A Happy Compromise: Cornmeal & White Cheddar Pancakes

The dilemma: it’s Sunday morning and we’re hungry. As usual, I want pancakes for breakfast, but Lauren and Rob aren’t in the mood for something sweet. I can’t justify making a batch just for myself because, well, the leftovers from the batch I made for dinner last night are still in the fridge. And while last night’s efforts were good, this morning I’d like something a little different. Tough times over here, hey? 

The solution: cornmeal and white cheddar pancakes. Unsweetened, dotted with shards of sharp cheddar, and fried in just a bit of salted butter, these are anything but your usual sweet brunch fare. And though they’re tasty enough on their own, we topped ours with plain yogurt, smokey stewed tomatoes, avocado, and cilantro. Nice!   

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The verdict: everyone’s happy! Rob polishes off four in what seems like minutes, and declares that he’d have them for breakfast everyday, if he could. Sweet praise for a savoury little pancake. 

Cornmeal & White Cheddar Pancakes
Adapted from: http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/08/sweet-corn-pancakes/
Makes 11 3.5-inch pancakes

3/4 cup - all purpose flour
1/4 cup - cornmeal (we used fine cornmeal, but any kind will work)
1 tsp - baking powder
1/2 tsp - baking soda
1/2 tsp - salt
1 egg
1 cup - buttermilk
1/2 cup - aged white cheddar, grated 
Butter, oil, or nonstick spray for the frying pan - whatever suits your fancy! 

1. Preheat oven to 200°F and place a baking sheet inside.  

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg and buttermilk.

3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Stir with a wooden spoon until the ingredients are nearly combined, leaving the batter a bit lumpy. Fold in the cheddar, being careful not to overmix (or you run the risk of tough pancakes). If the batter is too thick or thin, adjust with a bit of milk or flour, respectively. 

4. Heat a large nonstick or cast-iron pan over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add a bit of butter (or oil, or spray) and stir to melt. For each pancake, add about 1/4 cup of batter to the pan, leaving a few inches between them to give yourself room to maneuver your flipper. Once the tops are covered in little holes and the edges are starting to dry, give them a flip. Cook until the bottoms are evenly browned, and then transfer them to the baking sheet in the oven. Transfer cooked pancakes to the baking sheet in the oven. Add more butter/oil/spray to the pan (if necessary), and start again!

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