"It's the company, not the cooking, that makes the meal!" ~Perilee 
(Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Scallion Pancakes

Jack and I fell in love with "Scallion Pancakes" as an appetizer at our favorite authentic Chinese food restaurant in New York City called "Ollies" so when I saw this recipe in the February Family Fun Magazine I had to try it. (We made these Feb 8th and I am just getting around to posting it). It was a recipe that your children are suppose to be able to help with, so give it a try if you are feeling like doing something fun with the kiddos. Me, I opted to be a loner on this one! Seemed like way to many steps--a little bit of a process.(Maybe kids can help next time!--realistically probably not :-]) The kids, Jack, and uncle Simon loved these fun pancakes. We served it with an Asian styled meal--like your favorite asian chicken and rice recipe.

Scallion Pancakes (February 2010 Family Fun p. 89)
3 cups flour, plus more for rolling
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water, plus more for mixing
1 bunch scallions
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

In a large bowl, stir together the flour and salt, then form the mixture into a mound. Make a well in the center and add the water, first filling the well, then pouring what remains around the sides of the bowl. Use a large spoon or rubber spatula to combine the ingredients into a soft, raggedy dough. If it doesn't pull together after about a minute of stirring, add water, one Tablespoon at a time (up to 4), to help the dough take shape.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape it into a ball. Working with floured hands, knead the dough until it's smooth and springy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Shape it back into a ball and set it aside to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

While the dough rests, prepare the scallions. Trim off the root end and 1 ind of the green tip of each scallion, then slice or use kitchen scissors to snip each one crosswise just above where the white and green sections meet. Cut the whites in half lengthwise and pull away and discard any dry, rough outer layers. Thinly chop the whites, then cut the greens into thin slices with a knife or kitchen scissors. Transfer the greens along with the whites to a bowl and toss. Then set the onions aside.

Roll the dough into a log. Halve it crosswise, the cut each half into three pieces. Place five of the portions in a large bowl and cover it with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap.

Dust your hands and work surface with flour. Roll the sixth dough portion into a fairly round, 1/4-inch-thick pancake. Scatter 2 Tablespoons of chopped scallion on top, leaving a 1-inch border.

Roll the pancake into a long . Beginning at one end, wind the log into a spiral as if shaping a cinnamon roll, then tuck the loose end underneath. Use your palm to gently press the dough into a disk. Dust the dough lightly with flour, then roll it into a pancake 6 to 7 inches in diameter.

Warm a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat, then coat the pan with 1 1/2 teaspoons of vegetable oil. Use a scallion slice to test the temperature of the oil. If it sizzles at once, the oil is ready for frying. If it doesn't wait another 30 seconds and retest the oil with another scallion slice, repeating as necessary until the oil is hot.

Carefully lay the pancake in the skillet and fry it until its edges puff up and the bottom is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip the pancake, drizzle another 1/2 teaspoon of oil around the edges of the pan, and continue frying until the second side is golden brown, about 3 minutes more. Transfer the pancake to a serving plate.

Repeat the steps for each remaining dough portion. Serve pancakes hot or warm, cut into quarters or sixths, and if you like, with a Soy-Ginger Dipping Sauce.
Makes 6 Pancakes

Soy-Ginger Dipping Sauce (This makes way to much in my opinion. I'll half it next time.)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon grated or minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or less to taste)
Whisk together ingredients then add
1/4 cup chopped scallions (I left them out. I wasn't going to buy a second bunch just for the dip.)

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