Saturday, March 22, 2008

On Being a Domestic Goddess - The Breakfast Edition

So last week, I splurged and bought a copy of Nigella Express: Good Food Fast (SGD 62.06 at Kinokuniya) by the domestic goddess herself, Nigella Lawson. The Boyfriend and I are great fans of hers, and try and catch her shows on Discovery Travel & Living during weekends. After a couple of weeks of intermittently eating out of the house or cobbling together whatever we can find in the fridge, we finally decided to go back to the proper meals (which means I cook during the weekends and we heat things up during the week).

Thanks to the new cookbook, we managed to put together a decent-enough menu for the week and just bought loads of ready-to-cook Indian food (only SGD 2.50 at Mustafa's, compared to SGD 3.50 at Giant Hypermarket). Still, I wasn't sure how things would go, since I wasn't quite used to following a recipe and preferred to keep things inside my head.This morning, we started by making pancakes from scratch. Here's the recipe I used, a modification what Ms. Lawson suggested in her cookbook.

1 1/2 cups flour (I use self-raising flour for added fluffiness, but any old white flour will do)
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons soda bicarbonate
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup caster sugar
5 eggs
milk (I never measured, but enough to make everything mix together smoothly)
vanilla extract

So mix the dry ingredients together and then dump everything into a blender so that it will mix smoothly and it won't strain your arm - unless you're a body builder and can mix everything together by hand (I can't). Add the eggs and then blend carefully (I put mine on number 2 or Pulse) for about three minutes or until the eggs and the flour mixture have started to come together. Pour in the milk - up to you how much you want, but I generally placed maybe about a quarter of a cup inside - and then blend thoroughly until you get a golden yellow glop. Scrape the sides with a wooden or plastic spoon/spatula so that everything is blended smoothly.

And then get a frying pan and heat it up - a flat pan would be best, but a good ol' trusty frying pan will do. Don't put oil; use about a teaspoon of butter to coat the pan and then pour a generous amount of the batter in the middle of the pan.When the butter around the edges of the pancake starts bubbling up and you can see the liquidy center of the pancake making little holes in the batter, carefully nudge the bottom with your spatula and turn it over (v. reminiscent of the "swish and flick" gesture of Wingardium leviosa, for all you HP fans). Give it a minute or so to cook, so that it will turn golden brown. Once your pancake is done, take it off the heat, place another knob of butter, and repeat the cooking process.

I served my pancakes with more butter on top (because you can't have enough), sugar syrup, and a generous scoop of strawberry jam.This recipe makes for about eight giant-sized pancakes. It's good and filling without being cloying, and mixing it in the blender ensures that you don't bite into chunks of un-mixed flour or sugar (really gross) after you cook it. The vanilla and cinnamon makes the pancakes taste good on its own. Maybe you can also try this with banana slices or orange wedges, if you're one of those people who like loads of fruits in your breakfast mix. ^_^

Needless to say, The Boyfriend loved it and finished his servings (three large pancakes) in 10 minutes. I had two, and I'm still quite full but it's a good kind of full, like knowing that you're energized enough to start the day. We still have three more pancakes in the fridge, awaiting their turn to be heated up and turned into some kind of dessert.

Mmmmmm.Now, let me see what to cook for dinner...

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