If you agree that pancakes are the best thing that could have happened to mankind, then we are definitely on the same page. And while the Alita Dolcia might have been baked on stones, people of today are blessed with many ingredients and appliances to experiment with the preparation of all sorts of pancake recipes.
Why Savory Pancakes?
First things first, let's have a word or two about the eternal dilemma: savory or sweet pancakes? While many would claim that nothing can beat sweet maple syrup topped, Nutella infused pancakes, I intend to prove just the opposite: Savory Pancakes are WAY better than their sweet counterparts. Why? Easy, there are many reasons as to why I would go for savory pancakes any day, but here are just a few:
You can add as many different ingredients as you possibly want. This, in turn, means you can either go for bacon, sausages or any other meaty and greasy ingredient, or vegetables and slightly healthier ingredients.
The other thing you should have in mind is savory pancakes can totally replace lunch or even dinner. Now, who can say this for the sweet ones? No matter how scrumptious a stack is, or how hunger satiating, if it is sweet it cannot be regarded a proper meal, period.
And last, but certainly, not least, pancakes are a great way to make your children eat vegetables and healthy ingredients that they would never even want to smell, let alone consume. Just add spinach, and parsley in a blender with all the other ingredients and serve your kids a green hotcake that they will be eager to devour. Or, sneak some onions or green chives into potato based hotcakes, and watch them be gone in minutes.
Potato Based Pancakes
Pancake recipes that make use of potatoes are definitely a must try. Be it your leftover mashed potatoes, or some shredded boiled ones, you are definitely in for a treat. Potatoes will give a somewhat creamy texture to the hotcakes and what's more, they can be combined with anything from sour cream, to chives and onions, and even zucchini. But probably the best potato based pancake recipe, especially for all of you who love your meals to be rich, is the Boxty, or the Irish potato hotcake. Now, this pancake recipe makes use of grated and mashed potatoes, a cup of flour, the same amount of milk and that's it. Rather that's the base, but what gives the Boxty its charm are the toppings and sauces you can serve it with. Remember the kids talk above? Well, this is a great way to make them eat mushrooms, garlic, onions, and if you are bold enough, you can sneak in a (12 ounce) bottle of Guinness. Kidding, don't serve beer to your little ones, instead go for a cup of beef broth. I found the recipe for the Boxty (Irish Potato Pancakes) with Bangers in a Guinness Mushroom and Onion Gravy among the Best American Pancake Recipes – Quick, Easy, and Delicious on a cooking app I recently discovered.
Don't worry, if the word allium doesn't ring a bell, it is only because it is Latin. It literally translates as "garlic", but it is the name to refer to the cultivated onion, garlic, scallion, shallot, and leek as well as chives. Many of these plants have been used for their medical powers for centuries, but the thing about them is they do have a specific odor. And while most of the adults find it inviting (and would describe it as aroma rather than smell or odor), kids won't even bother trying onions or garlic (at least my kids). And here we go again, the eternal struggle of all mothers: How to make kids eat healthy ingredients without it being shoving them down their throats? The answer again comes in the form of pancakes.
Try preparing the Cong You Bing, the Chinese scallion pancakes (Green Onion Cakes). These crispy yummy latkes are pretty easy to prepare. Being crispy is what makes kids love them! Plus, dipped in soy sauce there's no snack as tasty as them. Guaranteed!
And how about a Korean pancake recipe, while here? The Buchujeon (Garlic Chive cakes) are another great savory meal. Made with Korean garlic chives, they are also pretty interesting to look at. This is due to the fact that Korean garlic chives have slightly darker green. Again, they leave plenty of space to experiment with ingredients, so don't hesitate to add as many vegetables as you possibly want, and seafood is also recommended.
Ok, if you think that I have gone "Asia crazy", maybe you are right. But, I couldn't talk about savory pancakes and don't give an honorable mention to the Okonomiyaki, the Japanese pancake. With a cabbage based batter, these will definitely come in handy when you find yourselves with a load of leftover cabbage, and again make the youngest in your family eat it this way or another. The best way to describe these pancakes is by decoding the literal meaning of their name: "How you like". This means you can add whatever ingredients you please, although the most common toppings are mayonnaise, sriracha, sesame seeds and green onions. If you are bolder, go ahead and add some coarsely chopped shrimp, and even a slice or two of bacon, you won't be sorry!
Even if you still think sweet pancakes are better than the savory ones, I sure hope I've sparked your interest, and you are going to give one of these pancake recipes a try. Remember, a pancake dinner will always be better than the regular one. For the hundred time, hotcakes are a great base for adding ingredients that are good for your family and still taste as scrumptious as ever. And what's more, you will be spending half the time you would preparing a regular dinner meal, say pork chops, meatloaf or anything that needs hours of baking.