"No matter what happens in the kitchen, never apologize." - Julia Child

Monday, September 21, 2009

Olive oil pancakes and brown sugar bacon

I love pancakes, and nothing says "It's the weekend, sleep till 11 and stay in your jammies all day" more than a stack of pancakes with a cup of coffee. The fabulous Jose Andres has a recipe for olive oil pancakes in his book Made in Spain that are positively delicious.

I will admit that this Sunday was the second time I'd made them but the first time I'd made them properly. The first time I got halfway through the recipe before realizing that he calls for buttermilk, not milk, so I fudged and used soy milk. They were all right but nothing fabulous. But the buttermilk really makes a difference! Don't skimp: do it right!

These pancakes are soft, fluffy, and almost creamy-textured. The olive oil taste is light but lovely. Definitely give them a try. (Seriously, it's not that hard to put together a good basic pancake batter, so kick that box of pancake mix to the curb and DIY. SO tasty!) Jose recommends serving these pancakes with honey, which I did, and which was a great accompaniment.

Olive Oil Pancakes by Jose Andres
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons best-quality olive oil, preferably Spanish, plus more for frying
  • 1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate, preferably Spanish

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk in the egg, buttermilk and 2 tablespoons olive oil until the batter is smooth, then stir in the chocolate pieces.

2. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-low heat. Ladle one-fourth cup of the pancake batter into the pan and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip the pancake with a spatula and cook until golden brown on the second side, 1 to 2 more minutes. Place the pancakes in a warm oven until all are cooked and ready to serve. Repeat with the remaining batter, adding more olive oil to the pan as needed.

Here is a video of Jose making the pancakes!

TIP: I know pancakes can be tricky--my first attempt at them resulted in a lot of burnt pancakes, some completely blackened, and a lot of smoke, and maybe 2 edible pancakes in the whole lot. The trick is to keep the heat very low, and to remember that the first pancakes you make will take longer to cook than the pancakes after them. This is because the pan or griddle will get progressively hotter, so always count on the first pancakes to take longer than subsequent pancakes, and don't use the cooking time of the first ones to gauge the cooking time of the rest of them. You may need to regrease your cooking surface at some point during your cooking process.

Flipping pancakes can also be a messy and agonizing process. An easy way to tell if they're ready to flip is to observe the edges of the pancake. If there are a few tiny bubbles forming along the edges and the edges seem to have taken on almost a filmy-looking quality (like it looks a little more solid than the liquidy center of the pancake), you are ready. I'm not describing this very well but you'll know it when you see it. Slide the spatula under the pancake (I wiggle it gently to get as much of the pancake on the spatula as possible) and flip quickly. The trick to not making a battery mess is to keep the pancake as close to the pan's surface as possible. Keeping your finished pancakes inside of a casserole dish with a cover will keep them warm until you serve them. Some people recommend keeping them stacked on a cooking sheet inside a low-heat oven, but I find my casserole dish improvisation works just as well. Pancakes cook quickly, so the time between cooking and serving them isn't huge.


I haven't tried this recipe personally yet, but a friend of mine just served this bacon recently at a bridal shower brunch and it was so good all of us had seconds. The baking method for the bacon is better than just frying it in a pan, or so I've heard. I'd line the baking sheet with foil before adding the wire rack, to make clean up that much easier. (Just lift out the greasy foil, voila!)

Gina's Brown Sugar Bacon 

  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound thick-cut bacon, 8 slices

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix brown sugar, cayenne, and black pepper together in a medium bowl. Add bacon and toss.

Line a baking sheet with a wire rack and lay bacon on the rack. Pat any remanding spice mixture on the bacon. Put the baking sheet on the top rack of the oven and bake until crisp, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven to a serving dish and let cool slightly before serving.



Raquelle said...

oohh very exotic! I like how adventurous you are with food Raquel. I would do the sign of the cross with my fingers and run for the hills. But you get excited and go for it! Go Raquel!

I love pancakes but they don't like me. I had pancakes yesterday for lunch and was subsequently knocked out for the rest of the day. I only came-to this morning.

I use Extra Light Olive Oil (not EVOO) in all my baking. For some reason, it just makes all my desserts soft and moist mmmmm... I hardly ever use canola or corn oil these days.

Are you on Twitter?

Raquel said...

Oh, I love your suggestion for baking with olive oil! I'll have to try using the extra light in my next baking recipe that calls for oil.

I'm not on Twitter, sadly. :( I have been resisting, mostly because I can't fathom yet another technological distraction in my life!