Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Pancake Tuesday (Light and Fluffy Pancakes with Lemon)

Mark Bitmann's Light and Fluffy Pancakes with Lemon. 
If you have any tips for how to make pancakes look pretty, I'm all ears. 

Today, in Ireland, it’s Shrove Tuesday (A.KA. Pancake Tuesday).  I learned about Pancake Tuesday from one of my favorite professors in graduate school.  One day, we were discussing Carnival and I asked him how the Irish typically mark the day that precedes Ash Wednesday.  He responded that the Irish celebrate it by having pancakes as a meal, and they call the day Pancake Tuesday. 
I was intrigued and at the same time underwhelmed by this tradition.  I’m sure there’s also a lot of merrymaking that goes on in addition to the pancaking.  But, where I come from, you prepare for six weeks of atonement by dressing up in crazy outfits, and drinking and eating yourself silly.  Most Pan-American countries are shut down this week because the revelry is taken so seriously. 

For a long list of reasons, Carnival is not happening por moi this year:
  • I live in Washington
  • I have to go to work
  • It’s cold outside

So in honor of my staid life and my Mother’s Irish Germanic roots, I decided to observe Pancake Tuesday, by trying Mark Bitman’s recipe for light and fluffy pancakes.  I added lemon juice and lemon zest to perk them up.  The pancakes taste like soufflés or mini-Yorkshire puddings.  If you try this at home, make sure to have some of the egg whites in each pancake. 

How do you celebrate the day before lent begins?
The recipe can be found here and in Mark Bittman's book, How to Cook Everything.

Makes 4 servings

Time: 20 minutes

1 cup milk
4 eggs, separated

1 lemon juiced and zested (my addition)
1 cup all-purpose flour
Dash salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1[1/2] teaspoons baking powder
Butter or canola or other neutral oil as needed

Preheat a griddle or large skillet over medium-low heat while you make the batter.
Beat together the milk and egg yolks. Mix the dry ingredients. Beat the egg whites with a whisk or electric mixer until stiff but not dry.

Combine the dry ingredients and milk-yolk mixture, stirring to blend. Gently fold in the beaten egg whites; they should remain somewhat distinct in the batter.

Add about 1 teaspoon of butter or oil to the griddle or skillet and, when it is hot, add the batter by the heaping tablespoon, making sure to include some of the egg whites in each spoonful. Cook until lightly browned on the bottom, 3 to 5 minutes, then turn and cook until the second side is brown.

Serve, or hold in a 200[dg]F oven for up to 15 minutes.


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  2. I'm of two minds. Having recently been suffering from the bloat, I feel I should avoid airy foods such as pancakes. On the other hand, after seeing photographs of myself taken during a recent (and rare) public appearance, I suspect, based on the number of chins I appear (from profile, at least) to have accumulated, that if I'm going to eat anything in excess it should be air.

    1. @anon get ready for a post about Veggie Chili. I think that it might be the answer to your problems.

  3. your reply reminds me of a mexican weather forecast: chili today, hot tamale

    1. If you identify yourself you might get the story before we break to commercials?