttermilk in with the whites and four tablespoons of melted butter with the yolks. The reason you do this is adding the eggs, buttermilk and butter all together is like mixing oil and water together - it just doesn't really want to work. The chemical make-up of the yolks to the butter, and buttermilk with the whites are very similar so by doing this you have a much better bind. Then you can mix the two together. If the butter is pretty warm then it is best to temper with the buttermilk/white mixture.

After all of that is mixed together then you take a much larger mixing bowl with two cups of your "instant" pancake mix in it and add the liquid mixture to the party. The crucial part here is not to over mix. Make sure all of the ingredients are combined, but there will be lumps. Lumps are good, they will cook out.

For cooking my pancakes I use a flat cast iron skillet over medium, sometimes low-medium, heat. Once hot I rub the end of a half stick of butter all over and wipe up the excess with a paper towel. The rest of the butter I throw into a small sauce pot on low, but I'll get to that in a moment. I use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to dish out the batter, I find it gives a good size. Then you flip once the bubbles start as normal, usually about a couple of minutes per side.

Now with that butter in the sauce pot... Instead of putting butter on the pancakes at the table I like to use a spoon and drizzle the some melted butter over each flapjack as soon as it's off the griddle. This way the butter penetrates the disc and you get a richer flavor. Hey, I never said these were healthy.

This "instant" mix makes the best tasting pancakes I've ever made. While last night's were rather plain you can spice them up. Sometimes I add some cinnamon to the mix, or some blueberries, chocolate chips or whatever floats your boat. Once I even added some chopped bits of cooked bacon. It was alright, but not as good as I hoped.


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