Friday, March 14, 2014

Green Pancakes with Lime Butter

     As usual, I came back from work with a couple of bags of spinach and swiss chard in my bike paneers. The pancakes are a great way to use up an abundance of produce. I followed the recipe in Ottolenghi’s vegetarian cookbook, Plenty almost exactly to make these. The double batch was a hit at girl dinner and with my roommates. I was inspired to post these (finally) after I saw Laura's scallion pancakes which are also delicious. All the pictures I'm seeing of Pittsburgh online make it look like Spring is really here!!!
     I just found out my dad is going to be visiting for my birthday! We'll get to spend the week with my friend, Cate and then 2 days with my dad. He's bringing me lots of books that I can read on the beach. English books are limited here; therefore, I've been reading everything (good and bad) on our 2 shelf library.
I'm wrapping things up with an anti-smoking presentation along with some of the other volunteers.
     We're having our goodbye dinner tonight. The main dish is a special treat our friend brought from Switzerland. This was one of my favorite dinners to eat while I was studying in France called "La Raclette." The basics of it are melted cheese + fingerling potatoes. It is heaven, really. We'll miss our friends but we plan to come back to Vietnam often (perhaps for the long-term). A European trip is already being planned for next summer with my little sister (her first time in Europe--yay!). Anyone want to join?


Lime butter:
8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Grated zest of 1 lime
1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/4 tsp chile flakes

Pancake Batter:
4 cups spinach, chopped roughly if leaves are large
4 cups swiss chard, chopped roughly
3/4 cup gluten free flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 eggs
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
2/3 cup buttermilk
6 medium green onions, finely sliced (or 3 shallots)
2 fresh green jalapenos, thinly sliced
Coconut oil for frying

Make the lime butter first so the flavors can meld together while you're frying up the pancakes. You can halve the butter recipe since there will be plenty of extra. Place the butter in a medium bowl and mix with a fork until creamy. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. It takes some time to mix the lime juice into the butter, so just keep working with the butter. Place into a small, glass container with a lid. Place in refrigerator.
To make the batter bring some water (1-2 tbsp) in a large, shallow skillet to a boil. Throw in the spinach and swiss chard and stir until just wilted.


Drain in a sieve and squeeze out as much water as possible. Chop finely and set aside.
Mix the flour, baking powder, cumin, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a well and then add the eggs, melted butter, and buttermilk in a large mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Fold in the green onions, jalapenos, and spinach with a rubber spatula.


Pour a small amount of coconut oil into a cast iron skillet and place on medium-high heat. To cook the pancakes, ladle about 1/4 cup of batter onto the skillet. When the side facing up turns bubbly and the edges start to dry out, flip over the pancake.


You want a nice golden brown on both sides. Keep them in the oven at 200 degrees for warmth and serve with a generous dollop of lime butter and a drizzle of sriracha.
The extra lime butter is great on anything. I especially liked it on bagels and toast topped with a fried egg.

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