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Wild Rice and Walnut Pancakes Fragranced with Vanilla

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I think you’ll agree that pancakes are a tempting comfort food that we’d secretly love to have almost daily but don’t because we usually eat them smothered in butter and syrup or jam whether they’re thin like crepes or thick and hardy.

So how would you feel about a pancake that can be served sweet or savory, that is filled with wild rice and walnuts and can be easily made gluten-free? And, if wild rice isn’t available, you could substitute brown or white rice? If this sounds appealing, read on!

This recipe has been with me since at least the early 1980s, long enough that I have no memory of its origins. I was crazy about it then but, over time, it slipped away from me. That is, until a short while ago when I was updating my recipe for Cornish Game Hens with Fresh Cherry Sauce. I remembered the pancakes and thought they’d be a perfect side for the game hens. And they are.

First bite and I wondered why I had let this recipe gather dust!! I made some to go with the game hens and had enough left over to have a hugely indulgent breakfast featuring the pancakes with a high-grade Vermont maple syrup. Absolutely, truly heaven!! You won’t regret for a moment the extra time it takes to simmer wild rice and toast some walnuts, and anyone  enjoying these killer pancakes will be thrilled. The best part is that they’re equally good as a savory side or a sweet breakfast or brunch treat.

Wild Rice and Walnut Pancakes Fragranced with Vanilla
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Ingredients
  1. 1/4 pound dried wild rice (about 3/4 cup)
  2. 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  3. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  4. salt and pepper to taste
  5. 1/2 teaspoon Rain's Choice freshly ground vanilla bean powder
  6. or substitute 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  7. 1 cup medium-chop walnuts
  8. 2 large eggs
  9. 1 cup milk or milk substitute
  10. 1 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
  11. 1/2 cup coconut oil, butter or ghee, melted plus more
  12. for the griddle or skillet
Instructions
  1. Place the rice in a sieve and rinse well. Place rice in a medium saucepan and add 2-1/4 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for 1 hour. Grains should be puffed and open. If not, remove the saucepan from heat and let rice stand in the hot water until puffed, then drain thoroughly. Check the rice while it's cooking as the water may need to be replenished.
  2. Sift the flour with baking powder, salt and pepper, and ground vanilla bean powder, in a large bowl. Add walnuts. Beat eggs with a fork. Add sour cream (or yogurt) and 1/2 cup milk. Mix well and then add the rest of the milk and butter (or oil). Mix into the flour mixture. Add in vanilla extract if using, then fold in the cooked rice.
  3. Spoon batter into a slightly buttered cast-iron griddle or skillet that is hot but not smoking. Cook until bottoms are golden brown and pancakes begin to set, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook on the other side for 1 minute or until lightly browned. Keep pancakes warm on an ovenproof platter until all pancakes are cooked.
  4. Makes about 22 4-inch pancakes.
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Patricia Rain
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Patricia Rain

is an author, educator, culinary historian, and owner of The Vanilla Company (www.vanillaqueen.com), a socially conscious, product-driven information and education site dedicated to the promotion of pure, natural vanilla, and the support of vanilla farmers worldwide. She also does culinary presentations for food professionals, cooking schools, trade shows, food fairs, and private groups, and is a regular radio and TV guest.
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