As we head north on the 101 freeway leaving Los Angeles for Santa Barbara, the temperature drops five degrees every 10 miles or so, until we reach our destination where it’s a balmy 72. Our morning begins with a trip to the local farmer’s market in Santa Barbara. We’ve driven up here today to spend the weekend with my good friend Lauren, and her husband Larry. During the week he’s a corporate CEO with a passion for the bottom line, but on the weekends it’s all about his passion for food. He’s as savvy in the kitchen as he is in the boardroom. It’s only fresh ingredients for him. As we dart from vendor to vendor, sampling the fresh herbs, vegetables and fruits that were picked right off the tree only this morning, I can’t wait to get back to the house to see what Larry will whip up.
The vendors at the farmer’s market were as colorful as the products they sold.
Farmer’s Market Pancakes
From Gale Gand’s Brunch!
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup potato starch
1 tablespoon sugar
3/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 large egg
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons canola oil
unsalted butter, for cooking
fresh blueberries and sliced strawberries (rinsed and pat dry, strawberries hulled)
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, potato starch, sugar, salt and baking powder. In a separate bowl, beat the egg with a fork and then mix in the milk and oil. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and combine with a wooden spoon, leaving plenty of lumps. Transfer the batter to a pitcher with a pour spout.
Heat the griddle or a large skillet over medium heat (you might turn it down to medium-low after you’ve cooked a few pancakes). Melt 1 teaspoon of butter on it (add more butter, 1 teaspoon at a time, as you continue cooking and the griddle starts to get dry). Heat the butter until it foams. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of the batter onto the griddle to make each pancake, leaving space in between for spreading. At this point Larry, gently lays the fruit on top of the pancake (if you mix it into the batter, the batter will discolor).
When the top of each pancake has stopped bubbling and no longer looks wet and the underside is lightly browned, (about 3 minutes) flip the pancake and cook on the other side until golden about 2 minutes. Serve immediately, or keep warm on a plate in a 200 degree oven.
Be sure to serve with warmed, pure maple syrup.
Makes about twelve 3-4″ pancakes