Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Trader Joe's Tuesday -- Lazy Pancakes

Isn't it pretty amazing that we get BLUEBERRIES in January? For the love of god! And, they are GOOD to boot! Trader Joe's really almost always has them. And, they also always have frozen ones, of course, too.

I had TJ blueberries left over from Saturday's dinner, and I had never made Aaron his favorite Blueberry Pancakes, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity. I've attached the recipe I used, but what I'll be trying next is a recipe with ricotta or sour cream, I think, but these were DIVINE. Seriously, they were amazing. Trader Joe's has all the ingredients except Baking Soda, which I'll just hope you already have in your cupboard.

And, I'm sure you are saying that making blueberry pancakes from scratch is silly. Well, if you have flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt in your pantry -- the ingredients that are generally in the mixes, it takes an extra 3 minutes to throw it all in a bowl. Sometimes mixes are great, but recipes afford a little more deliciousness factor.

To pump up the deliciousness factor on the recipe I've attached, are some Lazy Deliciousness Tips for pancakes:

1. Egg Whites -- Always always always -- even if the recipe -- like this one -- doesn't call for it --- SEPARATE THE EGGS and beat the whites to stiff peaks.
2. Fold -- Gently fold the egg whites in with the other ingredients, and you really JUST FOLD until the ingredients have just barely all mixed together. The kiss of fluffy death is over folding or mixing in any way. The batter will actually look LUMPY! Never fear, though, as that is the egg whites causing an optical illusion...it's all mixed. If it almost looks alive, like it's going to gurgle back at you, you have succeeded!!!!
3. Lemon or Orange Zest -- If recipe doesn't call for it -- like this one --- I always always add the zest of one lemon or 1/2 large orange. It kicks it up a notch.
4. Blueberries -- If you are putting them in, do NOT mix into the batter. Grab several and plop them onto the pancake once it's on the grill. This way, your batter stays nice and golden and the blueberries really pop and when you bite into them they pop in your mouth!
5. Flipping -- Never ever ever flip more than once -- the texture, inside and out will be ruined. Leave on each side about 2 minutes. You'll see the batter start to bubble on the first side right about 2 minutes, flip and then wait another 2. The 2 minutes is if you don't have the pan too hot or cold of course...so if you aren't sure, just do the first pancake all alone to test out the process.

and for the BEST PANCAKE SYRUP EVER!!!! It's not too sweet so it doesn't overpower the pancakes. It's just right.....This is enough syrup for about 4 people:
  1. Pour about 1/2 cup of maple syrup in a small saucepan.
  2. Add about 2 tablespoons of butter.
  3. Add about 1/2 of a lemon's fresh juice.
  4. Dump in a bunch of frozen blueberries and/or strawberries -- maybe almost a cup.
  5. If you have it...great a tiny bit of fresh nutmeg for a little extra flair!
  6. Let it simmer while you cook your pancakes.
  7. I put the pancakes on the plate and then drizzle the hot syrup/berry mixture around the pancakes so they are almost floating in a lovely purple sea. Grab a few of the hot berries and place on top of the pancakes for accents. People can move the pancake into the syrup as they like.
  8. Feel free to adjust the recipe -- if you like more butter or more syrup, go for it!

Thank you Trader Joe's for providing all of these fine ingredients for a delicious, heart-warming breakfast!

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