I took a week off.
Not only did I take a week off of my global culinary journey, but I realized by Wednesday that I had taken a full week off of cooking…period.
Who am I (existential crisis…)??
I had eggs at least three times this week for dinner and, much to my dismay, found myself quickly back in the same rut that inspired this whole shebang in the first place. Egg overload. While I think eggs for dinner is a great alternative once in a while, it’s not okay three days a week. That’s just plain lazy. But I guess sometimes we all deserve to be lazy.
Why the break? Well, being the chronic over-booker that I am, I had after school activities every night this week, most notably, Mama Buddha and Little Buddha came in for the Paul McCartney concert on Wednesday night. It was nice for us to all be together, something that happens much less frequently than I’d like despite the fact that we all live within five hours’ drive.
Paul is still the man…
I digress. Too many activities=no time to cook. It’s all good fun and I enjoy what I end up doing but I’ve learned too harshly in the past that too much of a good thing leaves this Buddha tired and cranky. The other part of the reason for the break is lack of inspiration- Eastern Europe- I just can’t get excited about it. Ugggghhhh.
Sorry for that display of frustration, and in an effort to jump start more kitchen deliciousness, I decided to kick off this week with my first love, pancakes. Maybe not my first love (that would be ice cream), but Sunday pancakes are definitely one of my favorite parts of the weekend, which you’ve heard more than once as I find international swaps for my normal Sunday beloveds.
These pancakes are not super authentic but an adaptation of a Serbian cornbread recipe I found, srpska proja. That particular recipe is cornflour laced with cheese and butter for what I’m sure is a particularly rich side dish that would make any Southern U.S. grandma proud. Don’t get me wrong- I do love me some cornbread, but I typically eat mine in the fall with chili and I wasn’t particularly in the mood to just have it as a side item sitting around the house. Enter pancakes.
The result is a cornflour flapjack laced with goat cheese (GOAT CHEESE!). Despite fearing the contrary, these were not grainy at all, but rather quite moist and delicious (and coincidentally gluten free). I served them with a sour cherry compote and then topped off this mile high stack of delicious with a dollop of melted goat cheese as a substitute for the traditional Eastern European condiment of sour cream.
You may be wondering about all of the above. About whether or not it goes. Trust me that it does. First of all, what does NOT go with goat cheese? Exactly. The subtle hint and tang of the goat cheese complimented the sweet corn. And, to my surprise, the compote wasn’t overly sweet, probably because sour cherries aren’t all that sweet. Duh, SOUR cherries.
A note about the cherries. Why sour cherries? Well, memories serves me that grandma and grandpa really liked sour cherries and it turns out it’s an Eastern European favorite. Simple as that.
Despite the fact that I like my pancakes the way I like my dessert with nary a trace of fruit in sight, I liked this combo and I think you will, too.
So here I send all my loving to you.
- 1 cup fine ground corn flour (Masa Harina)
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 TB melted coconut oil
- 3 ounces creamy goat cheese (plus about 1 TB extra to dollop at the end)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 bag (10 ounces) frozen sour cherries
- 1- 2” cinnamon stick
- ¼ cup sugar
- Peel of half a lemon
- 2 TB cornstarch, plus water to make the slurry
- 1 cup water
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the corn flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whip together the goat cheese with the egg until smooth. Add in the milk and oil. Stir well.
- Heat non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Using a 1/4 cup measure, pour pancake batter onto hot griddle. When pancake is golden brown, flip to cook other side.
- Add the cherries, cinnamon stick, sugar, lemon peel and 1 cup water to a small saucepan and cook until cherries are thawed and the concoction is boiling.
- Make a slurry with the cornstarch and water. Add to the boiling cherries and cook a bit longer until thick.