Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sheesy Scallion Pancakes

These scallion pancakes are less like the Chinese restaurant appetizer (although I love those, too) than like a savory version of those light, fluffy breakfast pancakes that you find in a really good diner. The inspiration for them arose from a combination of factors: post-academic conference weariness, a weekend pancake jones, and a package of blue Sheese that had been burning a - purely figurative - hole in my refrigerator. The pungency of the "blue" flavor elevated them to airy climes of deliciousness only imagined by their humble IHOP cousins, but I imagine any vegan cheese would work nicely; I'm looking forward to experimenting with various flavor combinations in future batches (of which I feel certain there will be many). I'll offer the by-now standard disclaimer that this recipe produces a lot, so feel free to halve it if you like; on the other hand, they're not at all heavy, and we had only a few left over from three of us. With some sort of piquant sauce drizzled on top, these make a delicious and - dare I say it? - elegant weekend brunch, and would be a nice, light lunch or dinner, with the addition of a green salad. We had ours topped with Remoulade sauce, accompanied by a bracing brunchy cocktail while watching the 1963 film version of Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House: ah, Sundays!

Sheesy Scallion Pancakes

~ 2 cups soymilk
~ 1 cup water
~ 1/4 cup canola oil
~ 2 tbsp. egg replacer
~ 2 cups all purpose flour
~ 1 tbsp. baking powder
~ 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
~ 1.5 tsp. salt
~ 1 tsp. each: paprika, parsley
~ Plenty of fresh black pepper
~ 6 large scallions, sliced thin
~ 1 cup grated Sheese (I used the blue flavor)

~ Preheat the oven to 200 degrees fahrenheit.
~ In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, paprika, parsley and pepper.
~ In a separate bowl or beaker, combine the the soymilk, oil, water, and egg replacer.
~ Add the wet ingredients to the dry, then stir in the scallions and the grated Sheese. Allow the batter to rest a few minutes.
~ Coat a large skillet with cooking spray, and place over medium high heat.
~ Add the pancake batter in by 1/4 cup ladlefuls, and cook about 3 minutes, until dry around the edges and bubbles appear in the center (you know, like pancakes). Loosen and flip the pancakes to cook on the other side another minute or so, until golden.
~ As the pancakes finish cooking, transfer them to a baking sheet in the oven to keep warm.
~ Serve warm, on their own or as part of a larger meal. (NB these also keep well in the refrigerator, and reheat nicely in the toaster oven.)

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