These Pancakes Will Blow You A-Whey!
Plus: My Birthday Dinner at Antico Nuovo, A Kale and Broccoli Frittata, and Links.
Hope you had a restful three-day weekend! I love how everyone takes an extra day off to celebrate my birthday. Just shows what a great country this is.
Speaking of celebrating, I have a new pancake recipe for you that’s so good, you’re going to want to throw a parade when you try them.
The recipe comes from Homa Dashtaki’s terrific new cookbook Yogurt and Whey and I first tried them when Homa sent me the recipe to make before she came on my podcast for this week’s episode. You can listen to our whole conversation here:
I was a little dubious about straining two quarts of yogurt to get one cup of whey — how good can pancakes be, anyway?
Turns out: they can be amazing. These pancakes are lighter than air — the acidity from the whey interacts with the baking powder and baking soda, causing instant bubbles — but unlike buttermilk pancakes, they’re not loaded down with dairy. They’re crispy, tangy, and as beautiful to look at as they are to eat — especially topped with some of the labneh you’ll have lots of after straining the yogurt.
Here’s the full recipe on my blog. Make them and let me know what you think!
Now, back to birthday business.
The celebrations started on Friday (the day before my birthday) when my friends Ryan and Jonathan took us out to dinner at Little Beast, one of my favorite neighborhood spots.
So many good things to eat there, but my favorite thing has always been this deceptively simple appetizer of sweet and smoky hummus with sweet potatoes and — the key ingredient — hot, just-fried pita chips. These are so good we should all make them at home. It can’t be that hard!
For the main event, Craig took me to Antico Nuovo on Beverly which is quickly turning into the in-the-know Italian spot for savvy Angelenos.
Here we are looking cute in the corner booth (prime real estate!).
The bread at Antico is obscene, it’s so delicious. It tastes like a flaky, salty pastry — but not at all dense. It’s a wonder for the ages. Here it is served with a green garbanzo dip.
For my entree, I had the malloreddus with cockles — a handmade noodle that’s thick, almost like gnocchi.
The most genius thing about Antico, is that you can order your own individual gelato desserts. Craig had the honeycomb and I had the pistachio crunch which was pure heaven. I’m so glad I didn’t have to share.
On Saturday, to lighten things up, I made a quick frittata using some broccoli and kale I had in the fridge. It was as simple as sautéing garlic in olive oil (enough to coat a cast iron skillet with a pastry brush), then adding all of the veg with a splash of water and covering with a lid until everything wilted.
To that I added 4 whole eggs and 2 eggs whites whisked with salt and pepper. Then I topped everything with lots of Pecorino cheese…
…and baked everything in a 350 oven just until set. I served it up with apple chicken sausage from McCall’s.
Now that’s what I call a balanced breakfast.
Here are some links to tickle your fancy:
A NYC barber who moonlights as a salumi master (Grub Street);
Who knew it was actually Pancake Day when I wrote this newsletter? Here are seven pancakes from around the world (The Guardian);
Adobo Every Vegetable (Eater).
That’s all for today, folks!
If you’re not aware of my new top-secret, brand-new, daily diet dispatch, Operation Muffin Stud, that’s good because it’s all very hush hush. It’s accessible only to paid-subscribers of The Amateur Gourmet Newsletter who also get an extra A.G. newsletter every Thursday filled with more recipes, restaurant reviews, and links.
Get my daily diet dispatch, Thursday’s exclusive newsletter, and access to my full archives. Become a paid subscriber now!
Okie doke. See you back here on Thursday.
Happy birthday Adam! The pancakes look amazing as do all of the other meals on the post. Looks like it was a great way to celebrate another year.
ps, do you think you can use any whey for the pancakes? like leftover from homemade ricotta? or does it have to be from yogurt.