I occasionally start yearning for a more exciting start to the day just eating the same staples for breakfast again and again, and am always on the look-out for new ways to expand my first meal of the day experience. I’m not of those that can happily feast on toast or a bowl a cereal on a regular basis without getting just a little bit bored.
I know I’m unusual in this respect as most people I come across seem to thrive on the predictability of porridge cooked in exactly the same way as every other morning or the sad bowl of cornflakes and milk for example (less predictable but no less boring) with maybe something exciting and special for a Sunday morning.
I can see the benefit of waking up and not having to give much thought to “what am I going to have for breakfast?” and just getting on with it; a functional meal. A meal without any effort involved. They tell us it’s the most important meal of the day. Why? Is it because so many need a little push to eat breakfast at all? Make it easy for them; no thought, little effort.
Coffee seems to be a breakfast staple for many and maybe that’s fine for them, but missing out on another opportunity to eat would be devastating. I suppose this latter group of people may be night-time snackers and simply don’t have an appetite first thing. (maybe it’s me that’s missing out!)
This very easy, delicious, satisfying and healthy pancake has evolved over the last 15 years and I can almost make it in my sleep it’s so simple. The basic recipe can also be improvised to your hearts content depending on what you have available in the house. Once you’ve tried it you’ll realise the only essential ingredients are eggs, some sort of quick cooking flour or meal, milk and oil or butter.
For example, I’ve used yogurt instead of milk. For the flour/meal, I’ve used rice flour, ground almonds, normal cornmeal, buckwheat flour, or any combinations of these. I’ve also added flaked almonds, mashed sweet potato, all manner of seeds, tahini, cocoa powder, stewed apple, squashed banana, the list goes on and on………
INGREDIENTS (for 1 person)
heaped tps salted butter
small handful of sultanas
2 dessert spoons of desiccated coconut (20g)
3 dessertspoons of quick polenta (35g)
The whole point of this pancake is the workaround simplicity that you can approach it with. You build on the previous addition of ingredients to get the right consistency. This is something you get a feel for after a few times.
Once you’ve broken the egg into a medium sized bowl and added your milk, then add the polenta, coconut and sultanas and mix to form a nice thick (but not solid) consistency. If it’s too thick ( again you’ll get a feel for what works) add a splash more milk. It should be between spoonable and pourable.
Heat a heavy based, well seasoned or non-stick frying pan on a low heat and add the butter to melt. Pour the butter into the mix leaving some in the pan. Add the mixture to the pan and level it out by tipping on an angle or with a palette knife if necessary. The pancake should be around 1/4 inch thick and not like a crepe. It needs a much slower cook than a traditional crepe and is more brittle.
Leave to cook for a good 4-5 minutes, having a little check after this time. Just a peep at the underside for brownness. It should have also firmed up by this time too. Get a palette knife under the pancake and gently flip to the B side. Leave to cook for a further 3 minutes until slightly browned. This should be done now and feel firm when pressed but not burnt.
These are so delicious spread with honey or a good jam. (Matthew)