Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Spanish Garlic Shrimp (Gambas al Ajillo) – Top of the Tapas

If you ever find yourself in a Spanish restaurant, and they don’t have some version of this garlic shrimp recipe on the menu, immediately get up from your table, and leave. This would be the equivalent of a French bistro that doesn’t serve steak frites. What about vegetarian Spanish restaurants and French bistros? That’s a trick question, since those aren’t a thing.

Anyway, the point here is that every Spanish restaurant serves this, and for very good reasons. It’s fast to make, gorgeous to look at, and, if you’re into garlic, one of the most delicious things you’ll ever eat. Just be sure to use nice fresh, frozen shrimp. Allow me to explain.

Unless you live in a few choice locations, it’s rare to find true fresh shrimp at the market. All they do is thaw some frozen, and put it in the case, where it sits until you buy it, which is why it really makes a lot more sense to purchase frozen. Of course, not all frozen shrimp is created equal, so I encourage you to research the best sources, but the point is you don’t want something already thawed.

Speaking of which, I thaw mine by running cold water into the bowl of frozen shrimp, let it sit for about 10 minutes, before draining, and repeating once more. After that it should be fully thawed, at which point the shrimp can be drained, and prepped.

The last tip I’ll give, is to make sure you have all your ingredients together before you head to the stove, since start to finish, this only takes minutes to complete. This is another reason it’s so great for a party, since you can prep everything ahead of time, and finish it whenever you’re ready to serve. But, whether you feature this at a party, or not, I really do hope you give this amazing Spanish garlic shrimp recipe a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 2 Spanish Garlic Shrimp Portions:
1 pound peeled and *deveined shrimp (look for the 21-25 per pound size or larger)
kosher salt to taste
1 teaspoon hot, smoked paprika, optional
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves peeled garlic, slice thin
2 tablespoons dry sherry wine (or white wine and a pinch of sugar)
1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley

* This video from Allrecipes shows how to properly devein shrimp

Friday, June 15, 2018

Beet-Cured Salmon Gravlax – Easier and Slower Than You Think

Even though I only do it once every few years or so, making salmon gravlax at home is a fun weekend project, and with very little effort, you can produce some very impressive results. I’ve always done this with the traditional fresh dill sprigs, but after enjoying a beet-stained version at Plaj, I decided to try my hand. And, also stain my hand.

If you’re just doing a small tail piece like I did, these times and measurements should get you close to what you see here, but if you're feeling adventurous, and want to do something larger, then you may have to do some research for techniques that work better when doing a thicker piece of fish.

Those slightly more complicated methods involve turning, draining, and basting, to account for a longer curing time. So what I’m trying to say is, you can avoid all that by just doing a smaller piece, which, unless you’re hosting a large party, should be plenty. Speaking of large parties, and the litigious people that sometime attend them, please be sure to get your salmon from a reliable source.

I think a brick works great for a press, but anything that weighs a few pounds would be fine, as long as it’s large, and flat enough to distribute the weight evenly. A book with a few cans of soup on it would do the trick. Regardless of how you press yours, once unwrapped, sliced, and served on a toasted bagel, I think you’ll agree it was worth the wait. So, I really do hope you give this gravlax technique a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 6 to 10 ounces of Gravlax:
8 to 12 ounce tail section of fresh salmon with skin on (scaled)
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup white sugar
cayenne and/or freshly ground black pepper to taste
enough grated beet and/or fresh dill springs to thickly cover fish

- Press with something heavy, and let cure in fridge for 1 1/2 days, or until salmon is firm, and translucent when sliced. You can carefully unwrap, and poke to test, and then rewrap, and let cure longer if need be.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Bourbon Pepper Pan Sauce – Learning a Skill That Always Thrills

Mastering pan sauces is one the easiest things a home cook can do to raise their culinary game, since it allows one to produce dishes most people only see in restaurants. And not just any restaurants. The really good ones.

By the way, if you’re still looking for a Father’s Day gift, a nice bottle of bourbon, with a little splash going to finish a home-cooked steak, would make quite the one-two punch of manly goodness. And, even if your dad isn’t a sitcom stereotype, who doesn’t enjoy a well-executed pan sauce?

If you’re making this for meat that’s coming off a grill, you can still do the sauce separately, and just keep it warm until the main course is ready. Start with the sautéing garlic in butter step, and finish as shown. Of course, you’ll have to add some coarsely ground black pepper to the sauce, but that’s about the only adjustment.

Like I said in the video, this sauce’s rich, sweet, peppery flavor profile also works wonderfully with pork chops, and grilled chicken. You can also switch up the Bourbon for another liquor, since this really is just a technique video. Regardless of what you use, or what you serve it with, I really do hope you give this great pan sauce a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for two portions:
1 clove minced garlic, sautéed in 1 teaspoon butter
1 ounce bourbon
1/2 cup chicken broth or veal stock
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons cold butter
salt and cayenne to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Friday, June 8, 2018

Frangipane Tart – Have Your Cake and Eat Pie Too

Not only is this simple frangipane tart a perfect way to enjoy fresh summer fruit, but it’s also great for those times when you can’t decide whether you want cake or pie. This sort of seems like both to me, and unlike many fancy looking pastries, this one is not at all complicated to make.

Even made free form, with pieced together leftover puff pastry, this was a fairly simple operation. As I mentioned, most people use pie dough for this, and if you do, simply follow the exact same procedure for the pre-baking. Once whatever crust you’re using is baked about halfway, and cooled, it’s ready to fill, top with fruit and bake.

Another great reason to make this is that there’s a good chance one of your guests will ask you which bakery this came from, which will give you the opportunity to say, “Bakery? No, I made this.” But say it really casually, like it was no big thing. This travels well, so don’t be afraid to fish for compliments with this at the next picnic. Either way, I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for Fresh Fruit Frangipane Tart:

For the filling:
1 1/2 tablespoons soft butter
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon white sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup almond flour, or very finely-ground blanched almonds
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

For the tart:
enough puff pasty or pie dough for a 9 or 10 inch shallow tart pan
enough fresh fruit to do the job

For the glaze:
3 tablespoons apricot jam 
2 teaspoons water
Bring to a boil in small pan or microwave. Let cool to just warm before brushing on.

- Pre-bake pastry shell at 400 F. for 15 minutes or until it starts to get golden-brown.
- Fill, top, and bake at 375 F. for 30-40 minutes, or until browned and the almond filling is set.
.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Whole Chicken Pie – Finally, a Great Pie with Bones

There’s a restaurant up the street that serves a whole chicken wrapped in brioche, and ever since I saw it, I’ve wanted to do that video. I’ve never actually had it, since it’s $100, and you have to order it a day in advance. I love chicken, but I think I’ll save my hundred dollar bills for more sensible things, like lighting Cuban cigars.

Anyway, I was planning on doing a bread-wrapped bird, when I saw a photo for what looked like a pie crust wrapped chicken. Suddenly, I remembered doing something similar in culinary school, except they made us call the pie dough, “pate brisee,” for some reason, but same idea. That’s when plans changed, and the brioche went bye bye.

When bread’s used, you usually have to peel the soft, flabby skin off before enjoying the meat, but that’s not as big an issue here. Pie crust doesn’t insulate nearly as well, and so the skin gets cooked more thoroughly. This was very noticeable on the breasts, where the skin and crust fused together into some sort of marvelous hybrid. The thicker skin around the thighs didn’t render out quite as well, but even if you do pull off the skin, the meat is moist, tender, and very flavorful.

If you use a 3 1/2 pound chicken for this, then the roasting/resting time should work out, but if your bird is larger, you’ll have to add more time, and should probably use a thermometer to check your work. By the way, this is a technique video, and everything from the stuffing, to the pan sauce ingredients should be adapted to your tastes, but no matter what you use, I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


*This was inspired by the chicken photo from this article about Chef Barbara Lynch.
Ingredients for One Whole Chicken Pie:
1 whole chicken, between 3 1/4 and 3 1/2 pounds
kosher salt as needed
1 recipe buttercrust pastry dough (this was just barely enough)
1 egg beaten with 2 teaspoon of water

For the veggie stuffing:
1/2 yellow onion, small dice
1 small carrot, small dice
1/2 rib celery, small dice
1 to 2 tablespoons minced rosemary or other fresh herb
kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and cayenne to taste
2 teaspoons olive oil

For the sauce (this is for 4 portions, I only made 2):
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup veggies from inside chicken (pull out while chicken rests, but replace the crust)
salt to taste
2/3 cup white or rose wine
1/3 cup pan drippings and/or splash of stock
4 tablespoons cold butter cut in cubes
Note: This is a rich butter sauce, but a gravy, so you only get a few tablespoons

Friday, June 1, 2018

Homemade Italian Sausage – I Was the Uncle Bill of My Slow Casing Fill

The last time I remember making sausage was with my Uncle Billy many years ago, who was doing his famous dried Italian sausage for Christmas Eve. By the way, I said “making,” but for the record I actually meant mostly watching. Anyway, this fresh version is inspired by those, and while we loved how they came out, I’m kicking myself for not saving a few to dry. That’s how Uncle Bill did them, and they’d be fried after Midnight Mass, and served on bread with roasted red peppers. 

They were incredible, and one of my earliest and most vivid food memories. If you’re going to make your own sausage on a regular basis, you’ll want to get a little more professional sausage-making set-up than I suffered through here.

It did the job, but was slow, even after I figured out what was holding me up. You can also grind meat in a food processor, and there are plenty of videos out there showing how, but then you’ll have to get a sausage stuffer. Speaking of videos, I know I said I’d try to find a link to a more detailed demo using better equipment, but just head over to YouTube and watch literally any other sausage video. Besides, the actual recipe is the hard part.

For a little nicer flavor, you can toast the fennel seeds in a dry pan just until you begin to smell them. This goes for any other whole spices you may want to grind and toss in. Also, if you can manage not to eat them right away, I think letting them dry for a day or two really deepens the flavor, and firms up the texture as well. So, with a wink heavenward to Uncle Billy, I'll close by saying, I really do hope you give these homemade Italian sausages a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for about 8 to 10 Italian Sausages:
3 pounds pork shoulder
28 grams kosher salt (1 ounce)
4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons whole fennel seed, toasted
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon anise seed
2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice berries
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 tablespoons cold water

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Grain-Free Butter Bread – Going Full Keto

I've always wanted to try making one of these grain-free loaves, and since I've received tons of food wishes for it, I decided to finally give it a go. I very slightly adapted this recipe from one I found at Keto Connect, where they call it the “Best Keto Bread.” Since I basically stole their recipe, I decided not to take their name too, and went with the hopefully appetizing sounding, grain-free butter bread.

Here is the link to the original recipe, and I welcome you to check it out, since they give a lot of tips, as well as other variations, but I did change the technique somewhat. They used a food processor to mix in all the egg whites, whereas I finished by folding. Not sure how big a difference it makes, but I do like to occasionally use a few things I learned in culinary school.

While I really did enjoy this, and it was much more bread-like than I had anticipated, please be sure to manage your expectations appropriately. Without wheat flour and yeast, it’s impossible to get a true bread taste and texture, but if you’re off carbs, and have been dreaming about a nice slice of buttered toast with your eggs, this is well worth a try.

It has a subtle egginess, and faint almond flavor, but overall it’s relatively neutral, and the texture is reminiscent of an extra moist, and spongy white bread. If you wanted to run with my strawberry shortcake idea, you could add a spoon of sugar to the batter, and you’d just be some whipped cream away from a pretty decent, low-carb treat. Either way, I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for one loaf:
1 1/2 cup fine ground almond flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine salt
1/4 cup melted butter
6 large egg yolks
6 large egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

- Bake at 375 F. for about 30 minutes

Friday, May 25, 2018

Grilled Root Beer Beef – Almost as Good as an Ice Cream Float

I’ve used something very close to this root beer marinade for lamb several times, and had great success, so I’ve been eager to try it with some skewered beef, which didn’t come out quite as well, but could have. Please, let me explain.

Since lamb has a stronger, “gamier” taste, the sweetness of this treatment works perfectly, but I thought it was a little too much for the beef. So, below in the ingredients list, I've made a few adjustments to the honey amount, as well as acidity level.

The beauty of a recipe like this is they’re very easy to adapt, and I’m not just talking about the pre-grill soak, but also the glaze we make with the extra marinade. Once reduced to something thick enough to coat our meat, you’ll want to taste it, and adjust with more heat, sweet, sour, or whatever else you think it needs. One thing mine definitely needed was more salt. I thought the soy was going to be enough, but I should have salted my skewers before they hit the grill, and/or add some salt to the marinade.

Adjustments aside, if you enjoy things like sweet/hot barbecue sauces, bourdon glazes, or even something like teriyaki, you will probably very much enjoy this. Even if you don’t use the marinade, I really loved the technique we used for the flank, which would work beautifully no matter how you flavor this. Either way, I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 skewers/portions:
1 whole flank steak (about 1 1/2 pounds)
For the marinade
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
2 tablespoons ketchup
honey, optional (I used 2 tablespoons, but would omit next time)
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons white or cider vinegar (I didn't add, but it needed it)
1 bottle (12 ounces) good quality root beer
kosher salt to season skewers generously

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Celery Sorbet – It Only Sounds Crazy

If you set out to make an ice cream or sorbet from a vegetable, celery wouldn’t be your first choice, but nevertheless, these unremarkable ribs produce a shockingly delicious frozen treat. And, I said “frozen treat,” instead of dessert for a reason, since this has as many savory applications as sweet ones.

The first time I ever had something like this, it was used to garnish a plate of salmon gravlax. It was presented next to the cold, cured fish, on a pile of crispy rye breadcrumbs, and the combination of tastes, textures, and temperatures truly was incredible. After that meal, I promised myself I’d figure out how to make this stuff no matter how long, or many failed attempts it took. Luckily, Mark Bittman had already posted a recipe for it in the Times, so I ended up nailing it on the first try, but still, promise kept.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, there are like a hundred hacks online for how to do this without one, or you can simply use the method highlighted in our strawberry granite video, which will produce something closer in texture to a snow cone, but amazing nonetheless. No matter what you use, I really do hope you give this very unusual, but absolutely delicious celery sorbet a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 6 portions:
1 pound (after trimming) sliced celery
1 cup white sugar
1 cup cold water
pinch of salt (I used 1/8 teaspoon)
1 lime, juiced

Friday, May 18, 2018

Fried Cheese Egg Toast – The Breakfast of Champions (In a Rut)

I’m not sure what your usual breakfast routine entails, but chances are you occasionally get bored with it, and crave something completely different, and when that happens, it doesn’t get much more different than this fast, and easy fried cheese egg toast. Be careful though, since afterwards it’s not easy going back to that bowl of oatmeal.

While pan-frying cheese may not sound particularly healthy, as it caramelizes, it gives up a fair amount of butter fat, which stays behind in the pan. So, you could actually spin this technique as a new, fat-reducing hack – unless you use that to butter the toast, which isn’t a dumb idea.

By the way, I hope you like your yolks runny, since if you don’t, this is not going to be nearly as great. Which reminds me, why do people not like runny yolks? What’s not to like? I hope they don’t think they’re dangerous, because they’re not. Anyway, if you are a fan of the flow, this fried cheese egg toast is the way to go, so I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for one Fried Cheese Egg Toast:
1 ounce grated cheddar cheese
pinch red pepper flakes
1 large egg
1 piece of toast
sliced green onions to garnish
pinch of salt

*Note: For best results, rub your non-stick pan with a few drops of olive oil

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Barbarian Beef – Our Oldest Recipe Yet

Ever since I saw Alton Brown grilling skirt steak on hot coals, I’ve wanted to try this technique for a larger hunk of meat, but it was the realization that no one had yet called a recipe “barbarian beef,” that provided the final push. 

By the way, I did no historical research, but I assume your average barbarian was too busy pillaging to lug a grill around, and just cooked their meat right on the coals. So, for the purposes of this post, that's the story we'll be going with.

I used top round for this, and if you’re just going to slice it thin, and make sandwiches it’s fine, but now that I have a little experience, I’d like to try it with a tenderer cut. No matter what you use, you’ll want to take it off a few degrees under whatever your regular internal temp target is, since it definitely continues to cook after you take it off the coals.

It’ll depend on the size/shape of your cut, but use a thermometer to check, as the temp will probably climb by at least 10 degrees. Above and beyond doneness, the flavor of the beef really was great. Very similar to something off a grill, but with a little bit deeper level of smokiness. Even if you don’t cook your steak on the coals, the sauce was quite nice, and comes highly recommended, but officially, I really do hope you give both a try soon. Enjoy!


For the Sauce:
4 cloves garlic
1 Fresno chili pepper, or other fresh hot pepper
2 teaspoons rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil

Friday, May 11, 2018

Chocolate Granola – Take That, Count Chocula!

I know chocolate granola sort of sounds like candy, but introducing cocoa into the mix not only makes it delicious, it also actually makes it better for you! Possibly. No one is really sure. The point is this really tastes great, and would make a wonderful treat for the chocolate lover, mother or otherwise, in your life.

I showed amazing restraint not adding anything more that oatmeal and almonds, since I really think that’s the best plan for the chocolate base, but I would have no problem with you accessorizing this as you see fit. Coconut flakes are an obvious choice, as are other usual suspects like dried fruit, any and all nuts, and assorted seeds.

If you want a stickier granola, that will more easily clump together, you can up the brown sugar and maple syrup a bit, as I used the bare minimum in this recipe, but I think it’s plenty sweet enough, especially if you’re a fan of dark chocolate.

Speaking of chocolate, I used Guittard’s Cocoa Rouge, a Dutch-process cocoa, which has a lower acidity than regular cocoa, and works perfectly flavor-wise. However, I’ve heard that type of cocoa doesn’t retain as much of the nutritional value, due to the way it’s processed. The good news is, any high-quality cocoa will work here.

By the way, I was only half-kidding about making this for someone, and then keeping it all for yourself, so best play it safe, and make a double, or triple batch. No matter how much you make, or what you add in, I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!



Makes about 3 1/2 cups of Chocolate Granola:
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon fine salt)
pinch of cayenne
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (Dutch-processed if possible)
2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup chopped almonds

- Mix, and bake at 250 F. for about an hour, or until as crunchy/chewy as you like.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Madame Cristo, I Presume

I was attempting to do a little twist on the venerable Croque Madame, by soaking the toast in a custard batter before frying, instead of topping it with the usual white sauce, but when I’d finished, I realized what I really had created was a Monte Cristo with a poached egg on top. These things will happen.

It was amazingly delicious, but I decided it wasn’t close enough to call a Croque Madame, which is when I turned to Twitter for help. This is never a good idea, but this time it totally worked out, as some dude who goes by the name, Zap Shakur (@zapshakur), suggested I go with “Madame Cristo,” and the rest is history.

If you’re just making one or two, feel free to poach your eggs right before the sandwiches are done, but for larger parties, you’ll want to check out this poached egg video, which shows a great make-ahead method for serving multiple poached eggs at the same time. This is exactly how it’s done in restaurants, where cooking to order would be virtually impossible.

If you are feeding a larger group, you can make your sandwiches ahead, and then just keep them in a warm oven, until you're ready to top with the poached eggs. But, whether you’re making this for two or twenty, I really do hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 2 Madame Cristos:
4 slices white bread, lightly toasted
8 thin slices of Gruyere, Swiss, Cheddar, Havarti, or any other melting cheese
4 ounces thinly sliced honey baked ham or similar meat product
2 tablespoons butter for pan frying
2 poached or fried eggs to top
chives to garnish

For the egg batter:
2 large eggs
5 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
pinch of nutmeg and cayenne
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

Friday, May 4, 2018

The Perfect Margarita, According to Me

Mastering the Margarita requires a certain amount of practice, which is the good news and the bad news, but once you dial-in your perfect ratio, it’s a really easy cocktail to replicate. The classic recipe is three parts tequila, two parts triple sec, and one part freshly squeezed lime juice, and you should probably start off pretty close to that, but my personal favorite proportions are 4-3-2, as you’ll see listed below.

For the best results, be sure to use fresh ice, and of course fresh limes, as well as a nice bottle of triple sec, like Cointreau. That’s my favorite, but if you browse other recipes, you’ll see there are many fine choices. You’ll also want to use a decent white tequila, like the Don Abraham's Single Estate Blanco Tequila I enjoyed, but having said that, feel free to use one with a shorter name.

The other big tips here are shake your cocktail mixer until frost forms on the outside, and then strain it over fresh ice. The ice we use to make the drink will melt too fast in the glass, and so a large, still frozen cube is the way to go. By the way, Cinco de Mayo is tomorrow, so check those ice cube trays before bed.

So whether you’re going to make these for the 5th of May, or another time this summer when you feel like sipping on one of the most refreshing, and delicious adult beverages ever invented, I really do hope you give this Margarita a try. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 1 Perfect Margarita:
2 ounces white tequila
1.5 ounces triple sec
1 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
1 thin slice of lime
- Some like to add a dash agave nectar for a little extra sweetness, but I do not.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Ultimate Berry Crumble – The Ultimate

I was only half kidding about the “ultimate” designation for this, as it truly was everything I’ve ever wanted in a fresh berry crumble. This has the perfect balance of sweet and tart, tender and crisp, not to mention copious amounts of butter in our double application of crumble.

As I mentioned in the video, if you want a pie-like filling, you’ll want to toss in a few teaspoons of cornstarch, otherwise for a runnier fruit mixture cut it in half, or leave it out altogether. It really depends on what you’re into, but either way, some ice cream on the side is highly recommended.

This really shines with fresh berries, but it will work with the frozen ones. Those tend to be a lot juicier, so keep that in mind when making cornstarch related decisions. And don’t feel like you have to stick to berries, as ripe peaches, and other summer stone fruit would also be fantastic in this. No matter what you use, I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 6 to 8 portions (made in 2-quart casserole):
For the crumble:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) frozen unsalted butter, grated
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks
1 to 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar, or enough for dough to “clump”

For the fruit mixture:
3 generous cups fresh berries
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup white sugar
1 to 4 teaspoons cornstarch, depending on how firm you want the fruit filling (I used 4 tsp)
pinch of cayenne

- Bake at 375 degrees F. for about 40-45 minutes
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Friday, April 27, 2018

Scottish Oatcakes – The Pancake, Not the Paperweight

If you Google, “Scottish Oatcakes,” you’ll see lots of pictures of what looks like thick, dense, pressed oatmeal cookies, which is the most common version of this recipe. To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of those, since they tend to be very heavy, and filling, and not really something I want to feature as the centerpiece for a fancy brunch menu.

However, there is another pancake-like version, and this is my twist on that. I should’ve probably come up with my own, more appropriate name, but I really love saying “Scottish Oatcakes,” and it just sounds like something you’d want to eat for breakfast.

Once you mix up your batter, you can cook it right away, which produces something that looks identical to what we have here, except the texture will be much more toothsome. I do enjoy that approach, but if you let the mixture sit for a while, the oats continue to soften, resulting in a creamier center. I’ve also let this go overnight, which will give you a texture very similar to actual oatmeal. 

Regardless, you’re still going to get a beautifully browned, crusty exterior; and it’s that contrast that makes this so unique. Some people like to add dried fruit to these, but I do not. The same goes for the traditional pinch of cinnamon, since I really don’t want these to taste like oatmeal raisin cookies. As usual, suit yourself, but either way, I really do hope you give these great oatmeal pancakes a try soon. Enjoy!



Ingredients for 6 Scottish Oatcakes:
(this is only 2 portions, so feel free to double or triple the recipe)
1 cups *rolled oats
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 large egg
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup **self-rising flour
1/4 cup melted butter for panfrying

* I used the regular kind, but if you have to use the instant ones, I probably wouldn’t cook them. I’d just mix them with the cream, and let it sit until the mixture thickened up. By the way, this is just a theory, as I’ve never attempted.

** If you don’t have self-rising flour, just add 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour, plus 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, and an extra pinch of salt.