A great take on a breakfast favorite, these savory pancakes are thick, fluffy, and chock full of spinach (Note to parents: these are a most delicious way to sneak a healthy dose of veggies into your kid's diet). Skip the maple syrup and instead, drizzle this stack with a tangy tomato cream sauce spiked with orange zest.
The inspiration behind these savory pancakes comes from a wonderful dish I had at a sunny little spot called Lady Marmalade in Toronto. Their brunch menu featured a Cheddar Spinach Waffle drizzled with a Tomato-Orange cream sauce. I loved the combination of flavors and thought I'd give it a try at home.
I started out by grating some extra sharp cheddar and prepping the chopped spinach (squeezing out as much water as possible). The large amount of spinach in this recipe makes for a pretty hearty pancake, so if you prefer a lighter version, feel free to cut down on the greens.
Next, a thick batter is formed by combining the cheese and spinach with a beaten egg, melted butter, milk, all purpose flour, salt, and baking powder. The hefty amount of baking powder mixed in with the flour mimics self-rising flour so your pancakes puff up nice and fluffy. Since the batter is pretty dense at this point, I employed an old trick for light and airy pancakes: whipped egg whites. Fold them into the batter and you are good to go.
The sauce I'm modeling this after was like a roasted tomato bisque. It was creamy and comforting, and was the perfect complement to the cheddar cheese in the dish. To save time on roasting my tomatoes, I decided to use just regular canned whole-peeled tomatoes, and threw in a handful of sundried tomatoes to intensify the flavor. I loved the surprising zip of orange zest in the original sauce and was sure to include it in my remake. A few glugs of cream, and into the food processor it all went. As the mixture blended together, I noticed that the cream was looking a little chunky, but after I heated it up in a saucepan, it all smoothed out.
If you're a savory rather than sweet person, you'll appreciate this rendition of pancakes that don't involve chocolate or fruit (although, come to think of it, chocolate chip banana pancakes do sound darn tasty). I digress. The sweet pancakes will have to wait for another day. In the meantime, breakfast for dinner, anyone?
- 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup grated sharp cheddar
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 2 egg whites
- 2/3 cup low-fat milk
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Olive oil for frying
- Sundried Tomato Cream Sauce
- Preheat the oven to 200 F.
- Squeeze all water from the defrosted spinach. Melt the butter in the microwave, about 30 seconds.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the spinach, melted butter, grated cheese, the beaten egg, milk, flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well, forming a thick batter.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until they form soft peaks. Fold it into the batter.
- Place a frying pan over medium high heat and add enough oil to coat the surface. Ladle the batter into the hot pan, spreading the batter out. Give yourself enough room in the pan to flip the pancakes.
- Cook for about 3 minutes, or until the pancakes are golden on the bottom. They will puff up and small air bubbles will form on the surface when they're ready to be flipped. Flip the pancakes over and cook for about another 2 minutes until the other side is golden.
- Transfer to a foil-lined baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm while you finish the remaining batches. Serve with the Tomato Cream Sauce spooned on top.