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!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Dulce de Leche - How Sweet Milk Is!

Our next Sunday brings us to Argentina, the home of dulce de leche.  As I researched pancakes in Argentina, I discovered that Argentinians seem to use dulce de leche on just about any item they can.  I was sort of hoping for a more savory pancake from them, but I guess sweet was what it was going to be.

I must admit that neither Sam nor I are overly fond of dulce de leche.  Don't get me wrong, we love sweets, pastries, cookies, etc.; however, dulce de leche was just something we have never been able to enjoy.  Our lack of enjoyment of this sweet is so bad that we almost decided to skip Argentinian pancakes.  However we sucked up our disappointment and decided to forge ahead with Argentina anyway.

We decided that we should try to make our own dulce de leche.  We hoped that homemade dulce de leche would prove tastier than store bought.  Here is the recipe we used to make dulce de leche:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Pour one 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk into a glass pie tin or shallow baking dish (we used an 8x8 square brownie pan).  Stir in a pinch of sea salt.  Firmly cover with aluminum foil.  Place the dish in a larger dish (we used a 9x13 cake pan, but you could use any oven proof dish that is larger than the container with your sweetened condensed milk).  Put water in the larger dish until it reaches about halfway up the sides of the container with the dulce de leche.  Place everything in the oven for 60-75 minutes.  When it's all cooked up, this is what you'll have:

O.K., after tasting homemade dulce de leche we now understand the Argentinian obsession with it.  This stuff is fantastic!  Sweet, creamy, and smooth are the best words to describe this treat.  You can make the dulce de leche in advance and store it in the refrigerator.  It can be stored there for about 3 months.  If you make it in advance, be sure to warm it in the microwave before serving.

Now that we've got the filling made up, let's move on to the pancake, or rather panqueque as it's called in Argentina,  itself.  It's not as thick as an American pancake, but it's also not as thin as a French crepe.  It actually falls in between as far as thickness goes.  Here's the recipe we used for the actual panqueque:

3 ounces flour (we used our kitchen scale to measure it out, 3 ounces is a little bit less than 3/4 cup)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
5 3/4 fluid ounces of milk
2 fluid ounces of water
butter for frying

Sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl.  I chose to place them all in a bowl and then use a whisk to mix and sift them together.

After sifting together the dry ingredients, beat the eggs slightly in a separate bowl, and then use your whisk to mix them with the dry ingredients. 

Mix the milk and water together, and then slowly add it to your dry ingredients/egg mixture until you have a smooth batter.

After you have a smooth batter, allow the mixture to rest for 30 minutes.

When your batter has rested for 30 minutes, heat a nonstick pan.  We found that the crepe pan worked best for these.  We tried a regular frying pan, but it just didn't seem to work as well.  Also, while the recipe calls for butter for frying, we chose to use olive oil instead.

Using a ladle, pour a thin layer of the batter into the middle of the pan, and swirl it around as you would when making a crepe.

Allow the panqueque to cook on one side until it looks dry, and then flip it to cook briefly on the other side.

Place cooked panqueque on a plate in a warm oven or cover it with a clean, dry towel and continue making until all of the batter is used up.  The amounts used in this recipe made 5 panqueques when using a crepe pan.

Once they're all cooked up, spread some dulce de leche over half of the panqueque and fold or roll.

Since it was Mother's Day on this pancake Sunday, and my mom was joining us for breakfast, we added some mini baked quiches and fruit to the meal.  Even if it's not a special day, you might want to add some sort of protein to help cut down on the sweetness of the panqueques.

We still have about half a jar of dulce de leche that we're trying to figure out what to do with.  If anyone has any ideas, let us know.  Enjoy!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Half Marathon Break

O.K., so Sam says that even though we're behind on blogging, we still have to post about why we skipped a week.  The Sunday following Antigua and Berbuda  we were supposed to make pancakes from Argentina.  The plan was for me to get up early, run in my half marathon, and then come home and have pancakes for breakfast.  We had all of the components for Argentinian pancakes made the night before, so it would be just a matter of minutes to make them on Sunday.

Well, the best laid plans never happen the way they are supposed to.  After my run, I was exhausted.  I expected to be tired, but I thought I'd be O.K. to make the pancakes still.  I knew halfway through the run that I shouldn't even have gone to the race.  I had just come off of a really severe cold (possibly pneumonia), and the run just finished me off for the weekend.  I told Sam that we'd just have to make Argentinian pancakes the following Sunday, and I went home and curled up in bed for the rest of the day.

Sam did get some great shots of me at the finish line though.

Join us for our next post in Argentina!  (Well, Argentina in our kitchen that is)

Antigua and Barbuda - Our first Country that Truly had No Pancakes

So, with the exception of Antarctica (which isn't really a country), Antigua and Barbuda is the second country we've come across that truly doesn't have a pancake recipe.  Anguilla was the first one.  Antigua and Barbuda is an island country teeming with fish recipes, as one would expect from an island country.  However, search as we may, we couldn't find anything resembling pancakes.  We did find a dumpling type of recipe called ducana.  It sounded really yummy, so we decided to attempt to modify the recipe and turn it into a sweet potato pancake.  Go here for the original ducana recipe and pictures, and you'll see why we wanted to modify this into a potato pancake.  Here are the ingredients we used for our modified recipe:

2 sweet potatoes, peeled
1/2 cup of unsweetened, shredded coconut
1 cup of flour
1/4 cup of sugar
3 Tablespoons coconut milk
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

After peeling the sweet potatoes, grate them using a hand grater or food processor.  We chose the food processor.

After shredding the sweet potatoes, mix all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

Now it's time to add the wet ingredients.  First add the coconut milk.

Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and then add them to the mixture.

Here is what the mixture looked like:

Next, fry them in a pan in about 1/4 inch of whatever type of oil you like frying with.  We chose vegetable oil.  Normally we'd use olive oil, but we didn't think the taste of the olive oil would go well with the other ingredients.  You will have to add more cooking oil as you fry because like other potato pancakes, these do absorb quite a bit of oil as you fry them.  Here's a picture of the finished product:

Mmmmmmm, these sure do look yummy!  Unfortunately, they didn't taste as yummy as they looked.  Actually, I should say that the flavor profile was good, it was the texture of these that was off.  Here is how this experiment ended:

We didn't even finish frying them all up, it all ended up in the trash because we couldn't, or rather Sam couldn't since I refused to try a bite after I saw the look on his face, get beyond the yucky texture.  We've decided to try this recipe again, but we're waiting until Chanukah to do so.  We'll modify the recipe further to use only 1/4 cup of flour instead of 1 cup.  We think this will take care of the texture issue. So, if you decide to experiment with this recipe, try it out with only 1/4 cup of flour and let me know how it turns out!

Brrrr . . . it's cold down there!

Next on the list of countries is Antarctica.  To my surprise, they actually do have a cuisine; however, it's mostly the cuisine of whatever country the scientific researchers currently present in the country want.  We contemplated making some of the pancake items we found, but decided it would be better to leave them for each of their respective native countries.  We did learn some interesting tidbits about Antarctica in our research, and thought we'd share them.

  • Technically, Antarctica isn't a country since it has no form of government.
  • The continent can only be used as a scientific and environmental reserve.
  • Antarctica can not, under any circumstances, be used for military purposes.
  • Up to 5000 people live in Antarctica throughout the year.
  • There is a University of Antarctica.  Seriously, we don't think this one is a true fact, but we did run across this website on the university (which we're pretty sure is a complete hoax), which we found amusing to peruse.  Take a look at:  University of Antarctica . According to the website, they serve penguin in the Navoyka Restaurant on campus.