Recipe by chef Matt Batey, Vendome Cafe, Calgary
Both my parents were very hard-working career professionals who had an amazing dedication to their three kids. Even with all of the hectic goings-on of two careers and kids with many extracurricular activities, dinner as a family was a must. My mother is a nurse, and when we were young she worked shift work. My father is an executive, so many nights Dad would rush home just in time to make dinner as mom was waking up so that we could all eat together before she dashed off to work. Hence breakfast for dinner, as for mom, it really was breakfast time for her and dinner for us.
The best part of it all was how something so simple as pancakes with a beautifully cooked sunny-side egg—runny yolk, of course—and pure maple syrup tasted like the most decadent food possible. Proof that food really is the medium that joins us, be it friends or family or both.
Depending on what’s in your fridge, you can substitute up to ½ cup buttermilk with plain or vanilla yogurt or sour cream. For a fibre and nutrient boost, add a couple of large spoonfuls of rolled oats or oat bran, or fold in fresh or frozen fruit—chopped banana, blueberries, raspberries or whatever is in season.
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups buttermilk
2 large or jumbo eggs
¼ cup melted butter or canola oil
2 tsp vanilla
In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add buttermilk, eggs, butter and vanilla and whisk just until blended.
Set a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle with oil, wiping it around the pan with a paper towel. Reduce heat to medium-low, ladle in about ⅓ cup of batter and cook until bubbles start to break through the surface. Flip with a thin spatula and cook until golden on the other side. Repeat with the remaining batter. If you like, keep pancakes warm in a 250˚F oven while you cook the rest. Serve warm. Makes 8–10 pancakes.
Tip To simmer any kind of fruit into compote for topping your pancakes, heat a bit of butter with blueberries, raspberries and/or blackberries, thicken with a bit of cornstarch stirred into a spoonful of orange juice, and spike with nutmeg. Pour on and over the stack!