Isn't it Odd? (about the Pancake Contest)

Isn't it odd that not one of us submitted a recipe for a noodles pancake? I wanted to do a Chinese noodle cake but because 52 had some technical system glitches, i had to re-enter a number of recipes, so i didn't have time. But it's surprising, yes? I am thinking that perhaps 52 does not have many Chinese members? (Of course it's also possible that Chinese members wanted to focus on other recipes for this contest.)

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37 Comments

LE B. April 27, 2012
i wonder if quotation marks cause problems with text being deleted from 52 posts. my Maharishi quotes and a related idea- Never say Always or Never- disappeared from my above post. weird.
 
Greenstuff April 27, 2012
I liked this paragraph from the story that ran with the NYT recipe:

"The cooks who develop and style the food for today's movies equate their cinematic cooking with the curvy glamour girls of the 1940's. Both are larger than life. Deborah Di-Sabatino, the food stylist who developed the food and the climactic timpano (Italian for kettledrum) for ''Big Night,'' says that movie cuisine is not everyday fare but grand and complicated fantasy, far beyond the ken of the run-of-the-mill cook."

Guess that's why I never made one. But I'm getting sorely tempted! Thanks for a fun discussion.
 
LE B. April 27, 2012
greenstuff, NO WAY are you a runofthemill cook. YOU is a chef! And you could DEF make this dish- check out the
great photos and stepby step here:
http://www.thefoodinmybeard.com/2011/05/lasagna-timpano.html

This foodinmybeard guy is great!
 
amysarah April 27, 2012
Interesting, mrslarkin. Was sure I'd seen recipes using pastry before, but since I've never encountered an actual timpano in real life, who knew? So much for my second career on TVFN...but it sounds like this is one of those dishes that bends to idiosyncratic family tradition. Best kind.
 
LE B. April 27, 2012
amysarah,you have backhandedly hit that nail>>Iin my 45 years of cooking, the old Maharishi aphorism of or holds for cooking trads as with everything else. 'Tradition' rarely does not have exceptions! As individual as our fingerprints are the ways that we cook, right? And the longer a 'tradition' exists, the more variations you will see in it! All it takes is one cook calling a Timbalo a Timpano, and..............!!
best,
mindy
www.cottonarboretum.com/
 

Voted the Best Reply!

mrslarkin April 27, 2012
Actually, some timpano (timpani?) are made using pastry, so you're not spreading misinformation at all, amysarah. I think the pastry versions may be technically classified as a timballo. The foodinmybeard guy has done timpano with puff pastry, as seen in his blog mentioned up above.

Here's the NY Times recipe from the movie version using pasta: http://www.nytimes.com/recipes/5668/Big-Night-Timpano.html

And here's an adaptation from Saveur, using puff pastry: http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Baked-Macaroni-in-Pastry

And to make it even more confusing here's a recipe for a Timpano-inspired Timballo from BA: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Timballo-230467
 
amysarah April 27, 2012
Well, there you go. And here I am spreading misinformation about a timpano! Any chance I can parlay that into my own show on Food Network? (I kid.)
 
Greenstuff April 27, 2012
Well, it turns out that it's pretty easy to research the timpano recipe from the Big Night.

Stanley Tucci learned all the cooking he used in the flim from his mother, Joan Tucchi She and some co-authors have published a book, "Cucina & Famiglia: Two Italian Families Share Their Stories, Recipes, And Traditions," that details the recipe, including specifying the pan in which it should be cooked. The book is pretty much out of print, I think judging from the price, but still available, along with the pan, from Amazon.

There's a 2007 blog post about following the recipe from the book at http://prouditaliancook.blogspot.com/search/label/Cucina%20and%20Famiglia%20cookbook

It's definitely pasta dough.
 
sexyLAMBCHOPx April 27, 2012
FYI - If you need clarification for a contest or having technical dificulties with the site contact the [email protected] The team is very responsive.
 
Greenstuff April 27, 2012
Yeah, wildcards have nothing to do with contest themes, and it'll be great if it encourages people to make their own gyoza instead of buying them frozen in a bag.

Meanwhile, you've got me pretty intrigued, and I'm going to do a lot more timpano research!
 
mrslarkin April 27, 2012
Here is food52's definition of Wildcard: http://www.food52.com/blog/289_wildcards
 
pauljoseph April 27, 2012
LBF I have been going through your recipes most of them are GREAT real winner don't worry even if your recipes are not noticed
 
LE B. April 27, 2012
above, below by sign-off, it is supposed to say: <" mindy, what is that on your forehead? It looks like tattooed words, Does it say "Question Authority"? > :-}
 
BoulderGalinTokyo April 27, 2012
I mean at the top of this thread, I questioned whether gyoza, harumaki, dim sum ( gyoza is a kind of dim sum), won ton, etc. would qualify as pancakes and it seemed like everyone thought no, so maybe A & M should be more specific on contest rules.
 
LE B. April 27, 2012
p.s. (now that the , winners, and just now, Wildcard- have been announced.)...... Since WHEN is a dumpling a pancake? Gyoza is a pancake?Hellooooo? Please tell me what makes it a pancake? or have I misunderstood>> can something be chosen a Wildcard when it is not eligible (by definition) for the Contest it was entered in?is a Wildcard unrelated to a contest?(I'm new to 52 so I know i can be wrong about 52-anything!)

If i were defining 'pancake', i would say it must be:
How it's cooked: a) almost always griddled/fried (unless it is called a 'baked pancake', in which case it is still capable of being griddled/fried)
and
What it looks like: b)almost always round and usually flat
and
What it is made of: c) its main ingredient or significant ingredient is almost always a starch or a starch and protein together

I'm not saying the above is a fool-proof definition of "Pancake" but don't all the CPs and winners meet the above criteria- EXCEPT the gyoza Wildcard?
best,
mindy
(
does it say "Question Authority" ?> :-}
 
creamtea April 27, 2012
Mindy, It appears that the gyoza recipe wasn't entered in the pancake contest. According to the subhead, it was entered a previous (dumpling) contest & has nothing to do with the pancake contest. Wildcards seem to come out infrequently and unannounced, and are not necessarily related to the current contest. They're just a fun surprise awarded at the whim of our esteemed editors :) --worthy recipes that may have escaped notice elsewhere.
 
LE B. April 27, 2012
hi there gal, i started off just saying that it was surprising that no 52ers entered a noodle pancake recipe (Chinese) in the contest. Then I just mentioned the pasta drum dish as an example of how pasta could be glued together (like the Chinese noodle cake idea but for the Mediterranean-centric Food52!). amysarah uses egg mixed with cooked spaghetti to make a pasta cake, but the chinese just use the starchy cooked noodles themselves- pressed down- to make a noodle cake (I am referencing Barbara Tropp here.). Is that clearer?
best,
mindy
 
BoulderGalinTokyo April 27, 2012
Thanks. And the lasagna timpago blog was very detailed, very awesome.
 
BoulderGalinTokyo April 27, 2012
Wow, I bet the Timpano is a real crowd pleaser. Somehow i lost the thread of this conversation-- you were going to make one with noodle pancake on the outside?
 
LE B. April 27, 2012
amysarah, i think you may be wrong. maybe not about what is made in the film (so interesting- Tucci's comment!) but about the dish itelf. I have it featured in the Pasta volume of that old Time Life series, and it shows the outer shell of a dish like this (if not Timpano itself) that is made up of pasta. I will try to access my book to check my memory! i'll report back! In the meantime, there is this mario b.version of the same dish i am referencing:
http://www.food.com/recipe/timpano-di-maccheroni-the-mythic-pasta-dome-85372
best,
mindy
wwwcottonarboretum.com/
 
LE B. April 27, 2012
amysarah, look what i found! isn't this beaUUUUtiful??:
http://www.thefoodinmybeard.com/2011/05/lasagna-timpano.html
 
amysarah April 27, 2012
LBF - disclaimer: I'm no timpano expert - I've just seen several recipes with a thin pastry crust. But like I said, there are no doubt other variations - such as a pasta crust. Fillings probably vary a little from cook to cook as well. Either way, it sounds like a lot of fun to make.
 
ChefJune April 27, 2012
A timpano definitely has a pasta "crust." Long, fat, hollow pasta (can't remember the varietal name) is wrapped around the mold before the filling is put in. it kind of looks like a beehive when it's unmolded.
 
Greenstuff April 23, 2012
Wow, thanks, amysarah. All the times I've seen that film, and I always thought it was a sheet of pasta covering the dish. It's making me think I should try one.
 
amysarah April 23, 2012
Some recipes might use pasta dough - there may be variations, I don't know. But I think the classic recipe uses a pastry dough; maybe it looks like a sheet of pasta because it's rolled out very thinly?

If you try it, please take a photo for us - quite an undertaking!
 
creamtea April 23, 2012
Never thought of Chinese noodle cake as a pancake, but why not? If it's flattish and cake-ish, go for it. Good use for leftover roast chicken.
 
LE B. April 13, 2012
yes, cristina, i guess we think alike- 4 of my 11 (OMG) are amongst those 12 as well!
yours in savory pancakeness!,
mindy
 
amysarah April 23, 2012
LBF, I think the dish you're thinking of from Big Night is a Timpano. But its shell isn't made of pasta/egg - rather, it's a pastry crust enclosing pasta, meats and/or meatballs, cheeses, eggs, etc. (Timpano = drum in Italian, which its shape sort of resembles.) I remember an interview with Stanley Tucci, where he said the one in the movie is from his own family's recipe. Intriguing dish, but definitely not pancake-related.

However, I sometimes make a big 'pancake' of pasta (usually spaghetti) bound with beaten eggs, to use up scraps of vegetables, cheeses and such from the fridge. Sort of a frittata crossed with a pancake crossed with no time to get to the grocery store before dinner.
 
mrslarkin April 13, 2012
what's a noodle pancake? LBF, submit yours anyway. I am very curious!
 
hardlikearmour April 13, 2012
I was working on a soba noodle pancake, but just didn't get the kinks worked out in time.
 
LE B. April 13, 2012
that's so funny you would say soba, because i had in mind 2 types- soba noodles pancakes are in Stan Frankenthaller's Occidental Tourist (genuflect, genuflect), and chinese egg noodles (Barbara Tropp's Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking; another genuflect, genuflect) so they were to be my springboards.

mrsl, basically you cook noodles to al dente and press them into a small bottomed hot oil pan with a weight, flip and brown other side. incorporate things into the noodles themselves or do a topping for the noodles cake. the italians, iirc, do that cooked pasta tossed with egg- as the 'shell' that is filled- on that domed dish that was featured in the film Big Night. Just can't think of the name of the dish. Not a pancake though, rather a domed casserole, baked.
Hmmm, i just visualized an Italian Easter egg made of 2 of those domed dishes put together!! Cut it open and out flow the goodles!! I want an oozy carbonara filling in mine, please!
best,
mindy
 
LE B. April 13, 2012
well i don't think ggyoza or wontons count- they are dumplings(wrapped, or poached/fried/baked in the case of European dumplings) but shrimp pancakes with taro stix crust- could be a pancake (flat/round/fried) and that is a dimsum item. Lots of pancakes don't require eggs in their batters(see all the Indian recipes in this contest) but they seem to be made in a pan and to be round, generally. does that make sense?
 
BoulderGalinTokyo April 23, 2012
I still think they might had counted after all. Saffranspannkaka is a pudding isn't it? So if the categories can get bent in that direction, then flat/round/fried isn't (wasn't) the criterion.
 
BoulderGalinTokyo April 13, 2012
I wasn't sure what qualified as a pancake. Does gyoza, harumaki, dim sum, wonton, count? I could have added a lot here but thought maybe eggs for pancakes was a requirement/
 
Panfusine April 13, 2012
If eggs were a requirement in pancakes, then all the Indian recipes would be left out.. Which may still end up happening but not because of the egg factor.. Wontons, I thought were clubbed in the dumpling category..Should be interesting to analyze how the winners & the CP selections are made...
 
LE B. April 13, 2012
Different topic slightly, but as long as I was at it, i just counted up the entries: only 12 of the 178 recipe entries in the pancakes contest- have poultry, meat or seafood ingredients!(not counting eggs)
 
Cristina S. April 13, 2012
Ha, I am responsible for three of those!
 
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