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Kane’s Cuisine: Adult pancakes

LA Blade staff writer Christopher Kane shares his love and passion of cooking writing in a new weekly Sunday column

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Photo by Dan Balinovic

Editor’s Note: What happens when you have a pandemic and a bored stay-at-home political reporter with extra time on his hands? LA Blade staff writer Christopher Kane decided that he would pursue his second love and passion of cooking and now he’s sharing the results in a new weekly Sunday column.

WASHINGTON – These pancakes have made a game plan to leave a concert or sporting event a few minutes early to “beat the rush.” These pancakes have seen a dermatologist about a mole with irregular borders (or at least thought about doing so).

These pancakes have asked questions like, “What is a Doja Cat?” What I mean to say is, I have two recipes for pancakes, and each were made with adults in mind.  

I can’t tell you the number of times in which I’ve ordered pancakes with my mimosas at brunch only to wind up disappointed, pushing away my plate after a few bites because they’re too-sweet, one-note, monotonous in texture and lacking anything…interesting. Other times, they’re gimmicky (lookin’ at you, whipped cream, sprinkles, and chocolate chips.) 

I promise, you will love these pancakes even if you are not a pancakes person. They’re the perfect way to reward yourself on Saturday or Sunday morning for working hard all week and paying your bills – you know, like a grown up.

Photo by Dan Balinovic

Lemon-ricotta buttermilk pancakes with fresh blueberry compote

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together three-fourths cup all-purpose flour, three-fourths teaspoon salt, and one and a half teaspoons baking powder
  2. In a large bowl, add a fourth cup granulated white sugar. With a microplane, zest two lemons over the sugar. Use your fingers to mix until the sugar is yellow and fragrant. 
  3. Whisk one and a half teaspoons vanilla extract into large bowl with lemony sugar. Add three eggs and whisk until foamy. Mix in three-fourths cup ricotta cheese, a fourth cup buttermilk, and two tablespoons melted unsalted butter until fully blended.
  4. Add flour mixture to wet mixture and mix until no lumps remain. 
  5. Heat three to four tablespoons butter in a cast iron or non-stick skillet. Cook batter in batches of about a fourth cup each, two to four minutes each side, flipping after you start to see bubbles on the top of the batter (you’ll know it’s ready to flip when you can easily slide your spatula under the pancake.)
  6. In a medium saucepan on medium heat, cook one cup blueberries with three tablespoons water, a fourth cup granulated white sugar, and two teaspoons fresh lemon juice for ten minutes. Add another cup of blueberries and cook, stirring occasionally, for another eight minutes. 
Photo by Dan Balinovic

Tahini-cinnamon buttermilk pancakes with tahini-cinnamon syrup and chocolate curls

  1. In a large bowl, whisk two eggs until foamy. Add two tablespoons plain Greek yogurt, two tablespoons tahini, and one-fourth cup buttermilk, mixing until smooth.
  2. Add a half-cup all-purpose flour, one teaspoon baking soda, and a fourth-teaspoon cinnamon, whisking until smooth.
  3. Heat three to four tablespoons butter in a cast iron or nonstick skillet. Cook batter in batches of about a fourth cup each, two to four minutes each side, flipping after you start to see bubbles on the top of the batter (you’ll know it’s ready to flip when you can easily slide your spatula under the pancake.)
  1. In a medium bowl, mix a half-cup syrup with two tablespoons tahini and a fourth-teaspoon cinnamon. 
  2. Melt two ounces baking chocolate together with two teaspoons butter in a microwave on 30 percent heat. Transfer to a 9×13” Pyrex baking dish and use an offset spatula to spread as thinly and evenly as possible. Transfer to freezer for up to ten minutes, and then use offset spatula or spoon to scrape chocolate into curls. It does not have to be perfect! 
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Food

Kane’s Cuisine: My easiest recipe (so far)

LA Blade staff writer Christopher Kane shares his love and passion of cooking writing in his weekly Sunday column

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Photo by Dan Balinovic

The LA Blade’s intrepid Washington D.C.-based political reporter snarks his way through another delicious weekly recipe while dishing tea on other subjects…

WASHINGTON – The toast pictured here was made with a homemade baguette. Yours doesn’t have to be, and there was no reason for me to flex like that because the point of today’s column is to demonstrate how a few easy steps can elevate the mundane into something extraordinary. 

This really is so easy. Low effort, high reward. A perfectly serviceable appetizer to serve guests at a dinner party and an equally satisfying lunch on the go. Plus, learning to make your own avocado toast will save you enough money to afford an undesirable home in the Valley in about 729 years. 

Plus, it’s officially spooky season. IYKYK. 

Using Props Properly: Christina Milian Explains The Toast | THE ROCKY HORROR  PICTURE SHOW - YouTube

The key ingredient, apart from the toast – obviously – is ricotta. From there, you can go sweet or savory. Fruit, fish, mushrooms…the world is your oyster.  

  1. Head a tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium and toast a slice or two of bread (store-bought is fine. No, really.) 
  2. Spread ricotta over your toast. You can whip it with a whisk before you spread it. Or don’t. Just make sure it’s full-fat. 

Be creative with your toppings. Pictured here is prosciutto, capers, freshdill, and flakysalt. On other piece: sliced cherry tomatoes, chives, and honey.

Photo by Dan Balinovic

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Kane’s Cuisine: Amatriciana, one of the four pastas of Rome

LA Blade staff writer Christopher Kane shares his love and passion of cooking writing in his weekly Sunday column

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on

Photo by Dan Balinovic

The LA Blade’s intrepid Washington D.C.-based political reporter snarks his way through another delicious weekly recipe while dishing tea on other subjects…

WASHINGTON – The head cold or upper respiratory infection or whatever it is that I’m suffering from has worsened over the last 24 hours and I feel like complete garbage. So, what have I turned to for comfort on this weekend afternoon? 

That’s right, NyQuil chicken

But afterwards, a bowl of warm noodles (followed by a bowl of cold ice cream) all while re-watching Dance Moms. Look, if you can’t handle me at my worst, that is completely understandable because I am a monster. 

Today, we’re making one of the four pastas of Rome, amatriciana. I made some modifications that Italians might not approve of, but I don’t care. Oh, you learned everything there is to know about the Italian culinary arts from your study abroad? I don’t think so. 

“When I was in Lazio, our Pecorino Romano was crafted by local cheesemakers who raised sheep on the hillside, playing Giuseppe Verdi’s operas for at least four hours per day. These farmers, who were all named Salvatore, would sooner have eaten their own shoes than tasted an amatriciana prepared with canned tomatoes. Calling what they serve here in America ‘pasta’ is an insult. And don’t even get me STARTED on how much better the coffee is in Italy…”
  1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil 
  2. In a large skillet or fry pan with a couple tablespoons olive oil, cook 4 ounces guanciale or pancetta, cut into ½ – inch cubes, on medium-low for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally 
  3. Increase the heat slightly and add a sliced onion and cook for about 5-8 minutes. Add two teaspoons red pepper flakes and cook for an additional 30 seconds to one minute
  4. Add a 28-ounce can of tomatoes (crushed, or whole and then crushed by hand or with a wooden spoon). Add a dash of fish sauce and season to taste with salt. Cook for about 20 minutes and set aside
  5. In your pot of boiling water, cook a 12-ounce box of pasta – whatever kind you like –until a few minutes before al dente (refer to package directions for cook times). Reserve one cup pasta water, strain the noodles and set aside 
  6. Add the pasta and half the reserved pasta water to your pan with the sauce. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes, stirring to make sure the noodles are evenly coated and the sauce is thickened 
Photo by Dan Balinovic

Optional but encouraged: Season with flaky salt, black pepper, grated raw garlic, more red pepper flakes, a drizzle of olive oil, and garnish with basil 

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Food

Kane’s Cuisine: potato salad doesn’t have to be boring

LA Blade staff writer Christopher Kane shares his love and passion of cooking writing in his weekly Sunday column

Published

on

Photo by Dan Balinovic

The LA Blade’s intrepid Washington D.C.-based political reporter snarks his way through another delicious weekly recipe while dishing tea on other subjects…

WASHINGTON – Is anyone ever that jazzed about potato salad? Always the side dish but never the bride, it’s somehow simultaneously the most omnipresent but least memorable food brought to a barbecue or potluck situation. Friends, I’m here to tell you there’s a better way. 

To make my point, I should have done just the potato salad and not distracted you with the fried chicken pictured therewith. If you would like to make the fried chicken, I used the same recipe from my August 14 column

What makes this potato salad so special? Everything. It’s so much more than mayonnaise and boiled spuds. It’s got tangy citrus, salty umami-rich anchovies, fresh dill. Your German immigrant ancestors could never. Sorry. 

Oh, another thing: For those of us who are not infants and still have use of our teeth, I do not understand the appeal of any food that doesn’t have some texture. Another issue I have with other potato salads but not this one, which has a delightful crunch.

Photo by Dan Balinovic

Bring this to a potluck and it will be gone faster than the Queen’s spirit traveled to Trisha Paytas’s baby. I need to get off Twitter because it’s rotting my brain. Also, when looking up the spelling of Paytas’s name, I discovered she named the baby Malibu Barbie. Don’t really have further comment on that matter but I thought you should know, too. 

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  1. Boil two pounds baby potatoes in three quarts of water with one cup of salt cup (yes, you read that right) until they can be easily pierced with a fork, or about eight to ten minutes. Strain out and discard the water 
  2. Smash and peel a few garlic cloves, adding a pinch of salt as you mash them into a paste. Chop a few anchovy filets and mash them into a paste, too. Combine your pastes and mash them together until their color and texture is uniform
  3. Add paste to a large bowl with a third cup mayonnaise, a tablespoon Dijon mustard, and a teaspoon black pepper, whisking to combine. Continue whisking as you slowly add two tablespoons olive oil and the juice from one lemon. Season with salt
  4. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, smash them lightly into a cutting board with your palm so they split open but aren’t totally mashed (does that make sense?) Add them to the dressing mixture, tossing evenly to coat
Photo by Dan Balinovic

Add six to eight thinly sliced radishes, a few scallions, or chives, radish and sunflower microgreens, and an ungodly amount of fresh dill. Some of the ingredients in this step are optional. The dill is not. Season again with salt and black pepper

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