Today is National Pancake Day!

In honor of National Pancake Day, which happens to be today, we’re offering an encore feature of our Homemade Bacon Pancakes column and recipe from last summer. We shot these photos on a  beautifully bright and sunny July day, which seems almost like another lifetime ago after this long and particularly harsh winter. I think it’s time to break up with Old Man Winter, but until that happens – Enjoy!

“These might be the best pancakes I’ve ever had.” This was the first comment from our Forum photographer, Logan, as he tasted the featured subject of our recent photo shoot for today’s column. With praise like that, we knew we were on the right course with our recipe for a breakfast specialty we call Homemade Bacon Pancakes.

As a “restaurant family,” breakfast is our special time to sit and eat a meal together.   Tony is usually the master of the breakfast menu, and Gio and I have been only too happy to sit back and enjoy the meal. A family favorite has always been pancakes, and up until recently Tony has been a big fan of Aunt Jemima’s pancake mix.

However, our twenty-year-old griddle quit working several months ago and I finally found a good replacement for it just before Father’s Day. Gio and I wanted to make a special breakfast for Tony, and decided that we would depart from our usual box mix pancakes and attempt to make our own from scratch.

Homemade pancakes are surprisingly easy to make, and the result is a pancake that is superior to anything made from a box. What makes these pancakes even more special is a tip I learned from my cousin, Zack Berger, when he was visiting our family last summer.

Zack made Bisquick pancakes for us each morning, which took on a new identity after he cooked them in a bit of bacon grease. Quite simply, they tasted amazing, better and different than any other pancakes I’ve had. I knew I had to make these one day for Tony.

According to Tony, bacon and pancakes were made for each other, and after enjoying his Father’s Day treat he says he will never use box pancakes again. Bacon fat can be stored in the refrigerator for two to three months, but  if you cook the bacon just before the pancakes you’ll have a proper breakfast waiting for you when you finish.

Our recipe makes about ten medium-sized pancakes, and consists of just seven ingredients, all of which are common pantry staples. I often use sea salt when I bake or make sweet foods, and it’s a perfect fit for this recipe. A touch of vanilla added to the mix adds flavor and depth to the pancakes, and enhances the made-from-scratch experience.

We recently started using Dakota Maid all-purpose flour, which seems to be lighter and better-sifted than other brands, and we truly believe it improved the overall quality of our pancakes.

These pancakes are slightly sweet with a texture that is light, fluffy, airy and soft. To achieve this perfect texture, mix the batter until it is just a little bit lumpy – the lumps should be small but still present.

Bubbly little holes will begin to appear as the pancakes start cooking, but wait about two minutes after they surface before flipping the cake.

Cooking the pancakes in bacon grease doesn’t make them taste like bacon, but it does ensure that each cake has a wonderful, golden-brown crust which doesn’t happen when butter, oil or cooking spray is used.

We’re in Delaware this week, celebrating a family reunion dubbed Schmeckfest by my extended Anstett family (of German-from-Russia heritage), and we can’t wait to make our version of Bacon Pancakes for Zack and the gang. We serve our Bacon Pancakes with a pat of butter, pure maple syrup (Tony is Canadian, after all), a simple fresh fruit salad and, of course, bacon.

Homemade Bacon Pancakes

Ingredients:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ Tablespoons baking powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 ¼ cup milk or buttermilk (start with 1 cup and add more as needed, up to 1 ¼ cup)
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla
3 Tablespoons butter, melted

Directions:
Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the egg, 1 cup of milk and vanilla together, then lightly incorporate 1 cup of the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Once the ingredients have just come together, stir in the melted butter until smooth. Add the wet ingredients to the dry mix, and gently stir just until the mixture is somewhat smooth, but still has small lumps. If too thick, add the remaining ¼ cup of milk.

Heat the griddle or pan to medium-high (approx. 350 degrees). Once the surface is hot, lightly grease with bacon fat. Use a ladle or 1/4 measuring cup to pour the batter onto the hot surface, leaving space between each cake.

As the pancakes cook, bubbly little holes will start to appear, but continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes longer before flipping. Cook for about 2 to 3 more minutes, until golden brown on both sides. Serve hot with pure maple syrup and enjoy!

Easy Fresh Fruit Salad Recipe

 

Breakfast with Tony, via Lisa Lee

This morning on North Dakota Today, Tony shared one of our favorite breakfast recipes: the easy-to-make but oh, so delicious, One-Pan Fried Egg Sandwich.

This breakfast sandwich was first featured in a post I wrote last December, inspired by the goodies I’d brought home from a recent trip to the (now-closed) Green Market. Tony fell in love with this sandwich, not only for its taste, but also for its simplicity. All of the components for this sandwich can be prepared with one pan and a toaster. What’s not to like?

Originally, this sandwich was made with fennel bread from the Green Market, but we haven’t been able to find any bread close to that since they closed last spring. So we turned to our friend, Lisa Lee Sawyer, for her recommendation.

Lisa Lee is a marvelous cook and baker. When she’s not busy with her other passion as a a Doctor of Music at Concordia College, Lisa Lee bakes all of her own bread, each loaf a treat of its own. We knew she would be able to tell us where to get a good loaf of bread for Tony’s appearance on North Dakota Today..

Turns out, she did us one better. She decided to experiment with fennel, and ended up making us several loaves of her very own fennel bread. Delicious doesn’t even begin to describe this bread – to say that we could taste the love in every bite would be an understatement.

This is what we love about living in the world of food: It’s a world that encourages sharing, and an open-mindedness to try new foods and recipes. Food is a universal language, one that every person speaks in her own way.We feel blessed to have a friend like Lisa Lee in our lives, and thank her for sharing her culinary talent and passion for good food with us.

When we don’t have Lisa Lee’s artisanal breads at home we will usually pay a visit to Breadsmith to see what they have in their daily selection, but any good toasting bread will work.

Everything but the toast is made in one pan, but if you use a large pan or griddle you could cook everything together, including the bread. This sandwich is healthy, delicious, and loaded with the vitamins, protein and nutrients you need to start your day off right. Enjoy!

For just the recipe, CLICK HERE: One-Pan Fried Egg Sandwich

CLICK HERE to watch Tony make our One-Pan Fried Egg Sandwich

The Lost Italian’s One-Pan Fried Egg Sandwich

Ingredients:
2 pieces of good bread, toasted or griddled and buttered (we love to use artisanal fennel, sourdough, rye or whole wheat English muffins)
1 slice Canadian bacon
1 heaping cup fresh spinach leaves, washed
1 slice American cheese (any cheese with good melting properties will work)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Heat the oil in  medium sauté pan over medium-high heat for a minute or two. Crack the egg and tilt the pan to keep the egg from spreading around. Use a rubber spatula to push the edges back toward the center if necessary.

Cook for about a minute and then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for three to four minutes, until the whites are opaque and the yolk is slightly firm. Flip the egg over and add the spinach and Canadian bacon to the pan.

Pop the sliced bread into the toaster at this time, and butter each piece as soon as it is done. Set aside until ready to use.

Continue to cook for two to three minutes, until the yolk has reached your desired consistency (longer for over-hard, shorter for over-medium), keeping an eye on the spinach and Canadian bacon.

Flip the egg right-side up again and season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn the Canadian bacon over and cook for another minute. Place the slice of cheese on top of the egg, turn the Canadian bacon over and allow everything to cook for another minute or two, until the cheese has melted, the spinach has wilted, and both sides of the Canadian bacaon are lightly browned.

Place the fried egg on a piece of buttered toast, add the Canadian bacon, then the spinach, and sit back to enjoy this quick, easy and delicious breakfast sandwich!

You can find Tony online at www.thelostitalian.com, on Twitter at @thelostitalian, on Facebook at Sarello’s & The Lost Italian page, and always at Sarello’s Restaurant in downtown Moorhead!

Sarello’s Restaurant & Wine Lounge
28 Center Mall Avenue
Moorhead, MN 56560
218.287.0238
www.sarellos.com
Just north of the Center Mall Parking Ramp

Amazing Homemade Bacon Pancakes & Easy Fruit Salad

“These might be the best pancakes I’ve ever had.” This was the first comment from our Forum photographer, Logan, as he tasted the featured subject of our recent photo shoot for today’s column. With praise like that, we knew we were on the right course with our recipe for a breakfast specialty we call Homemade Bacon Pancakes.

As a “restaurant family,” breakfast is our special time to sit and eat a meal together.   Tony is usually the master of the breakfast menu, and Gio and I have been only too happy to sit back and enjoy the meal. A family favorite has always been pancakes, and up until recently Tony has been a big fan of Aunt Jemima’s pancake mix.

However, our twenty-year-old griddle quit working several months ago and I finally found a good replacement for it just before Father’s Day. Gio and I wanted to make a special breakfast for Tony, and decided that we would depart from our usual box mix pancakes and attempt to make our own from scratch.

Homemade pancakes are surprisingly easy to make, and the result is a pancake that is superior to anything made from a box. What makes these pancakes even more special is a tip I learned from my cousin, Zack Berger, when he was visiting our family last summer.

Zack made Bisquick pancakes for us each morning, which took on a new identity after he cooked them in a bit of bacon grease. Quite simply, they tasted amazing, better and different than any other pancakes I’ve had. I knew I had to make these one day for Tony.

According to Tony, bacon and pancakes were made for each other, and after enjoying his Father’s Day treat he says he will never use box pancakes again. Bacon fat can be stored in the refrigerator for two to three months, but  if you cook the bacon just before the pancakes you’ll have a proper breakfast waiting for you when you finish.

Our recipe makes about ten medium-sized pancakes, and consists of just seven ingredients, all of which are common pantry staples. I often use sea salt when I bake or make sweet foods, and it’s a perfect fit for this recipe. A touch of vanilla added to the mix adds flavor and depth to the pancakes, and enhances the made-from-scratch experience.

We recently started using Dakota Maid all-purpose flour, which seems to be lighter and better-sifted than other brands, and we truly believe it improved the overall quality of our pancakes.

These pancakes are slightly sweet with a texture that is light, fluffy, airy and soft. To achieve this perfect texture, mix the batter until it is just a little bit lumpy – the lumps should be small but still present.

Bubbly little holes will begin to appear as the pancakes start cooking, but wait about two minutes after they surface before flipping the cake.

Cooking the pancakes in bacon grease doesn’t make them taste like bacon, but it does ensure that each cake has a wonderful, golden-brown crust which doesn’t happen when butter, oil or cooking spray is used.

We’re in Delaware this week, celebrating a family reunion dubbed Schmeckfest by my extended Anstett family (of German-from-Russia heritage), and we can’t wait to make our version of Bacon Pancakes for Zack and the gang. We serve our Bacon Pancakes with a pat of butter, pure maple syrup (Tony is Canadian, after all), a simple fresh fruit salad and, of course, bacon.

Homemade Bacon Pancakes

Ingredients:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ Tablespoons baking powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 ¼ cup milk or buttermilk (start with 1 cup and add more as needed, up to 1 ¼ cup)
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla
3 Tablespoons butter, melted

Directions:
Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the egg, 1 cup of milk and vanilla together, then lightly incorporate 1 cup of the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Once the ingredients have just come together, stir in the melted butter until smooth. Add the wet ingredients to the dry mix, and gently stir just until the mixture is somewhat smooth, but still has small lumps. If too thick, add the remaining ¼ cup of milk.

Heat the griddle or pan to medium-high (approx. 350 degrees). Once the surface is hot, lightly grease with bacon fat. Use a ladle or 1/4 measuring cup to pour the batter onto the hot surface, leaving space between each cake.

As the pancakes cook, bubbly little holes will start to appear, but continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes longer before flipping. Cook for about 2 to 3 more minutes, until golden brown on both sides. Serve hot with pure maple syrup and enjoy!

Easy Fresh Fruit Salad

Ingredients:
Watermelon, cubed
Honeydew melon, cubed
Cantaloupe, cubed
Pineapple, cubed
Kiwi, cut into rounds or half-moon slices
Blueberries. whole
Strawberries, sliced
Raspberries, whole
Grapes, whole
Juice from one orange

Directions:
To save a step, I often purchase my melon and pineapple pre-cut from the grocery store. Mix with your favorite fruits (if using banana, add just before serving) and coat with the juice of one orange. Prepare the night before serving, as the juices will marinate and create a wonderful syrup in the salad.