Lucky Comestible I(5): Sweet Potato Pancakes
January 25, 2008
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“Um, Mum, we are coming with you, aren’t we? Because (and sorry to have to tell you this), we actually have more fans than you do on this blog.”]
[This week’s Lucky Comestible is sweet potatoes. Here’s the last part in the series.]
Okay, everyone, pour yourselves a glass of wine. Now, raise it with me and yell, “Pancakes! Pancakes!”
No, I haven’t reached that breaking point where I’m finally guzzling alcohol at breakfast. The reference above is one that comes courtesy of The CFO, and one I always think of when I eat those delectable breakfast cakes.
Here’s the story: when The CFO graduated from college, she and her best friend decided to take a summer off and backpack it across Europe (My! What an original idea!). And, like so many other 18 year-old women on their own across Europe for the first time, they had a blast, meeting other young people from various countries and doing things that make them cringe today.
At one point, they found themselves in a tiny Greek village, at the local bar, imbibing far too many drinks while surrounded by a group of eight or so young, virile, 20-something local males. After a couple of hours and several pitchers of beer, one young lad decided to toast the two nubile lovelies. “Geiá mas!” he cried, hoisting his beer stein aloft. Told that the words meant “Our health” in Greek, the women remarked how health seemed to play a role in most toasts.
“And how do your people say it a toast in your country?” the swarthy young fellow inquired.
At this, The CFO and her friend exchanged a quick glance. These country bumpkins had no concept whatsoever of Canadian mores, Canadian culture, or Canadian colloquialisms. Without skipping a beat, The CFO responded, “Pancakes!”
And so, dear readers, that is how a packed table of raucous, muscular and very self-satisfied young Greeks whiled away the evening with two cute Canadian gals, repeatedly raising their glasses and shouting out, “Pancakes!” at the top of their lungs, till the wee hours of the morning.
Now, I may have mentioned before that breakfast is my favorite meal (I know, I know, you’re thinking, “Enough with the breakfast already!”). But have I mentioned that pancakes happen to be my favorite breakfast food? And with sweet potatoes as my favorite vegetable–well, it was bound to happen. Sweet potato pancakes.
When I went searching for a sweet potato pancake recipe, Google was happy to oblige, and served up quite a collection. Most of these, however, turned out to be a sweet potato-based version of regular potato pancakes, or latkes. Now, I have nothing against latkes, but that just wasn’t what I had in mind. Then I remembered a post I’d seen on Tummy Treasure, in which Erika played with a recipe from the ubiquitous How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman. (Seems Mr. Bittman’s book is so ubiquitous, in fact, that a copy has now made its way into my own collection!)
The basic ingredients are very simple, and Erika suggests playing with the recipe to suit your own tastes. Using Bittman’s generic proportions, I substituted sweet potatoes for the pumpkin that Erika used, and added a bit of extra flour for a fluffier interior.
The result was a light, airy, absolutely irresistible cake. The sweet potato added body and substance to create a filling breakfast, which was perfect with a little 100% fruit jam or maple syrup on top.
If you’re in the right mood, you might even have them with a glass of white wine or champagne Mimosa. Oh, and hey–“Pancakes!”
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