Rising up, after I visited Grandma Leona in Indianapolis, I realized that steamed rice with a little bit butter and sugar is nearly as good a breakfast as tacky grits. My grandma, a real Midwesterner, didn’t eat grits — however she had grit. The fourth of 10 youngsters, Grandma was susceptible to Despair-era cooking methods.
She at all times added a little bit milk to eggs earlier than scrambling them “to make them stretch,” she’d inform me as I eyed her with a mixture of curiosity and suspicion. Why eggs wanted to be “stretched” was past my seven-year-old comprehension; nonetheless, I now recognize Grandma’s resourcefulness, in addition to the fluffiness of eggs whisked with a little bit milk earlier than scrambling.
The most well-liked dish in Grandma’s repertoire showcased her innovation with meals: she would fry leftover cornbread batter into cornmeal pancakes as she hummed hymns and moseyed about her pink kitchen. This tasty hybrid of cornbread and pancake was the right strategy to make one other meal from leftover cornbread batter, however finally she began making these whether or not or not there was leftover batter from the day earlier than.
The pancakes have some grit from the cornmeal and crisp edges from the oil they’re regarded in. Grandma would use her large cast-iron skillet, whose heavy backside ensured that the pancake cooked evenly and all over. However a griddle or different skillet will give these outcomes, too. The baking powder will get to work as quickly because the moist elements are combined with the dry, so whip up the batter simply earlier than you’re able to get cooking. A pat of butter and a few maple syrup are all these pancakes want, and the Cranberry-Maple Syrup pairs with them fantastically.
Cornmeal Pancakes with Cranberry-Maple Syrup
Makes 15 pancakes
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup finely floor yellow cornmeal
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon floor nutmeg
2 giant eggs
1½ cups buttermilk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Butter or vegetable oil, for the skillet
Maple syrup or Cranberry-Maple Syrup (beneath)
In a big bowl, mix the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and nutmeg.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the buttermilk and melted butter till mixed.
Pour the moist elements into the flour combination and stir till simply mixed. Don’t overmix — the combination will likely be lumpy, as pancake batters needs to be.
Warmth a griddle or giant skillet over medium warmth. As soon as the floor is scorching (a drop of water will dance throughout the pan), add 2 teaspoons of butter or oil and swirl to coat the pan. As soon as the oil is scorching scorching, use a ¼-cup measure to scoop the batter onto the new skillet. You need to hear the skillet sizzle because the batter hits it. Proceed so as to add the batter, leaving sufficient house between the pancakes to allow them to be simply flipped. Prepare dinner till bubbles cowl the highest of the pancakes and break open, about 2 minutes. Flip the pancakes over and prepare dinner till the opposite facet is golden as nicely, an extra 1 to 2 minutes. Repeat till all of the pancakes are made. Serve heat with maple syrup or the Cranberry-Maple Syrup.
Makes 1 1/2 cups
Easy maple syrup might be jazzed up by simmering it with recent fruit and spices. Cranberries are naturally tart, making them an ideal addition. This 10-minute maple syrup mashup is an easy manner so as to add pizzazz to your pancakes.
1 cup recent or frozen cranberries
½ cup maple syrup
¼ teaspoon floor cinnamon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter1 teaspoon recent lemon juice
Place the cranberries and maple syrup in a medium saucepan over medium-high warmth. Deliver to a boil. When the cranberries begin to pop, cut back the warmth to medium and prepare dinner till many of the cranberries have popped and the combination is thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring typically. Stir within the cinnamon, butter and lemon juice. Serve heat. Refrigerate any leftover syrup in an hermetic container for as much as 1 week.
Thanks, Vallery (and Grandma). Your new cookbook is attractive!
(This essay and recipe was reprinted from Life is What You Bake It with permission. Pictures by Linda Xiao.)