Sunday, February 12, 2012

Olive Oil Pancakes / Tortillas de Aciete de Olivia

I grew up (in Mumbai, India) with pancakes for breakfast every Sunday morning. Pancakes and waffles. Those days getting non-Indian groceries weren't easy. So my mother would make the batter from scratch. Even the maple syrup was bought when we travelled abroad. It was a fabulous treat! 
And in time, when mixes became easily available, she began to make both– the batter from scratch and from the mixes too. 
When I got married and moved to New York, I'd make pancakes using the Stonewall Kitchen Pancake and Waffle Mix and hooked my husband onto the Sunday morning pancake breakfast tradition too. However, it's been a while since we had pancakes, and I was woken up by a hungry husband this morning with three words: "I want pancakes!"
Thankfully, we were out of the mix, which motivated me to make these pancakes from scratch. They were far better, light and fluffy and not much more work. The mix calls for you to melt butter, add the wet ingredients (butter, egg and milk) to the ready dry mix. This recipe probably adds about 5 more minutes to the prep time and it's all yours from scratch! 
As José Andrés says in the recipe: "Once you are in on the secret that you can make pancakes with healthy olive oil, why would you ever want to use butter again?"
He makes these with chocolate chips, and I would have to if I wasn't out of it. Andrés also asks for these to be served with Spanish lemon honey, but I chose to use some of the fabulous Jansal Valley Ginger Maple Syrup I had from Sid Wainer's. (They have other fabulous maple syrup products!)
The only change I made in the recipe was while cooking the pancakes. I stopped use olive oil in the pan as it burnt the pancakes within seconds. Work with a good non-stick skillet and you can do it without any additional olive oil.

Serves 4
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg, lightly beaten (or use egg replacer)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 tbsp Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup dark chocolate, preferably Spanish, broken into small pieces
1/4 cup honey, preferably Spanish lemon honey
Fresh mint leaves

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a mixing bowl.
Whisk in the egg, buttermilk and 2 tbsp of the olive oil, until you have a smooth batter.
Then stir in the chocolate pieces.

Heat the pan and ladle 1/4 cup of the pancake mixture into the pan and cook until golden brown. Flip the pancake with a spatula and cook until golden brown on the second side.
Transfer the pancake to a warm oven.
Repeat with the remaining batter.
To serve, drizzle the pancakes with honey and garnish with mint.

José's Tip:
These pancakes are a perfect showcase for some of Spain's most delicious products– olive oil, chocolate and honey– so be sure to seek them out in speciality markets.
Two speciality stores that I recommend in Manhattan for some good Spanish ingredients are: Despaña and Ideal Cheese

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