Off the Menu with Dara can be heard every Saturday from 11 a.m. to noon on News Radio 830 WCCO! See all of Mpls. St.Paul Magazine’s Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl’s Top 5 lists here!
I’m dying for the farmer’s market season to get really under way—next weekend! April 29 for St. Paul, April 30 for Minneapolis’ main Lyndale market, and then May 4th for the downtown one. But till then, what to do? I declare it’s pancakes for dinner week—and here are my top 5 of your outside-the-box non-traditional pancakes. Maybe we’ll do straight up breakfast pancakes another week.
Fast Scallion Pancakes
How to eat the first scallions of spring? Whir them in the food processor in to a pancake. If you get a barbecued duck from a Chinese market you have a not-traditional, but very good dinner.
Pannu Kakku Giant Finnish Oven Pancakes
I love the no-fuss giant oven pancakes they make in Finland, as big as a casserole, as easy as a smoothie. They also make the house smell like a million bucks—maybe splurge on some good maple syrup, and serve with some buttery scrambled eggs and a good Chardonnay?
Korean Kimchi Pancakes
Savory pancakes are big in Korean food, and if you make this thick kimchi laced batter you can also add chopped up leftover chicken, shrimp, or tofu to make it a really filling meal. Great with a beer, and quite addictive, I must say.
Mini Pea Pancakes
How about little green-pea pancakes under some smoked salmon? Or some smoked whitefish from Lake Superior? That’s a good idea! Also, skip the step where you blanch the peas, totally unnecessary. If you’re not a smoked fish person, you could put some chevre or thickened herbed yogurt on the pancakes, and slices of raw radish or roast asparagus. Springy!
Gourmet’s Big Apple Pancake
One of the easiest, best recipes I know. You cook up some apple slices in butter, add a simple batter, cook the whole thing in a skillet and it puffs up like a balloon—so good. Maybe some breakfast sausage patties on the side, if you want a more substantial dinner? Winner, winner apple dinner!