Welcome to Our Pancake Blog

Welcome to Our Pancake Blog!

So, what does a married couple with no children and free time do? Why think of creative ways to eat of course. So begins the Around the World in Pancake Sundays project.

One day while eating pancakes made from sprouted wheat and chocolate chips, we started talking about how fun it would be to eat a different type of pancake each Sunday. I know, you must be stuck on the whole sprouted wheat pancakes. I'm sure many are thinking eeeeewwww, sounds yucky right now. However, they are actually quite tasty. We were given our first taste of them by a friend last New Year's Eve (well, technically the morning after New Year's Eve). We were so enamored of them that we went searching for our own sprouted wheat to make some for ourselves a couple of months later.

O.K., enough digressing. While eating the above mentioned pancakes, the conversation started about eating a different type of pancake each Sunday. We began to wonder if we could find a different type of pancake for each Sunday for a whole year. So we set ourselves the challenge of finding a unique pancake recipe to try out each Sunday.

We continued to talk about this idea for the next couple of weeks. We started thinking about how most cultures actually have their own versions of pancakes. This led us to try to find a pancake from each country in the world. We finally began our project last Sunday, and decided to chronicle it here in this blog.

So welcome to our pancake blog, we hope you enjoy it as much as we are sure to enjoy making and eating them! Heck, we hope you make some and enjoy them too!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Mmmmm, mmmmmm, good - Bolivia

We found ourselves visiting the country of Bolivia last Sunday, and on our visit, we had at last arrived in a country where it was relatively easy to find a pancake recipe.  Initially Sam found one that called for flour and eggs, but the proportions seem to be off on this recipe for a pancake, as it looked more like a quiche in the picture that we saw.   We opted for making the Bolivian rice pancake called a torreja.  We found two separate websites that described how they got these recipes either from visiting Bolivia or from someone who was from Bolivia, so we felt pretty confident that torrejas were an actual Bolivian pancake.  As we looked at the pictures of torrejas, they reminded us A LOT of latkes; however, the taste and texture were much different once we bit into them.

So here we go with our Bolivian pancake journey.  To make torrejas you'll need:

1 cup rice (make sure it's freshly cooked rice and not rice leftover from dinner the night before)
1 large carrot, shredded
5 or 6 green onions
1/2 cup shredded cheese (any good melting cheese. We use cheddar)
1 egg
Salt and pepper, to taste
1-1 1/2 teaspoon crushed oregano
2/3 cup of water
Flour, as needed

The first thing you'll need to to is cook the rice in the usual manner.   You should end up with 2 cups total once the rice has been cooked.  We used Basmati rice because that's what he happened to have in the house; however, I'm sure you can use whatever rice you have available to make these.

While the rice is cooking, shred the cheese, and peel and shred the carrot.  We used the fine side on a box shredder to do this.

For some reason we decided to take several pictures of the pile of shredded carrots.  I couldn't decide which one I liked the best to include in the blog, so I decided to just put them all in.  Now you get to see all of them!  (Yeah, we're sometimes weird like that and take lots of random pictures of silly things).

The rice should be finished cooking by now, so turn off the heat and set it aside as you finish preparing the other ingredients.  Chop the onion.  I accidentally threw out the green onions we bought especially for this recipe because I thought they were old onions when I cleaned out the refrigerator.  So we ended up using a yellow onion instead.  Mix the cheese, onion, and carrot in a large bowl and set aside.

 Now beat the egg in a bowl with 2/3 cup of water. 

Add flour to this egg/water mixture until you get a thick waffle like batter.  We added a little bit more than 3/4 of a cup, but not quite a full cup of flour.

At this point in time you can add the salt, pepper, and oregano to you flour/egg/water mixture.  Now you're ready to mix everything together.  Put the rice in the large bowl that has your carrots, onions, and cheese.  Then add the flour/water/egg mixture and stir until you have a sticky mixture.

Now you're ready to fry up your torrejas.  Heat your favorite oil in a frying pan.  Once it is hot, spoon heaping tablespoons of the mixture into the oil and flatten to a pancake shape.

Fry them until they are golden brown on both sides.

When they're golden brown on both sides, remove from the oil and allow the excess oil to drain off.  We used a cooling rack over a cookie sheet to do this.

Finish cooking until all of the "batter" is used up.  We tried one of these after we let it cool for just a couple of minutes, and then we ate another one after it had cooled for about 7 minutes.  I will say that these had much more flavor after they had been allowed to cool.  We had some leftover shredded cheese, so I decided to top mine with the leftover cheese.  I added some additional black pepper as well, since I'm a bit of a pepper freak.

These things were really good!  They were nice and crispy and had and interesting texture to them.  I had to make myself stop eating them or else I probably would have eaten 10 at one sitting.  We stored the leftovers in a container in the refrigerator, and they have reheated nicely in a toaster oven set to 375 degrees.  They aren't quite as crispy as they were originally, but they still crisped up enough and had the same great flavor.  I imagine you could probably freeze them and get the same result as well.  Tonight for dinner I topped a couple of them with some fried eggs, and they were fantastic at catching the runny yolk as I cut into it!  If you like latkes, you'll definitely like these; so give them a try!

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