Monday, November 8, 2010

Meatless Monday: Whole Wheat Winter Squash Pancakes

Here we are Meatless Monday is upon us and yet again I find myself scrambling for a post.  This time I'm really scrambling for a post because I feel like the majority of my Meatless Monday creations have been soup or pasta and when I first think of meatless recipes those are the two things that are top of mind.  I do have a couple of great sandwich options that I'm working on for the coming weeks but nothing for today.  What's a girl to do?  I surveyed my fridge as I thought about breakfast and saw a container of pureed Blue Hubbard squash that I made last week.

While we were out at Cooper's Farm last week, we saw this HUGE blue winter squash that I just had to bring home.  Mainly because I was hoping the flesh might be blue.  That hope that was immediately dashed upon doing some research and finding that Blue Hubbard squash has a bright orange flesh and a starchy texture.  I also learned that the best way to break into this puppy was to wrap it in a bag and just drop it.  That just sounded like too much fun, so I went for it.  The initial gentle drop yielded nothing, so I just smashed it on our patio stone out back and it cracked in two!

Upon opening the squash I realized it had a really strong melon scent which was intensified on roasting.  A bit thrown by then I moved forward with making it into a squash and apple gratin, which while tasty was not blog-worthy.  I pureed the rest to use in other recipes.  I think the melony scent and sweeter flavor threw me a bit and blocked me from coming up from any other uses.  But this morning while grasping at straws for a recipe I thought it could be perfect in a pancake.  And as far as I'm concerned breakfast food works for breakfast, lunch or dinner and it's no secret that I LOVE breakfast for dinner.  I did some research and found a recipe for Puffy Pumpkin Pancakes out of Nova Scotia that would be the perfect jumping off point for my recipe.

Whole Wheat Winter Squash Pancakes
Adapted from Jessie Robinson at Orato

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsps baking powder (the recipe called for soda but I mistakenly added powder which worked)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup 1% milk
1/2 cup cooked squash puree - I used Blue Hubbard squash
2 egg yolks - lightly beaten
2 Tbsps butter - melted and cooled slightly
2 egg whites
butter & Canadian maple syrup for serving

1.  Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  In a medium bowl, mix the milk, squash, egg yolks and butter.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined
2.  Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
3.  Heat a cast iron skillet over medium low heat.  It is ready when droplets of water dance across the surface of the pan.  Use a folded paper towel to wipe a thin coating of butter on the skillet.
4.  Add batter to skillet in 1/4 cup portions and cook until golden brown on each side.  Keep warm in a 200F oven.  Serve with butter and maple syrup.

I'm the first to admit that I'm more of a french toast person than a pancake person, but these are so light and fluffy that I'll happily eat them anytime.  I find that home roasted and pureed squash is more wet than anything you might get canned, which is why the whole wheat flour worked so well in this recipe.  The pancakes were tender with a touch of the cinnamon and nutmeg spice and just the right amount of that melony blue hubbard squash flavor.  You can make these with any squash puree but I guarantee the blue hubbard will make then so much more special.  

I thought about making the apple cider sauce from the original recipe, but thought pure unprocessed maple syrup would be the best option for me.   Regardless of if you prefer french toast or pancakes, who doesn't love the combination of melting butter and maple syrup?  It's the perfect topping for just about any breakfast food, it even works on some of my favorite breakfast sandwiches.  All in all these pancakes were the perfect way to start my week.

Just a reminder for all of my Toronto readers:  The Art of Cooking presents Jamie Oliver  for one night only November 18 and I get to offer you a $10 per ticket discount on General & VIP tickets and a $20 per ticket discount on groups of 5 or more.  Just click here and you will be taken to the discounted ticket page or if you go through the Art of Cooking main page just enter the discount code JN29.  It's truly a great opportunity and I hope you'll all join me.  



Kelly said...

How gorgeous do these sound. Yum!

apiciusapprentice said...

These look amazing! What a perfect way to use some leftover squash... I can't wait to try this.