Pancakes are the answer when the question is, “What’s for dinner? I haven’t been to the store and there’s nothing thawed. It’s late and we’re hungry.” My happy guess is you have flour, eggs, milk, and syrup or honey. Maybe, if God is good, you have some bacon in the freezer. Enter the fall breakfast for dinner and why not? It’s not something you do often, but when you do, you think, “THIS is a great idea!” Ok, this might not have fit in the “diet,” but I didn’t overdo.
Skip the pancake mixes that languish hopelessly and sadly on both grocery and home shelves. It’ll take an extra minute to whisk together fresh ingredients and, by the way, you’ll then know what’s in your pancakes and how old they are. Take the plunge into homemade and you’ll be surprised at the difference! Trust me on this because this is how my mom did it, of course.
One of the perfect and fun things about this meal is not only is it an inexpensive hit-the-spot dinner, but just about anyone can make it. Kids and non-cooking spouses or friends revel in being handy at a “fry up” and the pancake-making skill is a lifelong treasured one folks come to depend upon. I know because I’m not a good pancake maker. I prefer my pancakes made outdoors on a Coleman stove and the love of my life will occasionally humor me by dragging that camp stove out onto our deck just to make them. (We no longer camp, but definitely are not ever giving up that Coleman because I need those pancakes.) Another happy aspect of pancakes and eggs is that they can be made for any number of people and will easily hold everyone until lunch. The cook need only increase amounts, cook the bacon ahead in the oven, and then throw a baking sheet in to hold a slew of cakes. When that’s all done, fry several eggs at a time on the big griddle or in a couple of deep skillets. It helps to assign making coffee/table setting duties to someone else, but otherwise it should all go down easily. (If there’s just one of you, go ahead and make this; pancakes store well in the fridge for several days. Put a piece of waxed paper in between them so they don’t stick together. See below for making my “Pancuito” out of leftovers. Great for kids.)
Whether you’re cooking for one, two, three, or twelve, try this:
APPLE-WALNUT PANCAKES WITH EGGS AND BACON
serves 2-3 Makes 6 4-5-inch pancakes Easily doubled
Cook the bacon before you do anything else and put it in the oven to keep warm. Then fry your eggs and heat the syrup when you begin the last batch of pancakes so that everything is hot and fresh at the same time. By the way, make sure your pancakes are golden to really brown on each side; pale pancakes aren’t done.
FOR THE SIDE OF THE PLATE:
- 4-6 slices thick bacon, cooked to a crisp, optional
- 4 tablespoons salted butter, divided (3 tablespoons melted for the batter, 1 tablespoon for griddle or pan)
- 1 cup milk
- 1 egg (plus 2-3 more for the fried eggs you’ll make later)
- 1 cup unbleached, white all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ medium-sized apple, coarsely grated
- 1/4 cup toasted, chopped walnuts, plus extra for garnish
ON TOP OF THE FINISHED PANCAKES:
- 2-3 over-easy fried eggs (runny yolk)
- 1/4 cup warm real maple syrup or room-temperature honey
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Place plates in oven to warm. Preheat griddle or large cast iron pan over high heat. Meanwhile: In a covered glass measuring cup, melt 3 of the tablespoons of butter in the microwave. Pour milk over the melted butter, stir, and whisk in the egg with a fork or whisk.
- In a large measuring bowl or cup, add the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, and spices. Mix well with a fork or whisk. Beat in the milk mixture briefly. Stir in grated apple and toasted chopped walnuts until just combined.
- Flick a little water off your fingers onto the hot griddle. If the drops pop wildly, fly up, and disappear, the griddle is ready. Grease the hot griddle or pan with the other tablespoon of butter. Ladle, spoon, or pour out enough batter onto the griddle for each 4 – 5-inch pancake. Cook until lots of bubbles appear on top and the bottom is quite brown. Flip and cook briefly on the other side until done through. Repeat until batter is completely used, placing cooked pancakes on plates in the warm oven.
- When the pancakes are all made, top each stack with a fried egg (2 pancakes each for 3 people and 3 pancakes each for 2 people). Garnish with reserved walnuts and a drizzle of syrup. Serve with the crispy bacon, if desired.
Have leftovers or want a hand-held version for kiddoes? Make my famous Pancuito, which is just an egg cooked over hard rolled up in a buttered, warm pancake. Bacon optional. (Not actually famous; i just made this up, but it’s yummy and might be good for a to-go breakfast, too.)
IF YOU LIKED THIS, HERE ARE SOME OTHER BREAKFASTY DINNER IDEAS FROM THE BLOG:
WHAT ARE YOU READING, LISTENING TO, OR WATCHING?
I’m reading to-do lists, but am still re-watching “NEWSROOM,” in between cleaning out the fridge, listening to the Broadway station on Sirius XM (I need a break from NPR), washing clothes, gathering guidebooks, printing out lists of THE BEST RESTAURANTS IN ROME, and making sure I have 5 copies of my passport, including a digital one. I’m absolutely looking forward to reading a sleazy novel and drinking wine on the plane next week because…
I took this photo from the island of Santorini (I think) in 2004.
I promise to bring back a lot of good food and wine ideas from Europe and Israel for both our kitchen and for you. We’ll first be five days in Rome (one day touring wineries in Tuscany), then board a bus taking us to the port of Civitavecchia. Next we’ll board a ship for a two-week cruise to Israel and back with several stops in Greece along the way. I’ll see you right back here sometime during the third week of October, by which time I’ll hopefully be thinking very fall cooking thoughts. (It’s 90 degrees F here today. Arghhhh…..Where’s fall??) If you follow me on facebook, there should be a few photos up every few days.
Thanks for reading. Sing a new song or make a new pancake! Enjoy fall if it’s actually where you’re at,