Yesterday was not special. I worked. I blogged. I drank too much coffee. I ate too many shortbread cookies. I regretted not blogging more. I regretted drinking too much coffee. I hated myself for not buying more shortbread cookies.
As the clock neared 5pm, I gave up hope that the night be would any different than my day. Joe was working late and I had no clue what to make for dinner. I contemplated submitting to take-out food but something about it didn’t interest me enough to dig through the drawer of menus.
And then, I remembered reading recently about Dutch Baby Pancakes and it reminded me how much I missed The Original Pancake House in San Jose where I used to order them. I pondered the thought of pancakes. How easy are they? They must be difficult since I don’t know of anyone who’s made them. Do I even have flour? I think I used up all the eggs. Wait. I don’t even know what ingredients it uses.
And, as if transported back in time, I remembered a childhood conversation with my father when he asked me the question. I cringe to even reflect on the painfully awkward, palm-sweating, eager-to-flee discussion with my father when he sat me down and asked … do you know how babies are made?
Well, I failed the question back then and again yesterday. I ran a few searches and found two excellent Dutch Baby sources, Orangette (recipe) and Cooking with Amy (recipe). It seemed rather prophetic since I look forward to meeting them both in two weeks at a food blog conference.
Surprisingly, the ingredients are common and the process is easy. Why don’t more people make these puffy delights?
For those of you scratching your heads and wondering what I’m even rambling on about, Dutch Baby is a type of puffy pancake usually baked in a cast iron pan in the oven. The batter is thin and made of eggs, milk and flour. It’s poured into a hot buttery skillet, then baked at high heat (450-500F). The pancake raises inches into the air, getting crispy around the edges, then deflates when removed from the oven. It is served with a squirt of fresh lemon and a heavy sprinkle of powdered sugar.
I grew excited by the prospect of making a Dutch Baby and was relieved to see I had all the necessary ingredients. I used Amy’s recipe and cut it in half since Joe wouldn’t be home until later. I used a small 6″ skillet and increased the butter to 2 tablespoons per serving and used whole milk, as suggested. For an eggier version, Molly’s (Orangette) recipe uses more eggs, half and half, and more butter!
My only concern was whether it would be substantial enough for dinner. I love pancakes, but come on … you need to eat quite a few to feel full (right?). When we first moved to Vancouver, we ate at DeDutch for breakfast and had a rather enjoyable thin pancake topped with a fried egg and meat. I loved the sweet and savory combination and decided to fatten up my baby with a crispy-edged egg and chorizo.
The combination grew on me the more I thought about it. Pancake. Fried Egg. Chorizo. Sweet-salty-spicy-savory-crispy-soft. Perfection. Earlier in the day, I read MattBites post on Carne Asada Fries and found it rather intriguing. A seemingly odd pairings of ingredients which might otherwise be classified as bong-induced cooking. I set about working on dinner and wondered what people would think of my baby.
I didn’t plan to photograph or even blog about this until I saw the pancake rising in the oven. As it grew, so did my excitement. I quickly set up my lights and prepped my camera.
The pancake deflates in the middle, creating a perfect bowl in which to rest the egg and chorizo. The mix of runny yolk and powdered sugar with spicy chorizo was pure bliss. Seriously incredible. F**king good.
Have any of you made babies lately?