You may be wondering why you haven’t heard from us in a while. The best answer is that we’ve had a series of fails. First it was the strawberry pancakes–they were ok, but mushy and not something you’d want to have again. Then, the strawberry shortcake–I made all-lard biscuits, they were also fine, but small and dense. In both cases I blame the presence of whole-wheat flour. I want to make healthier food, but I find this stuff so temperamental.
Finally, this morning I had a culinary triumph. These rosemary polenta pancakes with sliced cherries and lime are sublime. The absolute best of the season with quiet, harmonious flavors. The only way these could be better is with a little ricotta cheese. The pancakes themselves have a great tooth with a hint of fluff. The rosemary adds a savory twist that compliments the corn. And the cherry flavors are wine-y with the tang of lime. Can I have my breakfast again?
The pint of cherries is not really enough for all these pancakes. If you are having a big crowd, double the cherry part. If not, I suggest reserving the pancakes for a savory compliment to scallops, bitter greens, or sausage.
With an egg and milk substitute, I think these would be excellent as a vegan dish.
Rosemary Polenta Pancakes with Sliced Cherries and Lime
(adapted from The New York Times)
for the pancakes
1/2 cup corn meal
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon plus a few pinches salt
1 1/4 cup of milk
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
diced fresh herbs, such as rosemary or sage
oil or butter for the skillet
for the cherries
1 pint cherries, rinsed, pitted and sliced
2-3 tablespoons maple syrup
zest and juice of one lime
good pinch of salt
Combine the water, polenta and a good pinch of salt in medium sauce pan. Whisking almost constantly, cook over medium heat until the polenta is bubbly. Cook for ten minutes and set aside. Preheat your skillet or griddle over medium heat. Combine the flour, sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. Whisk the two eggs into the polenta and then add the milk. Fold the wet ingredients into the flour mixture. Spoon roughly 4 tablespoons batter for each pancake onto the greased griddle or skillet, sprinkle with herbs and a bit of salt, and cook about 4 minutes on each side. Place the cooked cakes in a slightly warm oven.
Meanwhile, rinse, pit, and slice a pint of cherries. Add t he syrup, zest, juice and salt. Set aside until pancakes are ready.
Serve two or three of the pancakes piled high with cherries and juice.