Archives for July 2007

Best Buttermilk Pancakes with Strawberry Sauce

Fluffy stack for Sunday morning

This recipe is without a doubt my tried-and-true favorite. I’ve made dozens of other pancakes over the years but they just don’t measure up to these big, puffed and tender cakes.

The only thing I’ve added to this perfect tangy ratio of butter, eggs, flour and buttermilk is a bit of wheat germ. It must be the mom in me, but somehow the extra fiber makes them seem more wholesome and less like a pile of carbs. Who am I kidding?

This time I made use of an overload of strawberries I had on hand to make a sweet sauce to pour over the stack instead of the usual maple syrup, which instantly transforms a favorite comfort food into a fresh and summery treat.

My kids ask me to make pancakes for breakfast every weekend, and I’ve been trained to mix them up in my sleep – which is what I’d rather be doing on most weekend mornings anyway.

Best Buttermilk Pancakes
adapted from The Joy of Cooking

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons wheat germ, raw or toasted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

2. Melt the butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl on high power for 30 seconds. Stir in the buttermilk, eggs and extract until smooth.

3. Pour the buttermilk mixture over the dry ingredients and stir just until the flour is incorporated.

4. Pour 1/4 cup scoops of batter onto a greased, heated griddle set over medium heat. Flip the pancakes when bubbles start to appear on top, after about 3 minutes. Cook the other side until golden brown.

5. Serve right away with warm, buttered maple syrup or strawberry sauce.

Strawberry Sauce
Makes 1 1/2 cups

1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Place all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar.

Cool slightly; puree in a blender or food processor and serve over pancakes, yogurt or ice cream.

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Copyright (c) 2007 FamilyStyle Food

Capellini Pasta with Goat Cheese and Thyme

California-Style Pasta with Thyme and Goat Cheese

Way back in the ‘80’s my favorite meal was a roast beef sandwich on a toasted “bulky” roll, which in parts of the world other than Rhode Island would be known as a Kaiser, smothered with mushrooms, piled high with salty meat and so juicy the bulky would be saturated and falling to pieces after just two bites. I’d get them at Chelo’s, a chain of local restaurants.

I’m dating myself here, but that was a quarter of a century ago. I was in high school, my hair was big, and if you’d offered me a pizza with goat cheese on it I know I would’ve looked at you funny.

At the same time, Wolfgang Puck was in Hollywood creating California cuisine – pulling pizzas out of wood-burning ovens and serving salads as entrees at his legendary restaurant Spago.

Look how we’ve grown up! I now love goat cheese, Wolfgang Puck has become as much a brand name as Chef Boyardee, and you can walk into your local mini-mart, grab a frozen Wolfgang Puck pizza, microwave it and eat it in the car (I’m not saying that’s a good thing).

The August issue of Food & Wine has a feature story about Puck, which got me interested in this recipe. Apparently, this was the first pasta dish on the menu at Spago and put goat cheese on America’s culinary map.

I haven’t had a roast beef sandwich in years, but I did have a look at the 2007 Chelo’s menu – the sandwich is still there – along with Asian grilled salmon on California mesclun greens.

Capellini with Goat Cheese, Thyme and Toasted Pine Nuts

Inspired by Wolfgang Puck

12 ounces dried capellini pasta
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces soft goat cheese
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
Thyme sprigs, for garnish

Cook the capellini in a large pot of boiling salted water.

Meanwhile, bring the broth to a boil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the thyme and simmer until reduced by half. Lower heat, stir in the butter and goat cheese until melted and smooth.

Drain the capellini and add to the skillet, tossing to coat with sauce.

Twirl the capellini into portions with a large serving fork or tongs and place on individual plates. Sprinkle with pine nuts and garnish with thyme, if you like.

Serves 4-6.

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Food Porn of the Day

Giada and her cleavage – um – tomatoes

I’ll let this photo from Esquire speak for itself – just a tidbit I wanted to share from my lazy Sunday morning reading.

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Copyright (c) 2007 FamilyStyle Food