Sunday, March 28, 2010

buttermilk whole wheat pancakes with strawberry maple syrup

I haven't been doing much post-worthy cooking lately. We are in the middle of moving: we got the keys to our new house (our new old house, I should say - it was built in 1950!) last week. JR and I are ecstatic to have a place that is truly ours.

Currently, the painters are working their magic inside (while I can appreciate the probably unintentional nod to Husky pride, the purple and yellow rooms need to be neutralized!), so we've been trying to stay out of their way. We've been packing and moving boxes filled with the items we can live without for the next week or so to the garage of the new place. Yesterday, I started what I thought would be a little project outside yesterday that has led to me excavating about 30% of the backyard. My body is sore and there is dirt under my fingernails, but my visions of the vegetable garden that will soon be growing there are keeping me motivated.

As you can imagine, the moving and house-related projects haven't left a lot of time for cooking. I've been doing a bit here and there, augmented with takeout. This morning, I found myself wide-awake at 7am. Too early for Home Depot (yes, we've quickly become one of those couples), so I decided to make breakfast.

I've never made pancakes from scratch before. But now that I realize the simplicity of ingredients that goes into them, I'm wondering why pancake mixes even exist. The only ingredient we didn't have on hand was any sort of milk product. I was looking through what we did have to see if I could make it work: about 1/2 c. soy milk, 1/4 c. half and half that JR uses for his coffee, or a can of lite coconut milk (which did get me thinking about some sort of coconut macadamia pancakes...might try that next time). But JR was willing to run to the store, so I had him pick up some buttermilk.

The following recipe is inspired by one from 101 cookbooks. The original recipe calls for blueberries, which aren't in season here quite yet, so I substituted frozen strawberries, which worked beautifully (and helped with my goal of emptying the freezer). The perfect fuel for another busy day! Here's what I did:

Buttermilk Whole Wheat Pancakes with Strawberry Maple Syrup
Serves 2

1 1/2 c. frozen strawberries
1/4 c. pure maple syrup
1 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. natural sugar (I used raw cane sugar)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 c. buttermilk
1 large egg
1 Tbsp. melted butter (melt it in the pan in which you'll cook the pancakes), plus more for pan and to serve

Put the frozen strawberries in a small pot over medium heat. Cook until fully defrosted and beginning to break down. Add maple syrup. Simmer 5 minutes. Use a potato masher to break up strawberries. Reduce heat to low and simmer until desired consistency.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, and melted butter. Pour wet ingredients into flour mixture, mixing until just combined.

Heat skillet with a little butter over medium heat. The pan is ready when a drop of water sizzles. Add pancake batter 1/3 c. at a time. Cook 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Serve pancakes topped with strawberry maple syrup.

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