Monday, December 13, 2010

Eggplant Pancakes


Say what? I know, ya'll are probably as skeptical about this as I was when I first came across the idea. Heading into week three, I've had a lot of recipe failures. And those that worked...well, there's only so many times one can eat the same thing the same way, you know?

Thankfully, I came across How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman. Normally I'm against cookbooks with no photos, but this book is amazing. He's included tons of techniques and variations, so even if you aren't inspired by one flavor combination, there's six more on the next page to shake things up. It's an awesome book for ideas to encourage creativity.

In it, I was introduced to pureeing. Obviously not a foreign concept, but something I hadn't considered outside the realms of the starchy potato family or flavorless baby food. Boy was I wrong. And after pureeing my first eggplant, it was an easy jump to pancakes.

Now, these pancakes aren't sweet and don't cry out for butter and maple syrup. They're moist, flavorful, and (one of the best parts for me) reheat nicely in a toaster oven.



Ingredients

1 Medium/Large Eggplant (about 1 c of puree)
Olive oil
Garlic (if desired), either minced or powder, to taste
1 cup Brown Rice Flour (All Purpose should be fine)
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 Egg
Almond Milk (or whatever milk you prefer)

1. Make eggplant puree. --> Peel, slice and cook the eggplant. I've both pan-fried it and broiled it; broiling takes less oil. (I plan to try steaming, now that I have a steamer.) Cook until soft; let cool. Put eggplant in food processor to puree, adding oil only as needed to smooth the consistency.



2. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. (Also add garlic powder or other dry flavorings to this mix.)



3. Mix the egg into the eggplant until incorporated. This is also where you would add fresh garlic (or while pureeing, like I did).

4. Add the flour mixture gradually into the eggplant. It will be pretty dry.


5. Slowly add milk to achieve a pancake batter-like consistency. Eggplant is pretty absorbent, so it might take a while. I left mine a little thick. It just depends on how smooth a spread you prefer. If you add too much liquid, you can add more flour (or eggplant if you still have more).



6. Heat a pan to medium and grease the pan with whatever you like. I used olive oil, but you could use butter or non-stick spray. Drop batter in pan (you might have to smooth it down if it's thicker), letting it cook until golden-brown. Then flip and repeat. (Aka, cook like a normal pancake.)



7. Enjoy delicious Eggplant Pancakes! If you are going to store them, I recommend wrapping them in paper towels to absorb some of the excess oil and putting them in a zip top bag.


The best part of this recipe is the versatility. It's pretty much the same for any puree. Potato, carrot...the possibilities should work with your tastes. I know my next goal is to try broccoli. I figure with a hollandaise sauce, it would be a decadent treat. If it works, you'll definitely see it on here. :D


Happy holidays!

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