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Every once in a while I get on a food kick, where I start cooking one thing over and over, experimenting until I get it just right. Then I cook and eat that for a while until suddenly one day I’m done with it. It no longer interests me, and I move on to the next thing.

Right now, it’s pancakes. I’d never been a huge pancake girl, until last Shrove Tuesday Maureen Evans (who as @cookbook tweets recipes in 140 characters or less) tweeted a recipe that looked so simple I had to try it out.  My first mod was to halve it (I don’t really need that many pancakes), and then from there I started playing with using different additives (oatmeal, flax seed, cinnamon, raisins, etc.), and adjusting the proportions of ingredients.  Many tasty pancakes were made, and many tasty pancakes were eaten.

And then I had my brainwave.  You see, I’ve never been too clear on the distinction between sweet and savory foods.  To me, just like bread can be equally good with sweet or savory toppings, other starches like hot cereal or, well, pancakes can be just as good with a savory topping as they are with butter and sugar.  In fact, I think I usually like the savory toppings better (I’ve grossed out many a friend by putting salt & pepper on my buttered toast).  First I diced some ham and cheese very small, and mixed that into the pancake batter.  The result was delicious, especially where the cheese had come into contact with the hot skillet.  But the batter itself needed more body, more texture.  Then I remembered the bag of cornmeal on the bottom shelf.  I started swapping that out for some of the flour.  Then minced green onions got added, and red pepper flakes.  Dicing up the ham started to be a pain, so that was out, and shredded cheese was in.  No matter what I changed, the pancakes only got more and more delicious.

Tonight, as I was making my umpteenth batch of tasty Cheesy Cormeal Scallion Pancakes, I decided that I could no longer keep this recipe to myself.  It wasn’t right to be so selfish.  In the interests of the common good, it was only right to share.  And so, without further ado, here is the recipe for my pancakes.  Please make them and eat them as soon as you can!

Cheesy Cormeal Scallion Pancakes

makes 6-7 good sized pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. cornmeal
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 – 1/2 t. red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2-3 scallions (green onions), minced or 2 t. dried onion flakes or equivalent amount of onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 c. shredded cheese – I like cheddar or mozzarella & Parmesan mixed (this is often sold as an Italian blend) best
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T. oil
  • 3/4 c. water
Mix the dry ingredients (cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and red pepper flakes if using) together in a bowl until well combined.  I like to use a 4 cup mixing cup for this, since it makes it easier to pour out onto the skillet.  Add the onion and cheese, and mix until they are coated with flour.  Add the egg and oil, and mix just until the moisture is absorbed.  Then mix in the water, stirring until the batter is well mixed.  If the batter seems thick, you may need to add another T or two of water.

Heat your skillet until a drop of water sizzles when flicked onto the surface.  Spray liberally with spray grease (Pam or similar), and pour in your batter.  Flip the pancakes when the edges have solidified and there are bubbles in the center.  Cook until brown on both sides, and eat as soon as they have cooled enough not to burn your mouth, if you can wait that long.  Delicious.

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