Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Blueberry Pancakes, Sausage & Bacon, Grapefruit

Breakfast for dinner! We do this about once a month. It feels strangely decadent. I love breakfast food - I definitely have some of that residual farmhouse genetics in which a 2500 calorie breakfast sometimes feels necessary to existence. My absolute favorite breakfast anywhere by anyone is the "Jose" at Al's Breakfast, with a side of whole wheat wally blues. For those not in the know, the "Jose" is a complete plate full of hash-browns, topped with melted cheese, topped with two poached eggs, topped with hot salsa. Definitely in the top 5 list for last meal candidates. It's all about the hash-browns - they cook them sooooo dark and crispy. I'm actually salivating as I write (I know, TMI).

But, we're talking about dinner at Chez Charles, not breakfast at Al's. This pancake recipe came from my wife's father's side, and I think it's an old Shriners recipe. It's basic buttermilk pancakes, but I love 'em!

Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberries
Turkey Breakfast Sausage
Grapefruit Halves
Juice & Milk

Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberries
(serves 3-4)
1 pint buttermilk
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
2 T melted butter (if you use unsalted, add a pinch more salt)
1.5 c. flour
1-2 pints fresh blueberries (depending on how much blueberry you want)
maple syrup (optional)

Whisk buttermilk and eggs together. Whisk in soda, sugar and salt. Whisk in flour. Whisk in butter. Allow to rest for a minute.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Grease very lightly. When the skillet is completely heated, begin cooking pancakes. Pour in enough batter to make pancakes approx. 5"
in diameter. Immediately sprinkle a few blueberries into the uncooked batter on top of each pancake. When golden-brown on the bottom, carefully flip and cook the other side. Serve while hot! My wife likes lots of syrup, I like a little, and my son sometimes skips it altogether.

Turkey Sausage & Bacon
You can obviously make whatever breakfast meats you like. I experiment with different turkey or chicken sausages, since my wife doesn't eat pork or beef. My son and I both love bacon, and the hands-down favorite there is Nueske's.

Grapefruit Halves
I completely love fresh grapefruit. It's the most refreshing fruit, in my opinion. Simply halve the grapefruit, and with a paring knife cut around each little wedge (cut each side of the membrane that separates the sections).

The pancakes are best when they're fresh off the griddle. I feed my family first and eat last so we all get fresh ones. I cook the meat a little before the pancakes and keep it warm (I have warming shelves on my range hood, but a low oven works great, too).

The trickiest thing with this meal is properly cooking the pancakes. I cook over a pretty hot griddle, so they brown quickly. This requires a little practice, as the batter on top will be loose when you flip them. Pick up the pancake with the spatula, and in one smooth, rapid motion turn it over into the spot in the skillet it just occupied. Think of there being an axis of rotation in the center of the spatula that runs straight out from the handle. We say "flip", but you're really just turning them over on this axis. Also, the initial fine film of oil is all you need...don't re-grease the skillet while cooking.

1 comment:

  1. Chuck!

    I love the Jose at Al's! I have now been going to Grina's hole-in-the-alley for over 25 years and I would say that 85% of my meals there have centered around the Jose...with an occasional foray afield to the Spring special. Thanks for reminding me get over there...

    PS, I made your version of Chicken and Dumplings this weekend and am still eating it. It was great!