Sunday, January 25, 2009

In the kitchen again.

I had foot surgery on Jan. 12, and have been off my tootsies or on crutches since then. Cooking was pretty  much out of the question. But this morning I felt well enough, and could put enough weight on my right foot, to hobble around for short periods on just one crutch. That meant I had one arm free. And that meant I could cook again. What to make? One of my favorite Sunday breakfasts, a "Dutch baby" pancake. These are easy and so delicious. Here's the recipe:

1/4 cup butter
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup flour

1 shallow 3- or 4-quart baking dish or No. 12 cast-iron skillet (I use the skillet)
A countertop blender, hand mixer or stick blender
1 large mixing bowl (if you're not using a countertop blender)

Heat your oven to 425 degrees F. Once it's at temperature, put the butter into your baking vessel of choice and put it in the oven. Then break your eggs into the mixing bowl or blender and whip at high speed until quite frothy. Add the milk in a thin stream while still blending. Then add flour, 1/4 cup at a time and mixing thoroughly after each addition. Blend 30 seconds or so longer to be sure ingredients are thoroughly incorporated and your batter is foamy. Check the pan in the oven. When the butter is melted and a little foamy, pull the pan out and tilt it around so the butter coats the entire bottom of the pan. Then pour the batter into the pan, and return it to the oven. Bake for 20 or 25 minutes (check at 20), until the pancake is puffy and golden on top. Serves 4 as a side dish, 2 as breakfast, and 1 if you're a pancake piggy like me and do not plan to eat again until dinner anyway. Here are some topping ideas: dust with powdered sugar and then squeeze a lemon over all; good ol' maple sugar; stewed fruit; fresh fruit and honey. For a brunchier pancake, here's another idea: Just before the pancake is done, place very thinly sliced apples over the top, then sprinkle cheese over that, and lay strips of ham over all. Continue baking until cheese is melted. For a dessert pancake, dot with chopped chocolate (which should semi-melt on contact), then drizzle with some creme anglaise. Sorry there's no photo; I ate the pancake before I thought to post. 

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