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, April 24, 2012

On Vacation for the Weekend - Seattle Pancakes here we come!

The weekend of April 13th found us in Seattle for the weekend, so we weren't able to make pancakes from a new country this weekend.  However, we did make an effort to eat pancakes on Sunday while we were on our trip.

We ended up at Portage Bay Cafe in Ballard.  We chose this cafe for two reasons:  1)  It had great reviews on Yelp! and a local friend recommended we eat here, and 2)  We had plans to visit the locks in Ballard, so we thought it best to just drive once and eat there.  If you find yourself in Seattle, this was a fantastic place to eat, and they do have locations other than the one in Ballard.

Upon looking at the menu, I opted not to have traditional pancakes, because they had one of my favorite meals on the menu, and it had a little twist to it.  It was the Vegetarian Cannellini Bean Benedict.  I love poached eggs, and I was looking forward to trying them on top of a bean cake instead of the more traditional english muffin.  A bean cake can be considered a pancake, right?  I mean it was fried and all.  It was also topped with mizuna (a type of lettuce that was quite a bit like arugula) and a chimichurri sauce instead of the usual hollandaise sauce.  Here's a picture of my meal:

It was absolutely fantastic!  It was so tasty, I could have eaten this again for lunch and dinner that day.

Sam initially opted for an item off of the specials menu.  It was a version of a Spanish tortilla.  I don't remember exactly what was in it, but I do recall it had some sort of fish mixed into the eggs.  This is what it looked like:

Sam didn't like the way his Spanish tortilla tasted, which is what usually happens when we order a Spanish tortilla here in the states.  For some reason they just don't taste as good here as they do in Spain.  So he changed his order to pancakes of course!  Here is what they looked like:

They don't look like much, but they were quite tasty!  They also had a toppings bar, and eventually Sam wandered over and added some strawberries and whipped cream to his pancakes.  Check them out if you ever happen to be in Seattle.

Portage Bay Cafe

Andorra - A small country in the Pyrenees

Once again I find myself behind on blogging about our pancake adventure, but I am determined to catch up this week.  Thus, here is the first of what I hope will be 4 posts this week. 

So in researching Andorra this week, I learned quite a bit about this tiny country.  The first thing I learned is that it is located in the Pyrenees mountain range between France and Spain.  I will admit, I had no clue there were any countries other than Spain and France in that area.  I also learned that it is the 6th smallest country in Europe, with a land mass of only 181 square miles and a population around 84,000 people.  Given it's location, you can correctly assume that the cuisine in this country is similar to Spanish and French mountain cuisine. 

I think I'm getting better at finding the pancakes for each country, because instead of an hour or so of research, I found the Andorran pancake in about 10 minutes.  It's called a trinxat, and it's made of potatoes, bacon, and cabbage.  Cabbage you say?!?  My first thoughts were yucky!  Seriously, I'm not a huge cabbage fan, raw or cooked.  In fact, I will frequently pick it out of a salad when it's in a salad.  Anyway, as always, I digress.  It took a bit of convincing, both from myself and my husband, to give this a try with the cabbage in it and not just skip Andorra.

Now that I had mentally steeled myself to making trinxat despite the cabbage, let's move on to the recipe.  Here are the ingredients:

1 green cabbage, cored and quartered
1 lb potatoes, peeled and quartered (about 3 medium)
3 strips bacon, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
olive oil
salt, pepper

Of course, I made this vegetarian style, so I substituted fake bacon, as it's called around our house, for real bacon.

This is how I made the trinxat:

First I chopped the cabbage up slightly smaller than quartering it.  I wanted to make sure that it all got cooked and was easily mixed in with the potatoes so that I wouldn't bite into some random large piece of cabbage as I was eating it. 

After chopping the cabbage, peeling the potatoes, and chopping the potatoes, I added them all to a fairly large pot with hot water.  I brought the pot of water to a boil and continued boiling until the potatoes and cabbage were cooked through and mashable.

While the cabbage and potatoes were cooking, I cooked and chopped the fake bacon.

When the potatoes and cabbage are cooked through, use a colander to drain off all of the water.  Then return the potatoes and cabbage to the pot, and with the heat on low and the pot uncovered, continue to heat the potatoes and cabbage so that you can steam most of the excess water off.  If you don't do this, the potato pancake will fall apart during the frying process.  After steaming the excess water, add the garlic, salt, and pepper and mash the cabbage and potatoes together with a potato masher.

When everything is mashed together, you now can make small potato pancakes or one large potato pancake.  We opted to make one large potato pancake.  If you opt for the smaller ones, make sure to mix in the bacon before making them into small rounds that are flat and about 2-3 inches in diameter and fry in oil.  If you opt for the one large potato pancake, spread the bacon and oil in the bottom of a cast iron skillet.  Then press the potato and cabbage mixture over the top.  Cook on the stove until the bottom is brown. 

When the bottom is brown, lightly spray the top with oil and place in the broiler until the top is lightly browned as well.

Now slice it into pieces, garnish with parsley, and eat it.

I will admit this pancake was a bit bland, but it was exactly what I expected after reading up on the cuisine of this mountainous country.  If I were to ever make this again in the future, here are a few tweaks I would make to the recipe:

  1. Use more bacon
  2. Use more garlic, and actually cook the potatoes and cabbage with some of the garlic in the water.
  3. Use a little more parsley and mix into the potato cabbage mixture when I added the garlic.
All in all, this was a tasty and hearty breakfast to start our day.