Breakfast Tuesday (and some breakfast poetry): Spinach Pancakes

October 18, 2011

I understand there’s a fine line between normal, healthy love and crazy, obsession-based love. My feelings toward pancakes tend towards the latter. It means I spend a lot of mornings thinking about pancakes, and a lot of time looking at pancakes in the interwebs, and a lot of time thinking “hey, this would be great in pancakes!” while trying to shop for groceries. So I think about pancakes a lot, and I make pancakes… A LOT. Since I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, however, I rarely make the same recipe twice, so am always looking for pancakes that break the mold, like showcasing an ingredient I never would have thought to put in a pancake.

I came across a recipe for spinach pancakes and, what can I say, it was all I could think about until I got the chance to make them. I could simultaneously pretend my pancakes were healthy because they included some super food AND giggle to myself constantly because I was eating green pancakes. I was so awed by these spinach pancakes I couldn’t figure out how else to express my feelings other than by composing a short poem and dedicating it to all the amazing pancakes out there, those I have tried and have yet to try. I hope you enjoy the fruit of my creative labor this morning. Ahem.

 Pancakes

 Oh pancakes,

I love you all;

Big, medium, or small.

When you’re on my plate,

All you do is wait

Until I’m ready to eat.

Some like you sweet,

And some prefer not,

But it’s always easy to eat a lot.

I’ll lather you with butter,

And you don’t even mutter,

Or I’ll eat you plain,

And still my love won’t wane.

Put your toppings outside or in,

And all you’ll do is grin,

Because pancakes are the best!

Spinach Pancakes

(Recipe found at nytimes.com)

Yields 14 five-inch pancakes

Notes: I decided to puree the spinach for a more uniform texture, but the original recipe calls for chopped spinach, folded into the batter at the end of the process. In terms of ingredients, I added a teaspoon of baking powder, to give the pancakes a little more lift, and an extra tablespoon of granulated sugar because I have an addiction to maintain. You can barely taste the spinach, so I served them with my normal pancake toppings- jam, almonds, butter, and syrup, but if you have a low tolerance for sweet and savory combinations, you can always sauté some mushrooms and serve it with eggs, or roasted squash or pumpkin.

Ingredients:

10 to 12 ounces fresh spinach, washed, or one 10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 to 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 ½ cups buttermilk, or milk mixed with 1 tablespoon vinegar, plus extra for thinning

2 eggs

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

Extra butter for greasing pan

Method:

1. Place washed spinach in a covered saucepan over medium heat, either with just the water that clung to the leaves or, if using pre-washed bagged spinach, with a splash of water. Heat spinach just until it wilts, only a couple of minutes. Drain spinach well and cool to room temperature. Once spinach is cooled, puree in a food processor until smooth.

2. Preheat skillet over medium-low heat.

3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and sugar.

4. In a medium mixing bowl or large liquid measuring cup, combine buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, and spinach puree. Whisk until foamy.

5. Add liquid ingredients to dry and whisk pancake batter until smooth and combined. If batter is super thick, add up to ½ cup milk until mixture reaches desired consistency.

6. Grease preheated skillet and drop batter into pan using a heaping 1/3 cup or large spoon. Cook pancakes for 2 to 4 minutes, until bottom is browned and lots of bubbles appear on the surface. Flip pancake and cook for another minute or two. If necessary, grease skillet between pancakes.

Serve warm, or heated in a 200 degree F oven for no more than 15 minutes. Pancakes will keep in the fridge up to 2 days, or in the freezer up to a month.

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