Weeknight Cooking

Will These Be the Best Pancakes You Make All Year?

July 23, 2015

Each Thursday, Emily Vikre (a.k.a. fiveandspice) will be sharing a new way to love breakfast—because breakfast isn't just the most important meal of the day. It's also the most awesome.

Today: These cornmeal and chorizo pancakes are just as good topped with tart fruit and maple syrup as they are dressed up like a taco with salsa and avocado. 

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A few years ago I wrote a list of breakfast ideas that was about five pages long. Everything in my head was emptied onto the pages of a small red notebook. Bit by bit I’ve made my way through those ideas, some of the results documented, some preserved only in my memory. I also added new ideas over time, but the number of new ideas is much lower these days because the breakfast requests I receive tend to be one of the following three toddler favorites: “eegs,” “yog-at,” or “pean-a buttah.” 

What is rather surprising to me, though, upon looking back at my list, is the breakfast ideas I never got to. Among them, torrijas (Spanish-style French toast), hazelnut-chocolate rolls, Irish pancakes, and these chorizo-cornmeal pancakes. What have I even been doing with my time, missing potential gems like these? Many we may never see because this is the last Breakfast of Champions article, as I am moving on to other things to tempt the palate and wet the whistle (stay tuned!).

But at least the chorizo pancakes oversight has now been remedied. I asked a friend of mine what she would say about chorizo cornmeal pancakes, and her response was, “Yuck, I believe, is what I would be tempted to say.” She’s British, so it sounded witty and endearing when she said it. But, she was also direly mistaken because these turn out to be some of the best pancakes I have ever made.

The batter—based on a classic sour cream pancake batter—is loaded with sour cream and bound together with only as much flour and cornmeal as is absolutely necessary. The result is a pancake that is by turns light and rich, with a grainy sweetness from corn, a melting quality from the sour cream, and chewy, spicy bites of chorizo folded throughout. Chorizo pairs unexpectedly well with certain sweet flavors, especially maple syrup and peaches, so you can eat these as sweet-savory treats. They also, unsurprisingly, are perfect with the kind of toppings you might add to a taco—avocado, salsa, pickled onions, lime, more sour cream—for a savory breakfast (or a satisfying breakfast-for-dinner).

I hope they leave you feeling as good about pancakes as they left us (and not at all saying "Yuck"). 

Cornmeal and Chorizo Pancakes

Makes 8 pancakes

1 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup fine cornmeal or corn flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup diced dried chorizo
Toppings! Might I recommend either maple syrup and peaches or blueberries OR salsa/tomatoes and avocado with sea salt and maybe some cilantro or lime or sour cream or pickled onions...

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Emily Vikre

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (www.vikredistillery.com), where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.

1 Comment

Fairmount_market July 24, 2015
Thank you for this inspired recipe and for all your wonderful columns. So sad that this is the last, but best wishes for your new adventures.