Cuisine With Chef Fregz: For The Love of Pancakes

Since sliced bread made its debut, I think pancakes are the next best thing to have hit the breakfast plate (or lunch or dinner plates as the case maybe). When I was 13, I used to make them practically everyday, now what I didn’t know at the time was that what I was actually making was CREPES. Luckily, TV and interenet educated me and I found these really puffy pancakes and I wanted to give it a try.I was also naive because I had NO clue about how pancake mixes work. So after plenty research and many batches of trial and error, I figured out the perfect blend.
Crepes are the thin egg-laced, sugar-rich goodness we are used to and some people would chose crepes over the American Style puffy pancakes but irresepective of your choice. pancakes are all sorts of awesome.
Some people believe that  they can’t get pancakes right without the pre-packaged pancake mix and I decided to do a piece about how to get pancakes right from the scratch, and maybe a good way to treat yourself or loved ones to an amazing breakfast one of these days.
I LOVE pancakes but this Team Weight Watchers business is keeping me in a no-carbs zone and so this poor chef didn’t even get to lick  the plate these pancakes sat on. Even at that I believe the glory ahead (of being an athletic chef) surpasses the suffering now, right? Even for people like me (Can i get a witness?), we can still enjoy pancakes but in a lighter way. During one of my brooding moments of wondering how I could eat what I want guilt free, I remembered I’d stumbled upon  recipe in a Oprah magazine about a lady who replaced oats with 3\4 of the flour. The light bulb moment came and I basically did the same with the pancakes egg whites only, brown sugar or honey, oats with a little flour and some dark chocolate chips for good.
Moving swiftly along, I have done two versions of the American Style Pancakes… The first, sweet and the other savoury. For the sweet  pancakes, I went all out. I had expensive strawberries on deck. I feel once in a while, we should spend that money on good food. Life is too short to be eating it with just “Aunt Jemima”. For the savoury pancakes, I used one easy sunny side up egg,  crispy bacon and some syrup for the money! Of course for “my people” we have the low carb/fat pancakes.
What Do I Need?
American Style Pancakes
(Makes approx 10-15 pancakes)
Dry Ingredients
1.5 cups flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar (or less if you don’t like them so sweet)
1/2 cup powdered milk
2 tablespoons baking powder
Freshly grated cinnamon bark to your taste or 1 tsp if you have good cinnamon powder
a pinch of salt
Wet Ingredients
1tsp Vanilla essence
1tsp Butterscotch essence
1 tsp Almond essence
1/2 cup melted butter and some more for greasing the pan
2 eggs
1 1/3 cup water
How to
In a Bowl mix all the dry ingredients and make a well in the center and set aside. In another bowl or jug, mix the wet ingredients and slowly add to the well (in the dry ingredients), mixing at the same time. You should get a pasty batter thats thick an slightly loose at the same time.
In a non stick griddle pan or one of those non-sticks designed for pancakes/crepes, take some kitchen paper or serviette and wipe it with some of the melted butter. On medium heat, put half a ladle or one or two ice-cream scoops of the batter in the center. When bubbles start to appear on the top or you can see that the underneath the pancake has browned, turn them over and cook for only a few seconds. Flip over to a plate and keep warm in the microwave or oven (the oven doesn’t have to be on) the longer you cook them the tougher they become.
After they are done stack them up and garnish with fruit salad. I used strawberries, kiwi and a can of fruit salad, some whipped cream and of course some aunt J!!
The savoury ones are the same without the fruit salad of course. For a slight tip, you could add some fresh thyme, sweet corn and substitute coconut milk for a more savory flavor.
One more tip here; for the pancakes, you could  mix the milk and water, add 2 tsp of plain vinegar to culture it to make buttermilk. Leave for at least 10 minutes to really culture. Use it to mix the batter.
If you feel the batter is too thick, add water to loosen up slightly.
Oatmeal Pancakes
I have dubbed these the skinny pancakes
You’ll need the following…
Dry Ingredients
1.5 cups powdered oats
1/2 cup wheat or regular white flour
1/2 cup brown sugar or Splenda if you like sweeteners
1 tablespoon baking powder
Cinnamon to taste
Wet Ingredients
1/2 cup skimmed milk
1 egg
2 egg whites
1tsp Vanilla Essence
1tsp Almond essence
1tsp Butterscotch
4 tablespoons “I Cant Believe Its Not Butter” or 1 tbsp melted butter
How to
First off mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. In a clean and dry bowl, whip the egg whites till they become stiff. Form peaks and when you turn it over it stays and doesn’t fall out. Set the whites aside and mix the other wet ingredients with the dry ones. Fold in the whites and fry in a non stick pan you’ve wiped with a bit of butter. These pancakes tend to burn fast so you need to be quick and watchful. To serve top with a fruit salad some low fat yogurt and a touch of Aunt Jemima Lite syrup. Life can still be good when you’re trying to eat “Lighter”.
Funny enough as “skinny” as they are supposed to be, they taste great in my opinion especially with fruit and some fat free yogurt.
So this weekend, try this out and send your pictures features(at)bellanaija(dot)com because you never know, you just might win a prize. Remember, feel free to tweak the recipe any how you like because as always recipes are just guidelines. Follow your gut sometimes you never know the genius that may come out of it.
Oh, before I leave you, let me quickly remind you of Chef Fregz Special this month. It’s going to be at the Get Arena on the 29th of July and we’re going to have the Eba Gnocci and Seafood Okro. For updates, follow me on Twitter: @Chef_Fregz
Fregz loves to cook! He is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Paris Culinary Arts School in France and hosts monthly “Chef Fregz Specials” where he whips up a yummy menu with a different theme each time then everyone enjoys a taste. He also caters special events and private dinners.

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