In just a few days, it will be time to honor Hollywood’s best at the annual Oscars awards. So our script for February’s Recipe ReDux was this: “In honor of the Oscars, create a healthy recipe inspired by your favorite food scene or featured dish from any movie.”
I used the way-back machine to find my inspiration – Pretty Woman, the Cinderella tale of a hooker (Julia Roberts) turned love interest for a wealthy guy (Richard Gere). There’s a morning-after scene in that movie where Julia Roberts’ character is lounging around, eating pancakes with her fingers, that inspired me to make Pretty Woman Pancakes.
For whatever reason, my middle-school-aged friends and I glommed onto recreating that scene, and spent the better part of a month making pancakes-eaten-with-your-hands our go-to after-school snack (is there an Oscar category for best use of hyphens in a sentence? I’m a shoo-in). There was something both cavalier and kid-like in that scene that seemed to resonate with a bunch of 13-year-olds.
But this being the Recipe ReDux, I couldn’t just put plain old pancakes on the red carpet (what would Joan Rivers say?!). So I added a few ingredients – dried apricots and dark chocolate – that boast complexion-friendly nutrients like polyphenols and vitamin A.
Mix up a batch of these Pretty Woman Pancakes and you can tell Mr. DeMille that you’re ready for your close-up.
Pretty Woman pancakes
(12-14 pancakes, approx. 85 calories each)
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cups buttermilk (or 1 cup milk plus 1 Tbs vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes)
1 Tbs butter, melted
1 Tbs honey
1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup dark chocolate, broken into small bits
Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg, then add the honey and butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in the large bowl and mix together.
Finally, add the apricots and chocolate to the pancake batter. The pieces will tend to sink to the bottom after you’ve stirred them, so be prepared to re-stir things again just before you ladle it out onto the griddle.
Heat a pan over medium-high heat (think 7 out of 10); coat thinly with nonstick spray. Scoop the batter onto the hot surface, 1/8 cup at a time (math geniuses will figure out here that you can use a ¼-cup measurer and dole out half its contents to for each mini pancake). Heat until bubbles form on top through the batter and the edges are firm. Flip and heat on the other side for another few minutes, until cooked through.
Serve with maple syrup, honey, a little cocoa powder, or some crushed almonds. Or, just eat them unadorned, with your hands, with a gaggle of your middle school friends.
My fellow ReDuxers have even more ways for your menu to take a star turn – check out all their recipes: