Sesame Street!

Hey hey Fancakes!

This past weekend I went with a few of my friends for dinner at a Japanese restaurant. Everything we got was delicious but what stuck with my tastebuds was a black sesame ice cream dessert. I love black sesame. Really, I love everything sesame so it’s no surprise that once I got a taste of that sesame goodness, I just kept wanting more. And that is why, this week, I basically had not choice but to make Sesame Crepes! (original recipe from food and punch)

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A quick note on the recipe before I dive into the flavor profile. The original recipe calls for rice flour, but I just don’t think that rice flour makes for good crepes – it makes the crepes more prone to cracking (you can see in the picture that the crepes are breaking a bit). Anyway, that’s why my recipe calls for regular flour but feel free to experiment with whatever flours you like.

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Flavor-wise, the sesame flavor is subtle, but definitely there, and, since they get mixed into the batter and sprinkled onto the crepes, there’s definitely a nice crunch to the crepes. On their own, the crepes are lightly sweet, and the orange blossom water comes through just a bit. With the extra honey and lemon, these crepes are the perfect snack – I’m definitely making them again!

3.5 out of 5 stackies: stackiestackiestackie .5

Ingredients:

(makes 8 crepes)

1/2 C flour

1 egg

1 1/2 Tbs sugar

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 C milk

1/2 T butter, melted

1 tsp orange blossom water (or vanilla)

1 Tbs sesame seeds + more for sprinkling

honey

lemon

Directions:

Sift together the flour, salt, and sugar. Whisk in the butter, milk, egg, and orange blossom water until you get a very smooth batter. Stir in the sesame seeds.

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Cover the batter with plastic wrap, making sure the wrap touches the surface of the batter and put the batter in the fridge for at least 1/2 an hour.

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Lightly butter a nonstick pan and set it over medium heat. Giving the batter a quick stir, cook 2 Tbs of batter at a time. Swirl the batter around the pan so that you get a very thin crepe. Sprinkle a few sesame seeds on top of the crepe before it dries. Cook for about 2 minutes until the edges are crispy.

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Flip and cook for another minute or so.

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Continue to cook the crepes, stacking them up on a plate as you go. The residual heat will keep them nice and pliable.

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When you’re through cooking, fold them into quarters, and sprinkle them with honey and lemon juice.

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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!

I said a hip hop, hippie to the hippie, the hip, hip a hop, and you don’t stop

Hey Fancakes! This week I made rice flour hoppers (see what I did with the title there? you know you love it) aka appam. The recipe I followed (from Saveur)  said the recipe was Sri Lankan, but I think these pancakes are also popular in different areas of South India and Malaysia. I confess I did quite a bit of research on wikipedia… Anyway, I made 2 types of hoppers, basically the same, but one had an egg cooked into it.

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The hoppers were really simple to put together – the most “exotic” ingredients are the rice flour and coconut milk and I was able to find both in my local grocery store. Other than that, the recipe just has a lot of “wait time” – the batter needs to rest twice for a total of 3 hours! Madness, I know, but worth the wait!

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The hoppers are supposed to be cooked in a hopper pan (seriously, I never knew there were so many specialty pancake pans before I started this blog!), but I just used a small wok.

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(hopper pan – basically a shallow wok with 2 small handles and a lid – get yours on Amazon!)

As I was cooking, I realized how similar the hoppers are to classic crepes – they both have thin batters (as far as consistency), require quite a bit of batter resting time, and call for similar swirling motions when you cook (you need to swirl the batter so that the pancakes cover the whole bottom of the pan. Oh yeah, and they’re both delicious. SNAP.

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(Everyday I”m swirlin’)

The hoppers smell amazing while they’re cooking, they give off this amazing coconut smell – not overwhelming at all, but just a warm toasty coconutty…mmmm…I feel like cooking more just I can smell them.  Taste-wise, the plain hoppers are fairly neutral with just a smidge of saltiness. Hoppers are sometimes eaten with curries and stews and I can totally imagine how delicious that would be.

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I added a drizzle of honey to the plain hoppers and they were a delicious snack. As for the egg hopper, I sprinkled just a few flakes of kosher salt on the egg portion and it was equally delicious, the egg turns into a sort of yolky savory syrup which is the ish…you know, if you’re into that sort of savory glory.

3.75 out of 5 stackies:stackiestackiestackie.75

Ingredients:

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp dry yeast

3/4 C rice flour

1/4 tsp sugar

1/2 C + 2 Tbs coconut milk

1/16 tsp baking soda (I just use my 1/4 tsp and estimate!)

3.5 oz water heated to 115

oil

eggs (optional)

Directions:

Combine the yeast and water and let sit for 8-10 minutes (the water should get foamy).

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In a separate bowl, combine the salt, flour, and sugar. Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture. Stir and then cover and let sit on the counter for 2 hours.

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Add the coconut milk and baking soda. Whisk until the batter is smooth. Cover and let sit for 1 hour in the fridge.

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Heat a little less than 1 Tbs of oil in your pan (I used a small wok since I don’t have a hopper pan, but you can use a regular small frying pan as well).  Cook 1/3 C batter at a time. (Oh, I also had to re-oil my pan after every other hopper.)

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Add the batter to the pan and swirl to cover the entire bottom of the pan, cook for about 1 minute.

If you’re cooking the egg version, crack an egg into the center of the hopper.

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Then cover and cook for another 2 minutes (the edges will get crispy). If you’re making a plain hopper, then just skip the egg part.

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Slide the hopper out of the pan and enjoy!