Mike-style is kind of hard to describe with one word so I’ll give a little illustration. My chosen adjectives carry a somewhat negative connotation (heavy-handed, overdone, excessive) and I’m trying to change my perception. After all, we all have our unique style, right? Aren’t we all, after all, endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights including the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness?? Aren’t the most unusual of our eccentrics often endearing??? Perhaps you can contribute your ideas for a proper descriptor for Mike-style.
Here’s the illustration: Okay, so let’s say you prepare a homemade strawberry galette, with homemade dough and using the berries you grow in your back yard. It needs no embellishment because the individual elements are so pure and flavorful.
So you bring it to the table and he takes a bite and says, “Oh my gosh this is SOOOO good! WOW!”
Quietly he gets up from the table and says “I’ll be right back.”
And then he comes back with some sliced strawberries on top and some strawberry jam. It’s Smuckers from a couple years ago, but, well, there it is.
Then shyly he says, “You don’t mind if I run a quick errand, do you . . . I’ll be right back!!!”
And he returns with some strawberry ice cream. Now the galette’s got fresh strawberries on top, some jam, and ice cream. Now his galette is Mike-style.
Since it’s Mike’s Birthday I’m trying to cover all my bases with this pancake creation. The mulberries are fresh and uber-seasonal. They are a unique and delicious berry delicious as is. However, if you add them into the batter, they warm up a bit and “bleed,” along with their flavor, ever so subtly into the pancake. Then, if you throw a few in a pan with some water & cornstarch, you can create a “quick jam.” You might even puree a few berries with some softened butter to melt over the pancakes. See what I mean?
Since you may not wish to venture into Mike-style, I offer only the recipe for the pancakes. I use a mix of homemade buttermilk (but of course store bought is very good), eggs, baking soda, rye flour, polenta, ricotta and lemon zest.
Here’s the Recipe:
1 cup rye flour
1/2 cup cornmeal or polenta
1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese, drained for at least 1/2 hr
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sale
3 Tbsp sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups buttermilk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 1/2 teaspoon for griddle
1 cup fresh mulberries
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
Mix all ingredients together LIGHTLY, except 1/2 cup mulberries and the lemon zest. I like to also add a couple of tablespoons of my sourdough starter to the batter, so if you keep a starter, add a little bit into the batter. Let sit in a bowl overnight.
Bubbling Up Pancake Mix
Adding the Little Mulberries
Heat griddle to 375 degrees. Test griddle by sprinkling a few drops of water on it. If water bounces and spatters off griddle, it is hot enough. Of course if you don’t have a griddle, just proceed as you normally do with a non-stick or cast iron or other pan when making pancakes. Using a pastry brush, brush remaining 1/2 teaspoon of butter onto griddle (or pan). Wipe off excess.
Using a 4-ounce ladle, about 1/2 cup, pour pancake batter, in pools 2 inches away from one other. When pancakes have bubbles on top and are slightly dry around edges, about 2 1/2 minutes, flip over. Cook until golden on bottom, about 1 minute.
Repeat with remaining batter, keeping finished pancakes on a heatproof plate in a 175 degree oven. Serve warm with maple syrup, butter, and fresh mulberries.