Today I wanted to share a great breakfast trick that I recently discovered and it has become a staple in our house. I’m always looking for good breakfast recipes that are satisfying enough for Sunday morning, but not overly decadent and carb-laden. I tend to like breakfast foods that are on the sweet side, but a plate of pancakes with syrup is often overkill, and I always seem to feel a tad queasy after I eat them.
So here it is: You use pancake mix, but instead of following the formula given, you use more egg and less pancake mix. The final product is fluffy and moist, but not as bread-y as pancakes. It’s almost like a cross between an omelette and pancake, and tastes faintly like a flan. This is also a great way to get egg-averse kids, if you happen to have one, to eat an egg! You can play with this idea and adapt it to your own tastes, but the only thing to keep in mind is that the more egg you add, the longer it will take to cook through. And a very eggy pancake batter doesn’t cook exactly like a regular pancake. If you try to cook it like a regular pancake, it will brown on the bottom and be completely liquid in the middle. Trust me. So if you have the time, the best way to do it is start it on the stovetop, then let it firm up for a few minutes in the oven, and finally return it to the stove top to flip over. It sounds complicated but it really isn’t if you have your oven heated. It only takes about 5 or 6 minutes total.
Just a note of caution, though, and that is to not burn yourself on the pan. If you’re like me, you’re not used to your frying pan being screaming hot on the handle and it’s easy to forget. This happened to me and the result was a second degree burn on my hand. If you have a handle sleeve, use it, if not, remind yourself by leaving the mitt on your hand until you’ve plated your pancake.
If you’re in a rush, you can stir the batter as you would scrambled eggs until it begins to set, then form into a pancake, allow to brown, and flip. It will not look as lovely, though.
Here’s my recipe. Feel free to adapt it as you please.
Pancakelette (serves 2)
- 3 eggs
- 1 yogurt cup, vanilla or maple flavor is good (or 1/3 cup milk)
- 1/2 cup pancake mix
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- cinnamon sugar/dash of salt (optional)
- butter, as needed
Preheat the oven to 350 and heat a nonstick omelette pan or small frying pan on medium heat. Beat eggs. Add all the other ingredients except cinnamon sugar and stir. You should have a batter that is eggy and not too thick. Melt a pat of butter in the pan and then ladle about a 1/2 inch layer of batter into the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the top lightly with cinnamon sugar and allow to brown, about 2 or 3 minutes. Transfer to oven and bake 3-4 minutes until just set. Return to stovetop and flip, cooking the other side until lightly browned, about 1 minute.
Alternatively, stir until the mixture begins to be chunky but still has plenty of liquid to cover the bottom of the pan, leave to cook untouched until brown. Flip carefully and brown on the other side.
Transfer to a plate, cut into wedges and serve plain, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, or with syrup.
This same idea can also be used to make a savory breakfast casserole. I find that the baking mix gives this casserole a bit of substance that plain eggs don’t have, and it offers the flexibility of cooking a bit in advance if you’re having guests. Great additions include: chopped tomatoes, asparagus, mushrooms, or diced turkey. If you want to use bacon, I do recommend that you brown it first, as it will be soggy otherwise. This goes for any ingredients that give off a lot of water (spinach and mushrooms) or that are best browned (bacon).
Egg Biscuit Casserole (serves 3-4)
- 1 cup all-purpose biscuit or baking mix
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup of cheese (a little gruyère will give it a French flair)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 tbsp butter, melted
- 1 or 1 1/2 cups of any add-ins that you feel like putting in (chopped vegetables, etc)
- 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan, asiago, or other dry, pungent cheese
Pre-heat oven to 400. Whisk together the eggs, milk, cheese and melted butter in a mixing bowl. Add the baking mix and stir until blended. Season with salt and pepper and any herbs you choose. Use the traces of butter left in the bowl that you melted the butter in to butter a square baking dish.
Distribute your add-ins, along with onion, over the bottom of the dish. Pour the egg mixture over the top. Finish with a sprinkling of cheese.
Bake until golden and a knife comes out relatively clean. Allow to cool slightly and then slice into squares to serve.