- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 31, 2007

In most cultures, a pancake is a savory affair served as a main dish that contains (or is wrapped around) some combination of vegetables, meat and sometimes cheese.

It might be garnished with a dollop of something spicy or creamy rich — or sauced lightly or substantially — but it never would be drenched in syrup. (That is purely American, fun though it can be.) Our American palates are not accustomed to unsweet pancakes, so we have something new and exciting to discover. This recipe is a good place to begin.

Earthy and pungent, these incredibly satisfying pancakes are almost like little individual omelets. They reheat well in a microwave or a toaster oven — and also taste good at room temperature — so try packing a few in your lunch bag.

If you make wild-rice pancakes the focal point for brunch, the sweet spot on the table remains open for a well-loved coffeecake and fruit salad.

If you serve them for supper, frame them with your favorite lentil soup and spinach salad. A pinot noir would go beautifully with the mix.

Wild-rice pancakes with mushrooms and goat cheese

1 tablespoon olive oil

12 medium-size mushrooms (1½-inch diameter), sliced

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

4 large eggs

1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour or rice flour

4 scallions, minced

1 cup cooked wild rice

1 cup (about 5 ounces) crumbled goat cheese

1/3 teaspoon black pepper

Nonstick spray for the pan

A little unsalted butter for the pan (optional)


Sour cream or yogurt

Flat-leaf parsley (torn leaves)

Minced chives


Place a medium-sized skillet over medium heat for about 1 minute. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and the mushrooms, and saute over medium heat for 5 minutes.

Stir in ½ teaspoon of the salt and saute 5 minutes longer. Stir in the garlic and lemon juice and remove the pan from the heat without cooking the mixture any further.

Beat the eggs in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk in the flour and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt. When this mixture is uniform, stir in the cooked mushrooms, including all their juices. Add the scallions, wild rice, goat cheese and black pepper, and stir until well combined.

Wipe out the skillet used in Step 1, and return it to medium heat. After a minute or two, spray lightly with nonstick spray and, if you like, melt in a little butter. When the cooking surface is hot enough to sizzle a bread crumb, use a 1/4-cup measure with a handle to scoop batter onto the hot pan, and fry for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until golden.

Serve hot, warm or at room temperature with the toppings of your choice. Makes 12 4-inch pancakes — 4 to 5 servings.

Note: The batter keeps well for several days in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator.

Note: To keep the pancakes warm, transfer them to a rack on a baking tray, and place the tray in a 200-degree oven until serving time. (The rack keeps them crisp.) They also are good at room temperature.

Mollie Katzen is the author of “Moosewood Cookbook” (Ten Speed Press). To contact her, go to www.molliekatzen.com.


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