Looking to channel your inner chef? Are you bored with your go-to recipes? We’re here to help and provide inspiration for new meals you can make at home with Vinous in the Kitchen. Led by Eric Guido, Vinous’ resident Italian wine critic and also a professionally trained chef, Vinous in the Kitchen is a series of delicious recipes you can easily prepare at home. Through his video tutorial and accompanying article, Eric will guide you through each recipe step-by-step, offering useful tips and techniques, as well as ideas on wine pairings. Find the bottles on Delectable, and make sure to share your own favorite pairings. Pancakes from scratch are on the menu today. Buon appetito!
One of the first things I was taught when learning to cook professionally is the power of nostalgia. In fact, it was presented to me as more of an ingredient than a response from a client. It’s because of this that I will forever want tomato soup with my grilled cheese, or why a simple plate of Pasta Con Le Sarde will easily transport me back to happy childhood summers and the memories of running through sprinklers on hot asphalt. The same goes for pancakes. I could be in the fanciest restaurant for brunch, at the finest high tea, or just huddled up with a cup of coffee on a porch in Vermont, and what would bring me the most happiness is pancakes.
However, pancakes have changed quite a bit in our modern times. For me, and most other people who are my age or older, they were made from scratch. Of course there were pancake mixes in the early eighties, but you’d never find one in my house. Frankly, there was no reason for one because all of the ingredients you’d need were always right there in the kitchen. Pancakes represent my happiest childhood memories, with my mother at the stove, using a spoon to creatively pour the batter in a way that would cook up to represent shapes and characters.
When I was a teen and young adult, I would often make pancakes for guests – it didn’t matter if it was lunch or dinner. No one would turn them away. Admittedly, I went through some awkward stages, and I had just as many failures as successes while trying to get creative. Finally, the inspiration for the recipe that I still use to this day came from Vermont and Maine, while skipping between bed and breakfasts on vacation with my wife. Those rich, textural and fluffy buttermilk pancakes, served with fresh maple syrup and wholesome butter, brought me back to childhood. I stopped trying to reinvent the pancake and decided instead to go back to basics. Fresh, simple, flavorful, nostalgic…Perfect.
Today, I’m building happy memories with my own kids while serving up buttermilk, blueberry, banana, and chocolate chip pancakes, and I wanted to share a bit of the happiness with you.
WATCH THE FULL VIDEO TUTORIAL HERE
BUTTERMILK PANCAKES (SERVES 5)
The best way to measure your ingredients is by weight. If you have a scale, use it, but if you don’t, dry measuring cups will work as well.
All-purpose flour – 281 grams (2 cups)
Baking powder 14 grams (1 tablespoon)
Baking soda 3 grams) (½ teaspoon)
Sugar 56 grams (¼ cup)
Salt 4 grams (¾ teaspoon)
Eggs 182 grams (about 3 x-large eggs)
Sweet butter 54 grams (3 tablespoons)
Buttermilk 2 cups (liquid measure)
Sweet butter for cooking
TOPPINGS AND GARNISH:
One banana (sliced)
½ cup of chopped Walnuts with 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 cup fresh Blueberries
1 cup dark Chocolate Chips (the darker the better; I prefer 70%)
1. Place the sweet butter from the wet ingredients into a small pot and melt over a low flame, then remove from the stove top and allow to cool.
2. Measure out all dry ingredients, sift together into a bowl and set aside.
3. Measure out and place the sugar and salt into a clean bowl and then whisk in the cooled sweet butter.
4. Measure out and add the buttermilk and eggs.
5. Pour the wet ingredient bowl into the dry ingredients.
6. Stir this mixture to combine. You’re looking for a smooth consistency with small bumps throughout. (It should look a little lumpy.)
7. Set the bowl aside to rest for five minutes.
8. Set an electric skillet to 325 degrees or set a nonstick pan of stovetop skillet over a medium flame.
9. Prepare your toppings and garnishes.
10. Brush a small amount of butter over the cooking surface and ladle about ¾ of a cup of batter for each pancake.
11. If making only buttermilk pancakes, wait for small bubbles to form around the edges of the pancake and for the edges to brown slightly before checking and flipping. Try not to move them around too much so as not to disturb the bubbles that are forming.
12. If adding toppings to the pancakes, sprinkle the toppings into the batter right after ladling the batter onto your cooking surface. You can use a spoon to push them further into the batter (or your own clean hands). For the bananas, it’s best to flip the bananas themselves so as to coat the entire surface of the banana slices with batter. This prevents the toppings from burning when you flip the pancakes.
13. Whichever kind of pancakes you choose, allow them to cook after being flipped until they are lightly browned.
14. Now the pancakes are ready to serve with a pat of butter and added toppings sprinkled over them.
15. For a tasty banana walnut variation, lightly toast the walnuts in a pan with a tablespoon of butter and brown sugar, and then sprinkle over your banana pancakes.
Lastly, pancakes can be breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. So, while I enjoy a rich bold cup of coffee, try the fruit-filled pancakes with a Mimosa (half sparkling wine and half orange juice in a champagne flute), or chocolate chip pancakes with a glass of Lambrusco .
--Eric Guido, Bring Back Pancakes from Scratch , June 2020
Check out previous Vinous in the Kitchen Recipes:
Fall-Off-the-Fork Braised Pork ShoulderThe Pride of Piedmont: Brasato al BaroloSecret to the Perfect Seared SalmonMastering Cast Iron Chicken
A very enjoyable, fizzy dry Lambrusco that paired excellently with pepperoni and sausage/mushroom/shallot pizzas. Fabric label and note under the cork wrapper were nice touches. Definitely one of the best / most memorable Lambrusco’s that I’ve had! — a year ago