The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Saturday, April 18th 2020 edition. By: Blaise Doubman
Secret Recipe, Lumpy Batter Pancakes
I have heard from so many of you since my last column was printed. I can tell from the emails and messages that I have been receiving that we are all on edge, uncertain and somewhat anxious. I also get the sense that even though the latest “Stay at Home” orders are aggravating, most all of us are doing what has been called on us to do. We are staying home. I only hope that we continue doing this so that things can get back to somewhat normal sooner rather than later. We are living history! The times we are living in change daily but remember to keep the Faith, remain positive, act smart and breath calmly. My “Ask and Answer” section of this column would be overflowing if I tried to print all of the questions I have gotten within the past couple of weeks regarding any and all things food in these difficult times. I am going to address some of them here in this column and share with all of you a deliciously versatile and simple – not to mention delicious – pancake recipe! First up, lots are wondering the life span of frozen foods and what can and cannot be frozen. Just about anything can be frozen aside from things that have a high-water content and things that are creamy. Examples? Celery, cucumbers, lettuce, raw potatoes, salad greens, lemons, limes, watermelons, soft cheeses, cottage cheese, custards, eggs in shells, sour cream, mayonnaise and salad dressings are all on the do not freeze list. Fried foods also top the list because they turn soggy. As far as a time frame on frozen foods, raw cuts of meat such as roasts and steaks can last anywhere from 4-12 months. Ground beef can last anywhere from 3-4 months. Hot dogs, lunch meat and bacon are safe for 2 months. There is an excellent resource online found at “The Old Farmer’s Almanac” that has specific food listings and freezing guidelines. Visit their website and search “freezer storage times”.
Some other tips and suggestions I wanted to share here with everyone are food substitutions. If a recipe calls for unsalted butter and you only have salted butter, use what you have! Just adjust the salt for taste throughout the recipe. Same goes for milk. If you only have almond milk, soy milk, etc. and the recipe calls for “milk”, use what you have. At this point in time, with the times we are living in, experimenting in the kitchen shouldn’t just be a hobby at this point but a necessity. Make your own pasta sauce by cooking onion and garlic together and then crushing and cooking your own tomatoes and add in olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper to taste. If you have eggs about to go bad, do not toss but instead boil them for boiled eggs, deviled eggs, or even egg salad. Dig around in your pantry and really try and use what you have. My general rule is if the food you find looks funny or smells funny, toss it. Also remember foods that have a “best by” date is good by that date. If the food has a “sell by date” it means the food needs to be sold by that date in the store but is generally good for several days after. The recipe I am sharing here today is very versatile and perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Remember the secret to this recipe is to keep the lumps in the batter so be careful not to overmix.
Lumpy Batter Pancakes
Feel free to add in your favorite flavors to this recipe! Adding some ground cinnamon, pecans, almond extract, chocolate chips, blueberries, raspberries, sliced bananas or even diced apples would be fabulous additions!
2 cups white all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons white granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups whole milk
Start by adding the white all-purpose flour, white granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together with a wire whisk to blend and remove any lumps.
In a large measuring cup whisk together the vegetable oil, large eggs, pure vanilla extract and whole milk until combined thoroughly.
Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently fold together, being very careful not to overmix the batter. You want the batter to be lumpy!
If using right away, allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
If using later, pour into a container with a lid and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Spray a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Place over medium-high heat.
Once the skillet has preheated, about 4 minutes, use a ¼ cup measuring cup and measure out the batter, placing the batter into the skillet carefully. Depending on the size of your skillet, you should do 3-4 pancakes at a time, being careful not to overcrowd the pan.
Once the pancakes start to develop bubbles on the tops, it is time to flip them. This should take anywhere from 5-6 minutes. Be patient and careful. You want the outsides lightly golden brown and the insides light and fluffy.
Carefully flip them over and cook another 2-3 minutes.
Remove the pancakes from the skillet, wipe the skillet clean with a paper towel, spray the skillet with non-stick cooking spray and start the process over until you have used all the batter.
Serve warm with butter and syrup.
Ask and Answer: I have heard from so many of you since my last column, asking about ingredient substitutions, meal plans and food preservation. I hope I have addressed more of your questions in my column this week and given you some different ideas that you can share in your own home. Please keep writing me on my contact page at trailblaise.com/contact and I will be happy to answer any and all questions that you may have for me. Thank you.