Saturday, November 23, 2019

Buckwheat pancakes with home grown zucchini

We are in no way self sufficient from our garden but we are pleased with its abundance of herbs and in this season a good supply of zucchini, from just two plants.

Zucchini can be wet and dull, but these very fresh picked fruit can do many things.

Two weeks ago I cooked pancakes... gluggy and dull, using using ordinary wheat flour. It's difficult in this country town to find buckwheat flour.

So I went online and found this product. Ordered Sunday night, delivered to the door Wednesday.

a brochure inside encouraged me to send in a buckwheat flour recipe; I sent a technique... for buckwheat pancakes.

In reply I was asked to send a photo next time I made the pancakes. I have just made, we have just eaten, buckwheat pancakes with zucchini medley. 

I find recipes, in their encouragement to precise measurement, distracting from understanding ingredients. And in this case I was using this buckwheat flour, which looked superbly fresh, for the first time. You need to work the ingredients to know how much. You need to proceed with a process or technique to bring things together.


I use a banana in making buckwheat pancake batter, no other sugar, and a subtle flavour builder.

It was not my intention to create a poodle from a mashed banana, it just happened
The banana and eggs into a bowl

I recommend at least one egg per person. In this case a batter with three provided enough for a hearty breakfast for two, with a bit of batter left for later, or as a sour dough for next time.

I add flour gently bit by bit until the batter is very stiff, hanging on the fork.

and then add milk, bit by bit, to avoid lumps (apart from bits of banana)

...running off the spatula. 

Buckwheat flour needs time to open and absorb moisture, less in this case because it's a quality fresh product. I leave it overnight, during which time it matures and may ferment a little, bubbles forming. 

Here it is sitting, covered, on the stovetop for convenience. NOT for cooking in that bowl.

In the morning the batter was a bit stiffer, as I expected. I had intended to add a little baking powder but lacking that I added some self-raising flour as we do not have a major gluten problem. ... And then added milk slowly to get a consistency that suited me. Heavier for this project, thinner if you want crepes.



You have to check your zucchini crop every day as they grow so swiftly.
This one after hot day starting to swell.
It's also courteous to focus the camera properly before zucchine sacrifice
Slice down the middle and then cut the two halves so you have roughly 60 degree shaped lengths.
Then chop this way and that to make irregular shapes, which seems to reduce the prospect of burning one side.

Into the pan with a little coconut oil, because you don't want an oily taste and because coconut oil is almost entirely a medium chain triglyceride and has considerable health value.  A little pepper added.

Tearless onion chopping. Peel the onion. Cut down vertically with parallel cuts, but not through the bottom. Hold the onion together. Turn the onion and make same cuts at 90 degrees to first cuts. You may be able to see this more clearly by enlarging this photo, click on photos to enlarge. 

Then rotate the onion so the logs you've made are horizontal, and chop.

Meanwhile you've been tossing the zucchine in the pan. Now you can add the onion. Don't put the onion in when you first put the zucchine in, the onion will go under the zucchine and burn.

And now the secret ingredient: peel and seed and chop.

Chop up a bit of nutmeg to add

Wait till the onion has turned clear, tossing the pan as you go, and add the pear and nutmeg
... making sure the nutmeg is distributed.

The zucchine and pear release moisture. Keep the heat such as to cook and reduce the moisture. Do not let it brown hard and burn and don't have the heat so slow that it goes gluggy. Don't overcook it. You want tender little chunks not mush.

You should be heating plates now!!

Melt butter and coconut oil in the large pan you will use for making the pancakes.
See below for method before you gasp.

You need a bowl alongside. Before the first pancake and then after each pancake is removed from the pan, you rinse and moisten the pan with the butter/coconut oil.

Beware of using only coconut oil if you are not using a non-stick pan, Coconut oil on its own may make stuff stick to the pain, being a medium chain fatty acid. For perspective note that vinegar is a short chain fatty acid.

Stack pancakes and mix on hot plate

We added some shaved ham. If you wish to avoid meat,  consider a small number of capers, capsicum, etc, to add some sharpness. Three hearty pancakes, two layers of filling.

We served it with yoghurt. It happened to be vanilla flavoured, plain would be better.
You may have other ideas.

Ralph aka Captain Hoover took up station to tidy any fallout but on this occasion had to wait for tiny crumbs added to his kibble.

....and so full circle, as we look across the table and out the window at the garden from whence came the zucchine....

and looking out there we should have said before we ate, as one says in Japan:
"thank you food": itadakimasu.

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