Off the Griddle with Ihopapotamus at…Maureen’s Kitchen!

Hello Fancakes! I’ll start by saying thanks for the chance to write on here again. This was the push I needed to head to an incredible Suffolk breakfast/lunch spot. It’s not often I wake up early and motivated to drive a half hour for breakfast (just kidding, I had my mom drive me). Maureen’s Kitchen in Smithtown is a bit out of the way if you don’t live in Suffolk, but they have maybe the best pancakes… ever. I know that is saying much, but I’m serious.

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(from Google maps)

On weekends this place is absolutely packed with a huge wait for not nearly enough tables. It’s best to be strategic and pick less busy times, but even if you pick a Sunday at 9AM, the wait is worth it. Walking into Maureen’s feels like stepping into a friend’s home for breakfast. And that home gives off the vibe of a diner and a soda shop combined. And that friend is obsessed with collecting anything related to cows. The cow theme is adorable and all over, from the seats to the black and white cows print motorcycle out front.

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On to the important part – the menu. This place has so much to offer. Obviously I came for the pancakes, but they have cannoli stuffed French toast, croissant French toast, corned beef hash (my boyfriend’s personal favorite), and loads of amazing omelet choices. The portions are huge and definitely worth the price. One stack consists of three big-sized pancakes that are easily enough to fill you up, and then some. Neither of us could finish our plates and we were really hungry walking in. The day we went for this review, there were two pancake specials: apple cider cranberry pecan pancakes and carrot cake pancakes. I was insanely tempted by the Oreo pancakes and the lovely bright green pistachio pancakes, but ultimately decided to pick something more seasonal.

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Mom went for the orange cranberry walnut and I picked the pumpkin walnut. The pancakes come with plenty of butter and syrup (maple syrup was an extra $1.75 so this was the fake stuff, which is my only complaint). But, we didn’t even need any syrup, they were that good (we didn’t “need” butter either, but we did use the entire amount they gave us because we’re us).

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The orange cranberry walnut pancakes had a light orange flavor and were studded with giant walnut chunks and gorgeous whole fresh cranberries. I was shocked to see fresh instead of dried cranberries and the way the three ingredients worked together was perfect. Not too sweet, not too tart, fluffy, chewy, and light.

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My pumpkin walnut pancakes were perfectly spiced. They were heavier than Mom’s which is absolutely fine due to the addition of pumpkin here, and they were perfect; lightly sweet, still fluffy despite the dense pumpkin, and deeply spiced. I’d take these over pumpkin pie any day. The walnuts again were the star. I guess we’re walnut gals.image4

(cows!!!)

All in all, this place is incredible. I’m sure the lunch menu is fantastic, but I’ve never met anyone who actually orders something other than breakfast food here. I wish there were three times as many tables in there, but Maureen’s Kitchen is worth a long wait, and I can’t wait to go back.

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5 out of 5 Paul Bunyans: Untitled1Untitled1Untitled1Untitled1Untitled1

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Do You Know What They Call A Radish In France?

Radis. Bonus points if you can tell what movie quote I just butchered!!

Happy Sunday Fancakes! So, I was perusing the Farmers’ Market during my lunch break this week and I saw these BEAUTIFUL French Breakfast Radishes.IMG_1425

I know, right? So cute. I’d never worked with these before but I had faith that my trusty friend Google could turn up some interesting recipes for me to work off of. I ended up using this recipe for Savory Chinese Turnip Pancakes from The Woks of Life (great blog name, right?) and I thought they turned out pretty awesome.

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They’re sort of like the weirdly awesome babies of Scallion Pancakes and Luobo Gao (Chinese turnip cakes). I’ve never made Luobo Gao, but I have made Scallion Pancakes and while they’re delicious, they’re kind of a pain to make. Lots of rolling and re-rolling. These Radish Pancakes were definitely easier to make, although they take a little bit of time since each pancake spends about 10 minutes in the pan all together.

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(some grated radish)

The original recipe calls for a couple Asian ingredients (dried shrimp and Chinese sausage). I happened to have dried shrimp in the fridge, but it’s not a big deal if you don’t. Also, I didn’t have any Chinese sausage (or thick cut smoky bacon, which the original recipe recommends as a substitute) on hand so instead I just cooked the pancakes in some bacon drippings that I save whenever I make bacon…people do that, right?

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(just some dried shrimp hangin’ out)

The pancakes are nice and crispy on the outside but soft on the inside…almost like a really thin hash brown. They’re a little plain on their own, but with the simple dipping sauce, they get pretty addictive. I basically had a plate of these for dinner. And, since you cut up the pancakes into wedges, it gets hard to keep track of how many you’ve eaten…which I’m totally fine with.

3.75 out of 5 stackies: stackiestackiestackie.75

Ingredients:

(makes 5 pancakes)

2 Tbs dried shrimp

1 Tbs chopped chives or scallions

1 C grated French Breakfast Radishes (about 5)

1 C flour

1 Tbs cornstarch

pinch pepper

1 egg

1 1/4 C water

1 tsp sesame oil

bacon drippings, for cooking

dipping sauce (1 Tbs soy sauce, 1 Tbs water, 1 tsp honey — whisked together well)

Directions:

Grate the radish, chop the chives, and roughly chop the dried shrimp (rinse the shrimp under warm water first to slightly soften them up). Add these 3 ingredients and all the rest into the grated radish and whisk well.

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Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat and add 1 tsp of bacon drippings to the pan. Cook 1/3 C batter at a time, spreading the batter out into a thinnish pancake once you add it to the pan. Cook for 4 minutes.

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Flip and cook for another 4 minutes.

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Flip again and cook for 1 minute. Then, flip one last time and cook for 1 minute (so you’re cooking each side twice overall). Slice the pancakes into wedges and serve with the dipping sauce!

Uh Oh, Spaghetti Squasho’s

Hey Fancakes,

First, I totally had this post written and (I thought) posted, but then Chrome went all crazy on me thus the late posting.  Sorry! Anyway, this week I made spaghetti squash pancakes.  I’d had this squash sitting in my fridge for a few weeks

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I’d had plans to roast it, puree it, and then make something delicious…but I also didn’t take the time to figure out what type of squash it was (in my defense, when I picked this up as part of my friend’s CSA, it was just labeled as a “winter squash”) which just made me continue to put off cooking with it at all.

Finally, I pulled myself together and did some googling…

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(from Epicurious)

and figured out that I had a spaghetti squash. A little more googling and I found Martha’s spiced squash pancake recipe. I didn’t quite have everything that she used on hand so I just winged it and made substitutions where I thought they would work.

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The spice level in these pancakes is definitely there/noticeable/in your face – so if you’ve been looking for some flava, you found it. The pancakes also passed my newest test – the fiance is notoriously picky so if he’s willing to try something and takes more than 1 bite, I know I have a winner – he ate a whole pancake! Spaghetti squash FTW.

4 out of 5 stackies: stackiestackiestackiestackie

Ingredients:

Olive oil, for cooking

1 clove garlic

1 Tbs chives, chopped

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp paprika

salt and pepper

2 C roasted spaghetti squash

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 Tbs flour

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 375°F. Quarter your spaghetti squash and drizzle each piece with some olive oil and pepper. Roast, cut side down for 1 hour.

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Let cool slightly and then using a fork, scrape out the squash into a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix together with a fork.

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Go from this (above) to this (below!).

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Heat a nonstick pan over medium low heat and add 1 Tbs of olive oil. Cook 2 forkfuls of batter at a time, using your fork to spread the batter into a thin pancake.

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Cook for 3-4 minutes until golden brown on the bottom. Flip and cook for another 2 minutes.

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Fall Is Callllingggg

Hey Fancakes,

Fall is my favorite time of year not due in small part to my Jen’s fabulous holiday bundt cake (recipe here). In fact, I love it soooo much I thought I’d try to get it in pancake form (for some reason cake in pancake form makes me feel slightly less guilty about eating a massive ton of it?). Oh, also I went apple picking and I’ve basically been trying to cook with as much apple as possible…

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These pancakes came out pretty pretty AWESOME. They’re like glorious bits fall fritters and I basically am trying to rush through writing this post so I can go eat more…Basically every fall flavor is in these pancakes: apples, pumpkin, pecans, cranberries, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, it’s the season in a scrumptious bite. I gobbled the first few plain but a touch of maple syrup or powdered sugar would bring these to the next level…actually, they might get so good that you explode, so just be ready for that.

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Ahh, seriously, go make these pancakes!

4 out of 5 stackies: stackiestackiestackiestackie

Ingredients:

(makes 12 mini pancakes)

1/2 C flour

2 Tbs sugar

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp nutmeg

pinch salt

1 egg

1/4 C milk

2 Tbs pumpkin puree

splash of vanilla

1/4 C pecans, chopped

1/4 C cranberries, halved

1 small apple, peeled and diced

butter for cooking

Directions:

Whisk together all the ingredients except the pecans, cranberries, and apple. Stir in the pecans, cranberries, and apple.

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Heat just enough oil to coat the bottom of your pan over medium low heat. Cook a heaping Tbs of batter at a time.

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Cook for about 2 minutes, then flip and cook for another minute or so.

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Repeat with the remaining batter and enjoy!