Friday, November 18, 2016

Breakfast for Supper

Breakfast. I don't love it, especially in the mornings. I am usually happy with a cup of yogurt and a piece of fruit or a piece of cheese toast. This is something that I have dealt with all of my life. My sister would chow down on eggs over easy with the yolk running all over the plate, but I have never been a big fan of eggs. Then, one day Mom discovered that she could give me a Pop Tart and call it a hot breakfast. Brown sugar an cinnamon Pop Tarts got me through my teen years.

But every now and then, I want breakfast for supper. Recently, I decided to try biscuits once again and pulled up a recipe from the White Lily website. I didn't love'em. I am willing to take the blame for this one; I did not use White Lily flour, but instead I used what I had on hand, a no name brand of flour from Aldi's. I will try again one day, and keep trying until I succeed.

Tonight I had a craving for pancakes and when the craving strikes, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. I used Lucinda Scala Quinn's recipe for Old Fashioned Pancakes.

Old Fashioned Pancakes



1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for serving
Vegetable oil, for the griddle
Pure maple syrup, warmed, for serving

Place a heat-proof platter into a warm oven (at 200 degrees).
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add in the egg, milk, and 2 tablespoons of the butter. Whisk from the center, slowly incorporating the flour. Rest the batter for 10 minutes.
Heat a large well-seasoned cast-iron skillet or favorite griddle over medium-high heat. Swirl the remaining tablespoon of butter in the skillet (or use oil to coat the griddle) and immediately pour in 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. When bubbles rise to the surface, flip the pancakes, slightly reduce the heat, and cook until the bottoms are golden and the centers are cooked, about 1 minute. (Rarely does the first pancake work because it takes a bit of time to get in the groove with the heat, fat, and batter.)
As the pancakes come out of the skillet, place them on the warm platter in the oven until ready to serve. Serve a stack of 3 pancakes, topped with more butter and the maple syrup.

These are thick and fluffy, light as air and delicious. They are not pretty, but again, I will take the blame for that. I seldom make pancakes, and when I do, they almost never look like the ones in photos.

Have you ever seen a TV chef taste something and come out with something like an orgasmic sigh and eye roll? These pancakes literally made me do that with each bite, sitting alone in my kitchen. A little drizzle of maple syrup and a little dab of salted butter was all they needed.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Not Your Typical Hot Day Meal

I had an aunt who could neither read nor write. Now we know that suffered from dislexia, but it was not a known ailment 90 years ago. However, she made two things that I have never had better...fried apple pies and chicken and dumplings. No written recipes, so no one knows how to recreate either. I have, over the years, tried my hand at fried apple pies to some success, but my best attempt at chicken and dumplings has been a slow cooker recipe with canned biscuits and cream of chicken soup.

So I decided on a day of record heat to try a recipe from scratch. I searched the net for a recipe and found the one below on

Chicken and Dumplings

1 large fryer chicken, cut up
2 celery ribs, sliced
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 medium onion, diced
2 c chicken broth
2 chicken bouillon cubes
2 tbs dried parsley
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

2 c all purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
4 tbs oil*

1. Combine chicken, celery, carrots, onion, chicken broth, bouillon, parsley, salt and pepper in a large pot and add enough water to cover cicken.
2. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer and cover. Cook for two hours or until chicken is done.**
3. Remove chicken and let cool until it is easy to handle. Remove skin and bones and shred chicken. Dispose of bones and skin and add chicken back to pot.
4. Add more salt and/or pepper if needed. Return to simmer.
5. In a large mixing bowl, combine dumpling ingredients and mix until forms a stiff dough.
6. Drop by tablespoons into simmering soup. Cover and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
7. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

*I used canola oil, but corn or vegetable oil will do.
**My chicken was done in about 90 minutes, so start checking early.

This will never compare with Aunt Alma's, but it will do. Peppery, creamy, with light, fluffy dumplings, it will do.