Happy Valentine’s Day!This recipe is by no means a Valentine’s Day menu suggestion…for now I’m keeping my makeshift menu to myself, but will share it later in the week. This will be sort of a weird Valentine’s Day (not that we’ve ever been huge celebrants) in that Dylan has rehearsal tonight for his ridiculous production that opens Friday. It’s Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale, only set in feudal Japan. And he and the rest of the cast have been forced to dye their hair black (permanent dye) for what is essentially community theater. Right…I’ll say nothing more about what I think of that idea or the rest of the production lest I get him in trouble. But in any case, given his rehearsal schedule, I’ll be serving up dinner around 6, then heading to Music and Lyrics with friend who has been similarly ditched for the evening by her fiance, and finally whipping up dessert around 11. Not an ideal solution, but c’est la vie.
But I digress…I realize this is probably the 4th or 5th recipe I’ve made from Didi Emmon’s Entertaining for a Veggie Planet: 250 Down-to-Earth Recipes in the 6 weeks or so that I’ve been blogging. No, I’m not getting kickbacks from Didi Emmons. Nor am I trying to pull a Julie and Julia or replicate the cool website I found last weekend of a woman in SF who is cooking the entire ginormous The Silver Spoon cookbook (which must have over 1000 recipes). But you know when you find a cookbook and you just want to make everything in it? Well, that’s how I feel about this one. So I’ll continue to inundate you with posts of its healthy, creative veggie fare.
These sesame scallion pancakes were not only fun to make (you get to roll the dough up like a huge jelly roll bursting with toasted sesame seeds and scallions), but thankfully, they also bore little resemblance to the super-oily sesame scallion pancakes that are on the appetizer menu at most Chinese restaurants. These were just very lightly pan-fried and were served with a slightly spicy dipping sauce (recipe also below). I served them alongside some Trader Joe’s vegetable gyoza, which I love and have not yet mustered up the courage to make from scratch. All in all, a light yummy meal and I will definitely make the pancakes again.
Entertaining for a Veggie Planet‘s Sesame-scallion pancakes (makes 8 4-inch pancakes)
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 tbsp canola oil, plus more as needed
3 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
3 tbsp toasted black or white sesame seeds
3 small, skinny chile peppers, minced
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp black or balsamic vinegar
1. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 tbsp of the oil in a medium bowl. With a wooden spoon, stir in 1/2 cup boiling water to form a soft dough. (Add additional flour or boiling water if necessary). Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 3 minutes. Cover the dough with its bowl and let stand for 30 minutes.
2. Dust the dough with a bit of flour and roll it into an 8×16 inch rectangle. Brush 1 tbsp of the oil over the surface of the dough and sprinkle it with the scallions and sesame seeds. Starting on one long side, roll up the dough like a jelly roll. Cut the roll into 8 even slices. One at a time, lay a slice of dough on the work surface. Flatten it with a floured hand, then roll it into a 4-inch disk.
3. To make the dipping sauce, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.
4. In a large non-stick skillet, heat the remaining 1 tbsp canola oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary to avoid crowding the skillet and adding oil as needed, pan-fry the pancakes until crisp and brown, about 1 minute per side. As the pancakes are done, transfer them to a baking sheet and keep them warm in a 250 degree oven while you fry the rest. Serve the pancakes warm with the dipping sauce.
(You can roll out the pancakes, separate them by plastic wrap, stack them, and wrap in plastic wrap, then store them unfried in the fridge for 3 days or the freezer for 2 months. Leftovers can be heated in foil in a toaster oven the next day.)