Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Using up Cottage Cheese: Pancakes

I recently posted a quick pasta dish that uses cottage cheese. If you need a way to use up the remainder of that tub of cottage cheese, these pancakes are the ticket. They are light, somewhere between a thick crepe and a pancake. They are delicious with a pile of sliced strawberries or peaches, yogurt, and a drizzle of maple syrup. They are very puffy fresh from the griddle and then they deflate as they cool, becoming more crepe-like. They reheat well but they won't be puffy.

My advice, having made these many times, is to keep them small. That's actually my advice for most pancakes. Big pancakes are tough to flip and they can get tangled with their neighbors on the descent.
These guys are ready for flippin'
How do you know when to flip them? Bubbles will form and pop. If the hole from the bubble doesn't fill in, it's time to flip. Also, the edges of the pancake won't be liquid and sticky anymore.

Cottage Cheese Pancakes
(serves 4-6, costs $2.90)

1 cup low-fat cottage cheese (a little less or a little more is fine)
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk or ½ cup buttermilk and ½ cup skim or lowfat milk (see Note)
1 Tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons wheat germ (plain or toasted)
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt

non-stick cooking spray

Whisk together the cottage cheese, eggs, milk, honey, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Stir together the flours, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the flour mixture to the large bowl and mix to just combine and there are not dry lumps.

Heat up a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray. Using a measuring cup or large cooking spoon, drop ¼ cup portions on the griddle. Leave a bit of space between the pancakes as they spread. When bubbles form, pop, and leave a hole, flip and brown on the other side. Don't be tempted to turn up the heat too high because these will over-brown before the inside is cooked. Respray the griddle with cooking spray between batches to prevent sticking.

Serve with sliced fruit, some yogurt (or whipped cream if you are being decadent), and a drizzle of maple syrup. Any leftovers can be refrigerated or frozen. Reheat in a 350°F oven for 5-10 minutes until hot. They lose their puff but still taste good.

Note: You can find powdered buttermilk in most supermarkets now in the baking aisle. It's a great way to have buttermilk on hand all the time without having to figure out what to do with the rest of a carton of buttermilk. Follow the instructions on the package to reconstitute.

Adapted from Jane Brody's Good Food Book by Jane Brody, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1985.

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