Over the years, I've learned that the noble act of compromise is a powerful thing. I haven't had too much practice with a sibling who demanded as much as I did in my early years, though. After all, my sister and I are nine years apart and the mere thought of having a peer as a sibling is incomprehensible to me. One can imagine the sacrifices she's had to make for me rather than the other way around. Bless her heart. I have learned, however, that as long as we don't compromise our core values and all things that make the world go 'round in a delightfully polished manner, compromise can yield to be a beautiful pursuit.
This philosophy--particularly with respect to food and anything relational--such as the extrinsic art of active listening being practiced on a loved one, has proven to be life changing for me. More and more, accommodating certain ingredients that are deemed not so respectable by the health community, along with a good dose of wholesome greens, has become second nature in our kitchen. A bit of sugar here and a bit of buttermilk there won't sabotage a healthy diet. And it certainly won't kill most people as we know.
This utterly thick and feathery pancake could perhaps go two ways: favorable or utterly provoking due to the mention of kale. It might even yield to be an insulting tribute to Larchmont Bungalow's gorgeous red and blue velvet pancakes, which by the way, I happened to unashamedly copy by using my sole imagination. One of these days I will get to sit there while blissfully chatting with a friend, I promise. I do urge you not to worry about the greens, my friends. Kale is used merely as an extra moistening agent, but most importantly it is the perfect compromise for an otherwise heavy American breakfast dish. Folks might even think it's food coloring at first glance.
Now about that creme fraiche...I had not realized that creme fraiche could so enhance an already good recipe and make it great. Injecting some sweetened creme fraiche into the pancake and then liberally lathering a dollop on top was probably the best part of this semi-healthy snack. My suggestion is to use a medium surface skillet as opposed to a large one so as to produce one large thick pancake, but that is entirely up to you. Buttermilk can be substituted with a mix of milk and vinegar, but somehow this kind of recipe seems to taste richer with the original stuff. Please make sure to take a look at Nuts Dot Com's healthy snack page for more ideas on how to kick start the new year.
Green Velvet Pancakes Topped with Sweet Cream Fraiche
Serves approximately 6
Time: 12-15 minutes including cooking
Equipment: Medium surface skillet, blender for kale puree
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 egg white+1 large egg
1 1/3 cup buttermilk
2 kales pureed, with hard stem off
butter or oil for the skillet
3/4-1 cup creme fraiche (I use this kind)
1/4 cup confectioner sugar+more for dusting
In a large mixing bowl, mix all purpose flour, whole wheat pastry four, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and only 2 tbsp of sugar, leaving 1 tbsp. Set aside.
Cream the eggs with 1 tbsp sugar by hand or with a beater until creamy, then beat in the buttermilk and kale puree. Add the wet ingredients into the dry and gently mix without over beating. Butter or oil a medium surface skillet, set over medium heat, and pour the batter all at once. Cook over low-medium heat for approximately 5 minutes or until the top slightly bubbles or is no longer runny, just wet enough. Ginger flip over with a large spatula and cook for a minute.
Mix the creme fraiche and confectioner sugar and put into a piping bag (or ziploc bag), cut a small hole at one tip, pierce through with a decorating or piping tip, and poke it through little sections in the pancake. Filling it will make the pancake rise a bit. Cut into sections, transfer to a plate, garnish with more sweetened creme fraiche, and dust a bit of confectioner sugar.
How are you compromising in your diet this year?
What are some of your favorite unconventional ingredients hiding in traditional dishes?