Where you have to think in a different direction and "bushwhack" your way through something. But sometimes, the things you have to work for are worth the effort. Kind of like the view from on top of that mountain you had to work so hard to climb.
The concept was to pick one item from each list.
List 1: Parsnips, Eggplant (aubergine), Cauliflower
List 2: Balsamic Vinegar, Goat Cheese, Chipotle peppers
List 3: Maple Syrup, Instant Coffee, Bananas
My natural inclination would have been to roast vegetables in balsamic & maple syrup or something like that. But, I wanted to take this into a different direction. The combinations were a bit of a challenge, but not totally "Chopped" like.
It was a given that I was going to head straight for the parsnips. I think I have elucidated my love for this vegetable here and here.
Since we needed an entree, the thought of breakfast for dinner started tossing around in my head. When you are having breakfast for dinner, pancakes count as an entree, right?
Once I went down the pancake trail, the goat cheese and maple syrup just kind of made sense. Some things don't require a heck of a lot of over thinking...
Get to know your parsnips people. They aren't just for roasting!
If you can't wrap your head around the concept of pancakes for dinner, then they are certainly Sunday brunch worthy.
For the pancake base recipe, I deferred to the formula from the carrot cake pancake recipe Joy the Baker Cookbook. This book hasn't been out very long, but I have already made a half dozen recipes from it. I have adapted this particular pancake recipe with several different vegetables - essentially, anything that can hold up to shredding (sweet potatoes - oh my goodness). It replaced my old standby recipe - it's that good... Although, the peeps have probably had enough of it all by now.
What can I say?
I guess I can say "eat your pancakes or you can't have any dessert"? Actually, that sounds kind of awesome - all cool mom-ish and stuff.
Parsnip Pancakes w/ Goat Cheese Topping
Inspired by The Joy the Baker Cookbook
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 large egg, room temperature
3 Tbs Muscovado sugar (or dark brown sugar)
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups parsnips, finely grated
Butter or cooking spray for the griddle
Goat cheese topping
4 oz log of goat cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream (add +1 Tbs if needed to thin out mixture)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Maple syrup, for serving
Combine the ingredients for the topping in a medium bowl. Using a beater (I used an immersion blender, beat ingredients together until smooth. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt & spices. Set aside,
In a medium bowl, mix together egg, Muscovado, buttermilk and vanilla until smooth. Stir in grated parsnips.
Pour wet mixture into dry mixture. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula fold wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined (no large lumps). Let mixture rest for ~10 minutes.
Preheat non-stick griddle over medium heat. Add butter or cooking spray if using. Drop heaping 1 Tbs portions of the batter into the heated skillet. Cook until bubbles start popping up through the pancake (~2-3 minutes). Flip and cook on the other side ~2 more minutes, until pancakes are done.
If not serving right away, place on a baking sheet in a low oven (~175F).
Serve with goat cheese topping & a drizzle of maple syrup.