Thursday, June 21, 2012

Jolly Green Pancakes, Lime Butter & Cherry Thai Basil Sauce

Pancakes. Is there anything better than a fluffy, warm, buttery pancake? I mean, really?? Well, ok, there are probably a few things better, but not by much. And especially if you are in the mood for pancakes, nothing else will curb that craving.

Now let's think about pancakes for dinner. Ohhh yes! Now we are talking! So it was well past breakfast time, and not even in the area for brunch, and I was in the mood for pancakes. So what better way to celebrate dinner time, than with a big plate of savory sweet pancakes.

I recently became the happy owner of Yotam Ottolenghi's cookbook, Plenty, and this is where my savory pancake idea became a reality. I wasn't the only one out there wanting a savory pancake to sink my fork in. So I set out to make his dish, that you can find here.

A few days prior, I picked up a small bag of cherries, because I simply couldn't resist them. They were sitting so pretty and practically singing my name. I was hesitant because I have a slight allergy to raw fruits. But the cherries were at a quite reasonable price, so I picked some up. I figured I would try a few in their raw state, and see if I have any reaction. And If I did have an allergic reaction, (which I did), I would make a sauce or syrup from them, (which I did).

I also had some stunning Thai basil, so thought I would combine the two to make a savory sweet syrup sauce...
To make the sauce, simply throw the cherries and basil leaves into a pot, add a few pinches of sugar and a little bit of water, and bring to a simmer to let the cherries cook down. 
Once the cherries are cooked, and cooled, you can easily take the pits out. Remove the basil leaves. Taste and adjust sugar if necessary. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Lastly, strain to get rid of the skins.

Next let's move on to the lime butter for the pancakes. In mine, I used butter, lime juice, lime zest, garlic, cilantro and salt...

Mashed all that together and rolled into a log shape using parchment paper...
And finally it is time to start on the pretty little pancakes! Finally! I really liked the batter recipe for these, as it calls for whipped egg whites as a leavener. Awesome. I chose to do this by hand rather than using my hand mixer, because I am not a cheater-cheater-pumpkin-eater! It just takes some elbow grease, which we all have somewhere in the depths of our kitchen...
And, as I always like to make my own mostly minor adjustments to recipes I find, I did make some small changes to this one. So rather than using spinach in the batter, I used parsley and cilantro in mine. I did do a taste test on the first cooked pancake, as I wanted to make sure that my cherry Thai basil sauce would be a compliment, and not an unnecessary accessory. And I found that the cakes definitely called out for a something sweet sauce. Because even though these are a savory pancake, they are still a pancake, that yearns for the safety and comfort of a sweet syrupy blanket.

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