By Gwen Ashley Walters | JULY 17, 2011 | BREAKFAST, BREADS & MUFFINS

Blue Cornmeal Pancakes by Gwen Ashley Walters

Native to the Southwest, specifically Arizona and New Mexico, blue corn is slightly higher in protein than yellow or white corn.

It is always dried on the cob and usually ground into meal. New Mexican cuisine uses far more blue cornmeal than we do in Arizona, but you’ll find blue corn in some variation at any Southwestern restaurant.

This pancake recipe is from my cookbook Par Fork! The Golf Resort Cookbook. Besides pancakes, I use blue cornmeal in mini corn muffins and as a coating for pan-fried trout. Anything you use yellow cornmeal for, you can use blue cornmeal instead.

This particular pancake recipe isn’t as gritty as other blue cornmeal pancakes I’ve tried, and that’s because there is a higher ratio of flour to cornmeal.

You can experiment with how much cornmeal you use, up to half of the total flour/cornmeal measurement.

If you use equal amounts of flour and cornmeal (1-1/4 cups each), you’ll notice a big texture difference and the pancakes will be less tender, but no less tasty.

Blue Corn Pancakes

Makes 12 (4-inch) pancakes


2 cups flour
1/2 cup blue cornmeal
1/3 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs
1-1/2 cups buttermilk *
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (optional)


1. Stir the first 5 ingredients (flour through baking powder) together.

2. Beat the eggs with the buttermilk until well blended.  Pour egg mixture over flour mixture and stir until just mixed (small lumps are OK, and for tender cakes, it’s better to under mix than over mix).  Stir in melted butter.  The batter will be very thick.

3. Heat a griddle or nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Brush with butter or spray with nonstick spray.

4. Ladle 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake onto hot surface.  (Sprinkle with a few blueberries if using.)  Cook until edges start to dry and bubbles burst on surface, about 2 to 3 minutes.

5. Flip and cook on the other side until brown, about another minute or so.  Keep warm in a 200°F oven until all the cakes are cooked.  Serve with your favorite syrup.

*I keep a container of dried buttermilk powder in my refrigerator (find it on the baking aisle), but I do prefer using fresh buttermilk in pancakes that call for it. I just don’t always have it on hand, so I will use the powdered buttermilk in a pinch.

By Gwen Ashley Walters | FEBRUARY 01, 2010 | BREAKFAST, BREADS & MUFFINS


What can you do with a cup of leftover, cooked quinoa?

Make pancakes.

Oh sure, we could do any number of things with the “supergrain” (see last post) but folding the protein-rich quinoa into buttermilk pancakes tops our list.

We love fooling ourselves into thinking we’re eating something really healthy.

Quinoa is healthy, so technically, we are improving the nutritional content of these pancakes, right?

That’s our story and we’re sticking to it.


I have no idea why I’m talking “we” when I mean “me.”

Anyway, I started with the buttermilk pancake recipe from The Great Ranch Cookbook, and just folded in a cup of cooked quinoa.

Which immediately deflated the fluffy batter. Oh, well.

So these pancakes aren’t big and fluffy, but they are tender, and now, thanks to the quinoa, they have a more interesting texture.

We love them. (And this time, I do mean we.)

Quinoa Pancakes

Makes 12 (4-inch pancakes)

1 cup flour*
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups buttermilk (or sour milk**)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cooked quinoa
3 tablespoons melted butter, divided
Maple syrup

1. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl.

2. Whisk the egg, buttermilk and vanilla extract together in a small bowl until well blended.

3. Pour the buttermilk mixture over the flour mixture and stir until just combined.

4. Fold in the quinoa and then fold in 2 tablespoons of melted butter.

5. Heat a nonstick griddle or skillet over medium heat. Brush skillet with reserved melted butter.

6. Ladle scant 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto hot griddle. Cook until bubbles appear on the surface and the edges start to dry about 3 minutes. Flip and cook another couple minutes, until pancakes are cooked through. Keep warm in a low oven.

7. Serve with warm maple syrup.

*If you want to go all crazy-healthy, replace up to half the flour with a whole wheat flour.

**To make sour milk, stir 1 tablespoon lemon juice into milk and let sit a few minutes until thickened.

By Gwen Ashley Walters | MARCH 16, 2008 | COOKING TIPS

© Elisseeva

I just tasted, perhaps, the worst pancakes ever made on this earth. I had to cut them with a knife. Seriously. Not only were they rawhide tough, they had absolutely zero flavor.

I wanted to cry… or at least scream loud enough for the cook in the kitchen to hear me, because making a tender, flavorful pancake is easier than pie (which, frankly is a lot more difficult than flipping out a tasty pancake).

I’ve made hundreds of pancakes throughout my cooking career. While it is easy to whip up a batch from scratch, there is nothing wrong with using a mix. The mix doesn’t make the pancakes tough, the cook does. To avoid passing out steak knives with your pancakes, follow one basic rule.

Mix JUST until moistened…

Pancake batters, like quick breads, turn rock hard when over mixed. It’s easy to over mix a pancake or quick bread batter if you aren’t organized to begin with. So start with these guidelines:

  • Whisk together all the “dry” ingredients (like flour, baking soda/powder, salt, dry spices, etc.) in one large bowl.
  • Whisk together all the “wet” ingredients (like milk/buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, extracts, melted butter, etc.) in another, smaller bowl.
  • Pour the “wet” ingredients over the “dry” ingredients and stir, or whisk just until most of the dry ingredients are no longer dry, but there are still lots of visible, small lumps. This should not take more than 10-15 seconds. More stirring equals tough pancakes.

If I sound a little melodramatic, then I apologize. And I promise never, ever to take you to a certain breakfast place, in a certain town somewhere in the Southwest, where the pancakes are as tough as the neighboring cowboys.

By Gwen Ashley Walters | FEBRUARY 15, 2008 | BREAKFAST, BREADS & MUFFINS

Warm, spicy, toe-tingling pancakes… for the love of your life.

Molasses Spiced Pancakes

Makes 12 (4-inch pancakes)

For the pancakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 eggs, separated
2 tablespoons molasses
2 1/4 cups milk (whole or 2%)

For the garnish
Warm maple syrup
Sweetened whipped cream

1. Heat a griddle or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Whisk first 8 ingredients together and set aside.

2. Whip egg whites until stiff, firm peaks form and set aside.

3. Beat yolks with molasses and milk.

4. Pour milk mixture over flour mixture and stir just until combined. Fold in beaten egg whites in 2 stages.

5. Heat griddle or skillet over medium heat. Spray with nonstick spray. Pour a scant 1/4 cup batter onto hot surface. Cook until edges dry and bubbles form and pop on surface, about 2 to 3 minutes.

6. Flip and cook other side until done, about another 1-1/2 minutes. Keep warm in a 200 degree F. oven while you finish the remaining pancakes. Serve with warm maple syrup and a dollop of sweetened whipped cream.

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