Today is National Pancake Day. Woohoo! We love pancakes. That being said, we’ve discovered something better than pancakes, although one might call them Danish pancakes. What are they? Ebelskivers. My big complaint is that they don’t have a name you can easily pronounce. And there are a lot of steps to making them. Unless you cheat and buy a mix on Amazon. Just sayin’.
They are expensive, because you need to have a special ebelskiver pan, but you can buy them on Amazon, too. The electric one is a no-brainer to use. Again…just sayin’. If you look at an ebelskiver, they look kind of like a Munchkin from Dunkin’ Donuts, but they taste more like a pancake. And, btw, there aren’t many things in life that taste better than a Munchkin, especially the plain glazed ones. Everybody probably has a food weakness and that is mine. Along with Girl Scout Samoas. And H-E-B’s Intense Cheese version of Cheetos puffs. But, I digress.
I was watching Beat Bobby Flay and he used an ebelskiver pan, which immediately spurred me into full-blown research mode, because I’d never heard of such a thing. And since I never do anything halfway, I transitioned from Google to Amazon. And now we’re hooked. They are a little tricky to make, because you cook the bottom, then gently turn it over with a wooden skewer or toothpick, and the uncooked part spills into the bottom. A couple of minutes later, a dusting of powdered sugar, and voila! Ebelskivers.
The best thing about them is you can make them almost any way you want. Drop a dab of jelly or jam in the middle of each one and it bakes inside the ebelskiver. The first time I made them, I tried every jelly we had, along with a pineapple sauce I had cooked to fill a cake. The next time, I cut up chocolate pieces and put one in the middle. So good! Next will be lemon pudding, a chocolate kiss, and apricot jam. Yep. We’re addicted. About the only thing we haven’t done with them is put pancake syrup on them. You can only cook seven at a time in the pan, and one batch of the mix makes 21, so it’s a good thing they cook super-fast. If you’ve never had this Danish delight, either find some or buy the supplies and cook them yourself. You’ll thank me.
I’ve amped up my cooking since the virus hit. I’ve always been one to try new things or invent my own recipe, but this enforced isolation has me making things I haven’t made in a while. Like Rouladen…a German dish, and it’s one of Ed’s favorites. It’s basically super-thin sliced beef (think milanesa) spread with a German seeded mustard, diced onions, a strip of bacon, a dill pickle, and then roll the whole thing up and cook in a chicken stock/vegetable combination that ends up being a sauce. That’s the “classic” recipe, but you can use the same concept with just about anything rolled up in the beef. When I make it, I serve it with German sour potatoes and if I’m ambitious, I’ll make a German apple cake. (Now you know why Ed married me. The way to a man’s heart…)
I think I picked the wrong topic for the post, because now I’m hungry. The point is, though, that this is the perfect time to try recipes you’ve never done before. Or ones you haven’t made in a long time. A few months ago, I had gotten pretty burned out on cooking, but that passed. Now I plot recipes in my head or try new things. Now when I see “risotto” on the cooking channel, I know what it tastes like. Because I’ve made it. Although I’m going to have to play around with it, because neither one of us liked the “standard” version very much. Too much parmesan cheese in it. FYI, the raccoons loved it.
Luckily, my hubby is more than willing to eat all my experiments. Probably because he knows chicken and dumplings will eventually show up, even if he must wait a bit while I play in the kitchen. Amidst all the deaths, protests, rioting, and political overload leading to the election, it’s nice to have a distraction.
Years ago, I started collecting cookbooks. We’ve already determined I don’t do many things half-way, so my collection is pretty extensive. Well into the hundreds. Back then, we didn’t have access to the internet, so reading cookbooks was also a hobby. Nowadays, you can google just about anything and find a gazillion recipes on the subject, take the tablet into the kitchen, and voila…new recipe. Yes, I could just get rid of all the cookbooks since I seldom use them, but that ain’t gonna happen anytime soon. My 1973 The Complete Book of Breads came in handy when I decided to make Challah. If I ever forget my favorite recipes, I can flip through some of the books and look for grease or flour stains. Much easier than a bookmark.
One thing for sure. If idle hands are the devil’s playground, he won’t be in our house. Well, at least not in our kitchen, because cooking has become a great Covid-19 depression solution. So, get in that kitchen and experiment. You’re never too old to learn. As for us, we ate chicken schnitzel for dinner. Along with a red wine/veggie/garlic risotto, which will NOT go to the raccoons. If they want some, they can make their own, because it was yummy. Hmmm…I wonder if you can fill ebelskivers with risotto? (I’ll let you know!) Right now, a naked cake is cooling in the kitchen. FYI, the cake is naked, not me. Even though I’m pretty sure it will be wonderful, Ed might be a little disappointed. Too bad. I don’t want a naked chef to spoil his appetite.