Sunday, 26 October 2008

Easy Rainy Day Cornmeal Pancakes

Today in Osaka is a depressing grey drizzly kind of a day and since it's a Sunday (i.e. day of nothing interesting ever happening) I elected to have a cooking and cleaning day. I cleaned my stove, washed all the dishes and began sorting through the dry ingredients tucked away in my meager storage space. That's when I found the unopened bag of cornmeal that has been sitting in my cupboard for a couple of months now. Finally , today I decreed it to be Official Cornmeal Bag Opening Day (quite catchy, no?)
Anyway, I originally bought it to make some pumpkin cornmeal waffles but had to give the waffle maker back to my friend before I got round to it. So instead I decided to make flat waffles - otherwise known as pancakes. I couldn't find a recipe that I had enough ingredients for so I cobbled this one together from a few of them. I was very pleased with the results and decided to share it with you. These pancakes were a little crunchy and reminded me of a sweet taquito thus I decided to fold them over and eat them like tacos.

Anyway, here you go:

"It's a Crappy Sunday Afternoon" Cornmeal Pancakes
You will need:
1 1/2 cups soy milk
1 1/2 tblspoons lemon juice (I think vinegar would work too)
2 tblspoons oil (I used canola), plus some for greasing the frying pan
1 1/3 cups cornmeal
2/3 cup flour (I used all-purpose white)
1/3 cup brown sugar (optional)
1/2 tspoon salt
1/2 tspoon baking soda
2 tblspoons maple syrup
1 tspoon vanilla extract

1) Stir the lemon juice into the soy milk in a measuring cup or jug. Set aside for a couple of minutes to let the milk curdle.
2) Mix the cornmeal, flour, sugar (if using), salt and baking soda together in a large bowl.
3) Stir the oil, vanilla extract and maple syrup into the milk mixture.
4) Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry, stirring gently and being careful not to over mix.
5) Drizzle a little oil into a non-stick frying pan and heat to medium heat.
6) When the pan is heated sufficiently, add about 1/4 cup batter and spread the it out evenly using a spatula.
7) Turn the pancake over when bubbles form on the surface and the batter begins to look "set."
N.B. I found these pancakes to be incredibly easy to flip and didn't break a single one so don't worry if you are nervous about that.
8) Continue to cook on either side until a nice golden brown colour is achieved.
9) Serve immediately with the topping of your choice!

I ate mine with brown sugar and cinnamon sprinkled on the inside. I dusted the tops with icing sugar and a little cocoa powder and served them with a cup of Yogi Tea Thai Sweet Delight.
Other toppings that I think would be good are soyatoo/vegan whipped cream, banana slices, grated dark chocolate, strawberries, raspberries and maple syrup. They are very adapatable so you could also try adding other things to the batter.

These really hit the spot!

-- Sarah