Goat Cheese and Blueberry Pancakes

This weekend, New Yorkers battened down their hatches and stocked up on non-perishable foods and candles in preparation for the inevitable destruction that hurricane Irene was doomed to bring. My post-apocalyptic plan included 240 ounces of beer, 25 ounces of maple-whiskey*, 25 ounces of dark rum, two french presses full of cold-brewed coffee, a hoarder level 2 stockpile of water, three varieties of chips, two varieties of cookies, multiple candy bars, and enough cheese to feed at least 20 hungry rat-zombies. We were ready for the worst, even if our priorities may have been a little off.

A greener approach to ‘bottled water.’

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to use the hurricane as an excuse to practice my bad-ass knife skills on hordes of looters seeing as Irene came through the city around 5am with much more of a whisper than a bang. However, having both of my jobs close down for the weekend gave me a great opportunity for a much-needed day of rest. I’ve been keeping occupied with snacks, movies, drawing marathons, and the company of two of my favorite people. The cats have been top-notch lap-warmers and we’ve consumed three bags of microwave popcorn. Now, looking out of my living room window, I see a light breeze swiftly blowing fluffy clouds across a dusty blue, early evening sky. I’m debating whether to head outside and go for a bike ride or just to continue staying inside and whip up some eggplant Parmesan for dinner. Irene who?

Bubbles popped, ready for flipping.

Since we were so prepared to be without power, I wasn’t expecting to be cooking this morning. But, upon waking and seeing the sun out in full-force, I diligently got to work on a breakfast feast that has kept us in a food coma for most of the day. This summer I’ve spent most of my very few days off running errands or trying to squeeze in quick beach trips, so it feels pretty awesome to just be lounging around watching Escape From New York and gorging on pancakes. To all you East-Coasters that did feel the effects of Miz Irene, I hope that your power is back on shortly, and that your yard drains quick enough to be BBQ-ing by Labor Day. Clear the tree limbs from your driveways and then kick back with some breakfast-for-dinner, you won’t regret it.

*Oh, and in case you were wondering, maple-whiskey is particularly delicious when added to coffee. Don’t judge me. This guy would approve.

Goat Cheese and Blueberry Pancakes

makes about 12 pancakes, 3-4 inches in diameter
 
3 tbsp butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour
3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup crumbled fresh chevre
1 cup blueberries fresh or frozen
more butter or oil for cooking
 
Combine eggs, milk, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until frothy. Add melted butter and whisk to combine. In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon and whisk to combine. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients at a time to the wet and stir lightly. You want the batter to be thick and still have some lumps in it, but with no visible particles of the flour mixture. Add in the goat cheese and stir gently to distribute. In a large, non-stick skillet, melt one teaspoon of butter over med-high heat until foam resides. Ladle 1/4 cup scoops of batter into pan and top with a handful of blueberries, pressing berries into batter gently. Cook pancakes until all bubbles forming on the surface have popped and flip. Cook remaining side for 4-6 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to serving plate. Between each batch of pancakes, wipe out pan with a paper towel and adjust heat to ensure even cooking. Start each new batch with a teaspoon of butter. To keep pancakes warm until ready to serve, keep them on a baking sheet in the oven at 250º. Serve with warm maple syrup and more butter.
 
Prosciutto and Melon Salad
serves 4
 
about 4oz thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into bite-sized shreds
1 cup canary, honeydew, or similar melon diced
a handful of mint leaves, chiffonaded
1/2 tsp kosher salt
juice of 1/2 a lime
a few grinds of black pepper
a pinch of cayenne pepper
 
In a non-stick skillet over med-low heat, warm the prosciutto shreds until crisped. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least 15 minutes or up to one hour. Serve with a garnish of mint and more black pepper.
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