Yesterday morning for brunch (a somewhat late brunch), we resorted to pancakes and bacon. Not to say that we don’t like pancakes and bacon because we really do. I say “resorted to” because once again, even after buying the obnoxiously large 24 pack of (organic) eggs, I found myself this Saturday morning, left with only one egg. I didn’t even get around to thinking about brunch until much later than usual because Tom and I woke up, showered and each went to our computers to work with a mug of coffee in hand.
Next thing we knew, it was 2:00 pm and I was starving (not Tom, I think he might be part camel??). Lunch-like foods were not sounding that good to either of us; it was Saturday and we felt deprived of brunch!
So, knowing what I could do with one egg, I began to make pancake mix; only to discover that I was without dairy. I rarely have milk, unless it is buttermilk, but I had no plain yogurt or cottage cheese either. I eyed a suspiciously empty jar of Wildwood aioli (our substitute for mayonnaise) and decided that adding water to the jar was a bad idea, for many reasons. I quickly moved on, scanning the fridge one last time before giving up, when I spotted a possibility.
My eye had stopped at the tapioca pudding from Trader Joe’s (TJs). I had choices here; I could just drive down to TJs and buy milk, but then I would also buy eggs… which would make me question what I had already decided to prepare. Pancakes, because I only had one egg. It was only minutes away though. Yet I knew that I would not stop at buying milk; I would obviously buy eggs too (well, not obviously) and then it would snowball from there, arriving home an hour later with just as much time needed to put everything away. Then I would begin making dinner instead. Okay, okay, tapioca!
I looked at the label and the first ingredient was milk; this was promising. I decided that it had enough sugar to not need more and it was also flavored with vanilla; this might actually be good. Turns out, it was! Really good! Happy discovery #1 – enjoy with a glass of prosecco!
1 (not quite full, packed or fussed over) cup of whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 TB butter, melted (I like to do this in a Pyrex measuring cup put in the microwave, because then I can just whisk in the egg and stir in the dairy without fussing too much).
1 egg – whisked into the butter
A glob (technical term, no?) of TJs tapioca pudding – I had about 1/4 of the package left so I estimate it was about 1/2 cup – whisked into the butter and egg.
Water – whatever is needed to bring the consistency to a good pancake batter (I probably added 1/4 cup)
SIDES and GARNISH
Strawberries, cleaned, hulled and quartered to go alongside
Maple syrup and butter for serving
Bacon – 2-3 slices for each, preferably thicker cut (we like apple-smoked from Whole Foods the best, but there are many good ones to choose from).
MIX all of the dry ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl.
WHISK TOGETHER the melted butter, egg and tapioca, adding just enough water to make it fluid.
PREHEAT THE OVEN to 400-degrees.
PLACE THE BACON, on a baking pan lined with foil.
HEAT A CAST IRON SKILLET over medium heat. Lightly DRIZZLE with olive oil and spread evenly over the surface.
MEANWHILE, POP THE BACON into the oven for about 10 minutes. Be sure to turn on the fan, and don’t forget that it is in there and pull it out when done.
DROP DOLLOPS OF BATTER onto the skillet and cook until it starts to bubble. Flip and cook until cake-like and done.
Pile the pancakes into a stack of three or so per plate. Butter and drizzle with maple syrup. Serve sliced strawberries and the bacon alongside.