After traveling quite a lot this spring, summer has taken on a completely different rhythm. As most of you know, because of this, I've been keeping close to home, and it's nice. Saturday mornings are my favorite, and they've developed their own little ritual. I get up early and go to the farmers' market, driving the back way, through North Beach, where it's quiet, empty, and peaceful at that hour. At the market I look at the bay and the bridge, and buy eggs, and favas, and strawberries and flowers, and sometimes get cappuccinos with friends. Wayne bakes bread while I'm gone, and when I get home we stand around slathering butter on slices while chatting. I unload my bag, and set to work trimming flowers for the house. I start a pot of brown rice, which I use throughout the week in any number of things - to stretch leftover soup, in fried rice, and in these pancakes, which became a fast favorite around here - I make them savory, and they work for just about any meal.
The inspiration came from Massa Organics. I buy their brown rice at the market, and wondered if Greg and his family had favorite ways to use their own rice. After a few moments of poking around on their site, I found an adaptation of a rice pancake recipe they love - originally from The Pancake Handbook: Specialties from Bette's Oceanview Diner. No surprise, the Massa's bumped up the amount of rice in the recipe significantly, and it's great. The brown rice adds a nutty texture, and lots of substance to the pancakes. I've been doing a version with crumbled nori, sesame, and spices, the recipe is down below.
Hope you all have a nice holiday. Here are a number of links to other recipes that might come in handy over the 4th - a really great salsa, lime & peanut coleslaw, summer corn salad, and an excellent, simple chocolate cake.
Rice and Sesame Pancakes
I use a mix of black and white sesame seeds, and the sheets of nori I use are about 9-inches square.
1 1/2 cups / 6 3/4 oz all-purpose (or whole wheat pastry) flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
zest of one lemon
1/4 teaspoon toasted ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
1 sheet nori, toasted (carefully) over burner until crunchy
2 large eggs
2 cups / 480 ml milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, just-melted
1/8 tsp toasted sesame oil (optional)
2 cups / 10 oz cooked brown rice, not hot
In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, brown sugar, salt, sesame seeds, lemon zest, cumin, and cayenne. Crumble the nori into tiny flecks into the bowl with your hands. Stir until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, butter, and sesame oil. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, and stir a few times with a fork to start bringing the ingredients together. At this point add the rice, and stir until the batter is just combined. Try to avoid over mixing.
Heat a griddle until medium-hot, and brush with a bit of butter or oil. If a drop of water dances across the surface, you're in the ballpark. Pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup at a time onto the griddle. Cook until the bottoms are deep golden and the tops have set a bit, then use a spatula to flip the pancakes. Cook the other side until golden and cooked through. Repeat with remaining batter.
Makes about 12 pancakes.
Recipe adapted by Greg Massa from The Pancake Handbook: Specialties from Bette's Oceanview Diner, then adapted another generation by me.
Prep time: 5 minutes - Cook time: 10 minutes