Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My very own Pancake Breakfast

As you know, I'm deeply, deeply obsessed with the TV show "Friday Night Lights." It has nothing to do with football, everything to do with the great writing and acting, and a little to do with one Tim Riggins. And sometimes it has a tiny bit to do with food.

"FNL" (as it's called in our house) is set in the fictional Dillon, Texas, so BBQ is big. There are quite a few references to ribs and pulled pork, which never fail to make my mouth water. Even seeing the sundaes served up at Dillon's Alamo Freeze make me want to ditch fancy city ice cream for the pleasing, symmetrical swirls of soft serve topped with jimmies.

The other food frequently referenced is pancakes--specifically at the Pancake Breakfast, an annual fundraiser for the Dillon Panthers.

If you know me, you know I'm not really a breakfast food person. I don't like eggs, and am not too keen on pancakes or waffles. French toast I can get behind (although apparently I don't know how to make it). But for the most part, I'm a toast, bagel, or baked  goods girl: give me a good scone or muffin and I'm happy.

Since watching "FNL," though, I've latched onto the idea of a Pancake Breakfast. Because the show is in the midst of its fourth season and the subject of a great deal of conversation in the Hungry Dog home (the husband is equally obsessed, due to one Lyla Garrity), pancake breakfasts have been on my mind. On Sunday, I decided to have one of my own.

Pancakes are no big deal, but I've never made them from scratch. Turns out they couldn't be easier. I used Mark Bittman's recipe and threw some cinnamon, cardamom, and blueberries into the batter. I served up stacks of them, smothered in maple syrup, with an extra handful of berries tumbling over the top. With a couple of strips of bacon on the side, I may officially be a pancake convert.

Adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything

2 c. flour
1 T. baking powder
1 T. sugar
cinnamon to taste
cardamom to taste
1/2 t. salt
1-2 eggs
1 1/2-2 c. milk
2 T.  butter, melted and cooled
1 c. blueberries

Whisk dry ingredients together in a  large bowl. In a smaller bowl, combine milk, eggs, and butter. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry, being careful not to overmix. Don't worry if there are some lumps.

Heat up a griddle and melt some butter over medium heat. Ladle pancake batter onto the griddle, whatever size you like. After they've cooked for a minute or two, drop some blueberries onto each cake. When they are nicely browned on the bottom and bubbly on the top, flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes on the other side. Serve with butter, syrup, and more berries.


  1. I'm glad you've joined me the world of pancake lovers! In fact I could go for some right now. I might have to check out "FNL", too! Sounds like the makings for a pancake TV-dinner?

  2. I'm am almost always in the Sweet Breakfast camp. (Although most days, a croissant will suffice.) And this is the pancake recipe I've been using forever, and source of my favorite Bittman quote: "Americans must have become sadly alienated from their kitchens for boxed pancake mix to ever take hold." Or something like that.

  3. You know what? For years I made what I thought were pancakes because that's what my mum called them, but it turned out that they were crepes!

    These proper pancakes look fantastic, especially with the proper accompaniment of blueberries :) I've heard so much about FNL, might need to start watching it.

  4. I love pancakes but my unfortunate cooking mojo makes them flatter than crepes... Yours look perfect!

  5. I'm totally a breakfast person, although I rarely make it. Those pancakes look great! Especially with the blueberries, which is the only way I take my pancakes. I love how a non-cooking tv show can inspire you to cook (that, and Tim Riggins ;).) When I was younger I was the same with books, trying to cook out of Little House on the Prairie, and never reading that series without something to eat at hand.

  6. Those look wicked good. Pancakes are one of my most favorite foods. Seriously. I wish my local sports team did pancake breakfasts, I would so go to them.

  7. Now that you have found your love of pancakes, I'll have to send you my grandmother's Russian pancake recipe. It includes egg whites and yeast, making them fluffy, light and absolutely delicious (don't worry, the yolks go in too). Better yet, maybe I'll make them for all of us next month!

  8. I'm not a big pancake person too, mostly because you get stuffed after maybe just two. But those look good fresh from the griddle. Hey, maybe you might do a FNL pancake breakfast to raise some viewers! Sorry, but it looks artistic and all, but I couldn't get into it during the first season. Too dramatic it seemed. Give me "Chuck" any day! LOL

  9. thanks for sharing a great pancake recipe! its funny what we take away from some shows we watch..
    Those pancakes do look heavenly

  10. I started watching FoodNet show "Alex's Day Off" because she's the chef of NYC restaurant Butter, which I found out about because the characters from (can't believe I'm admitting to watching this) Gossip Girl eat there!

    I love making and eating pancakes, waffles and French toast (had waffles just this morning!). My mom would separate the eggs, beat the whites then fold them into the batter to make extra light pancakes. I'm too lazy to do that (and it's so difficult, right?) but it really works! - Pete

  11. if i were to write my own version of 'my favorite things,' both pancakes and tim riggins would make the list. :)

  12. Cheers to a great stack of pancakes! We often eat them for dinner too.

  13. Pancakes and waffles have become a Saturday morning tradition at my house.

    Yours look absolutely perfect! I've never thought of adding cardamom - I'll have to try that sometime.

  14. I'm going to jump all over this pancake recipe! It looks wonderful. I love all kinds...sourdough, potato, buckwheat, buttermilk!
    And I experimented with waffles last weekend too. Posting results soon!
    I like your cinnamon and cardamom additions and they're so good for dinner as well.

  15. Woo hoo on you becoming a pancake convert. I mean, what's not to love. You have fluffy, tender little cakes doused with butter and syrup. I dare anyone not to go head over heels for 'em. ;)

  16. For someone who never made pancake batter from scratch,..you did an amazing job!! These thicker fluffy pancakes look like the real thing!!

    Very appetizing picture,..hey hey!

  17. Thank you, everyone! I am very proud indeed of my pancake accomplishment, and may even make some more this weekend!

  18. Been thinking about trying these for a few days now. Was going to go for it this morning but then got thrown off by the "1-2 eggs." Is the quantity dependent on how big your eggs are? Hoping you might see this comment before my belly gets too grumbly, and I resort to making something else! Thanks.

  19. Hi bollyana, sorry I am just seeing this comment now! Did you try the pancakes? I think you can use either one or two eggs, depending on what you have or prefer...at least that was my interpretation of the recipe. I used two and they turned out nicely. Sorry I didn't see this earlier! Hungry Dog