Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cornmeal Pancakes

I have been thinking about making cornmeal pancakes for a couple of months.  I have looked at a lot of recipes, but it was never quite right.  Recently I saw a recipe in the New York Times for Cornmeal Pancakes with Vanilla and Pine Nuts (I was going to link you to the original recipe but apparently it is behind the Pay Wall at the New York Times so sorry, it was the January 14, 2011 issue).  Wow that sounded great. I gave it a try, and tweeket is a bit.  What I ended up with is a nutty slightly crunch tasty easy to make pancke.  I have been enjoying these pancakes with blueberries, powdered sugar and lemon juice. My kids like them with honey, but I think they would be great with a savory topping, maybe poached eggs. 

When cooking this pancake there are a couple of things to note; First the pancake does not have bubbles that form and then solidify like normal pancakes, so it is a little bit tricky to tell when it is done.  It is done when it is not sticking to the pan anymore. If you try to flip it and it is sticking let it cook more.  Second, it is important to let the boiling water sit on the pancakes (it is absorbed almost immediately but let it sit anyway) this precooks the cornmeal a little bit and makes the pancakes a little bit like polenta.

Cornmeal Pancakes  
1 1/2 cups fine or medium cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 3/4 cup cup milk, (when I make this it usually ends up being 3/4 cup and the batter is still pretty thick)
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil, plus more for frying
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Honey, for serving. 

1.Combine the cornmeal, salt and 1 1/2 cups boiling water in a bowl and let it sit until the cornmeal absorbs the water and softens, 5 minutes. Heat skillet.
2. Stir in the milk, a little at a time, until the batter is spreadable but still thick. Stir in 2 tablespoons oil, and the vanilla.
3.  When the skillet is hot (a few drops of water dance on its surface)  add a thin film of oil (maybe 2 teaspoons) and let it become hot. Spoon out the batter. Cook until bubbles form on the top and burst and the underside is golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes; turn and cook on the other side until golden. Serve Hot.

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