Cornmeal Pancakes ~ Two Ways

August 11, 2015 § 2 Comments

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Brunch is my absolute favorite meal. However the hardest part, hands down, is deciding whether I want breakfast or lunch. I can stare at a menu for ten minutes going back and forth between sweet and savory options. I have an incredibly large sweet tooth but if I have an entirely sweet meal, I inevitably crave something salty afterward to satisfy my appetite. I end up eating way too much and entering a food coma. Okay, that happens regardless but (hopefully) to a lesser extent if I start with a more balanced meal.

Fortunately, I’ve found a delicious solution for everyone! Or just me if I’m the only one suffering from having to choose between breakfast and lunch. These cornmeal pancakes are super versatile and the perfect canvas for both sweet and savory toppings. They have a subtle sweetness and crunch from the stone-ground cornmeal, which also make them heartier and more substantial than traditional pancakes.DSC_0934DSC_0962

To satisfy my sweet tooth, I paired the cornmeal pancakes with a compote made from fresh farmers market blueberries and fresh mint. The burst of juicy blueberries with the earthy mint provided the sweetness I was looking for but without making my stomach hurt. If you’re feeling extra indulgent, enjoy them with a dollop of freshly whipped cream- you won’t regret it.

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If you’re in the mood for a savory brunch instead, use these cornmeal pancakes as the foundation for huevos rancheros. Just top the pancakes with fresh salsa, black beans, queso fresco, cilantro, and – like most great brunch dishes – a runny egg. I literally had this for lunch three days in a row and I looked forward to it each time. It’s THAT good.

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And there you have it- an absolutely delicious and easy brunch option that can satisfy your sweet and savory cravings!

Cornmeal Pancakes

Yield: 14 pancakes

Adapted from Ree Drummond 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups stone-ground organic yellow cornmeal (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 1/4 cups whole milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar (I used rice wine vinegar)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • Avocado oil or other cooking oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 200°F to keep finished pancakes warm.

In large bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In measuring cup, combine milk, vinegar, and eggs. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients, stirring gently until just combined. Stir in melted butter.

Heat cooking oil in skillet over medium-low heat. When oil is hot, pour 1/4 cup batter onto skillet for each pancake. Cook one side of pancake until bubbles start forming and bursting on the surface of the pancake, about 2-3 minutes. Flip pancake over and cook until golden brown, about 1 minute. Remove pancake from skillet and place in warm oven on baking sheet. Continue until all batter is used. Serve pancakes warm.

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Cornmeal Pancakes with Blueberry-Mint Compote

Yield: 4 servings (~ 1 cup compote)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 batch of cornmeal pancakes (recipe above)
  • 1 1/4 cups organic blueberries
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • Maple syrup, if desired

Directions:

In medium saucepan, stir together blueberries, honey, and lemon juice and cook over medium heat until gently boiling. Reduce heat to low and cook until thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in chopped mint. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold on top of cornmeal pancakes with maple syrup, if desired. Store leftover compote in refrigerator for up to three days.

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Huevos Rancheros Cornmeal Pancakes

Yield: 4 servings

Adapted from Sunny Anderson

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 batch of cornmeal pancakes (recipe above)
  • 2 small tomatoes
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 garlic cloves; 1 whole, 1 smashed
  • 1/2 medium jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2 tsp olive oil + 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1- 15.5 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup queso fresco, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Avocado crema, recipe below

Directions:

Set grater in large bowl and grate tomatoes, shallot, and whole garlic. Add jalapeno and salt and pepper, to taste; stir to combine. Heat 2 tsp olive oil in medium skillet over low heat. Fry the salsa until thickened slightly, about 3 minutes. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Add beans, smashed garlic, 1/2 cup warm water, and pinch of salt to the same pan. Cook over low heat until warmed through, smashing slightly with a fork.

Heat remaining 2 tbsp olive oil in another skillet. Fry eggs sunny-side up, or to personal preference. Season with black pepper.

Place 1-2 warm pancakes on a plate. Top with salsa, warm black beans, fried egg, queso fresco, cilantro. Serve with avocado crema on the side.

Avocado Crema

Yield: ~ 2/3 cup

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse until smooth.

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