Sunday, January 6

Food Blogga Exposed! Savory Chestnut Pancakes with Pancetta and Creme Fraiche

I can't make pancakes. Nope. Just can't. Other than my fleeting victory with Nigella's ricotta hotcakes last August (which technically aren't pancakes), I haven't had much pancake success.

I've tried recipes from Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Cooking Light, and even Martha. They always come too heavy or too dry or too flat.

So when Jeff and I felt like having pancakes on Sunday, I went where no respectful food blogger goes -- to the Bisquick section of the supermarket baking aisle.

There I furtively placed a box of Heart Smart Bisquick in my cart, proceeded to the checkout, and almost made it to my car, when I was accosted by the Food Blogging paparazzi. Despite my protestations, their persistence was formidable.

I was caught red (box) handed. I confessed on the spot. I needed the Bisquick.

Let me tell you. It was worth it. I made savory, holiday inspired chestnut pancakes. They were the fluffiest, tastiest pancakes I had made in quite a while.

The interplay between the salty pancetta, the sugary maple syrup, and the sour creme fraiche is remarkably satisfying. Plus these savory pancakes balance the sweet gnocchi I made a few weeks ago.

Chestnut Pancakes with Pancetta, Creme Fraiche, and Cinnamon Maple Syrup
My inspiration for this recipe came from an original in Bon Appetit.
Makes 10 (3-4-inch) round pancakes.

Print recipe only here.

1/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans
1/3 pound pancetta, cut into 1/2-inch-dices
1 cup Heart Smart Bisquick
scant 3/4 cup milk (I used skim)
1 egg white
1/4 cup coarsely chopped bottled chestnuts
1/4 cup pure maple syrup, warmed
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
Creme fraiche

To toast the pecans, place in a small, dry skillet over medium heat for about 1 minute, or until golden brown. Shake the pan handle gently to ensure even toasting. Remove from heat.

Cook pancetta in a medium skillet over medium heat until brown and crisp; transfer to a paper-towel lined plate.

In a medium bowl, add Bisquick, milk, and egg white, and mix well until smooth. Gently stir in chestnuts. Let batter rest for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, add maple syrup and cinnamon to a small pan and warm over a low simmer.

To make the pancakes, place a thin layer of canola oil on a pancake griddle over medium heat. Place a drop of batter on the skillet to make sure it's hot enough. Drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls (about 1 heaping). Cook pancakes until golden brown and cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side.

Transfer to a warm plate until ready to serve. Top with créme fraîche, pancetta, and cinnamon maple syrup.

You might also like my:
Potato, Pepper, and Onion Frittata
Heuvos Rancheros with Salsa Verde
Persimmon and Date Bread
Date, Fennel, and Pistachio Scones

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Debra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debra said...

You're so funny...glad to hear your success story.

Sam said...

that made me giggle

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Ha! We all have our "dirty little secrets!" But, leave it to you, Susan, to make Bisquick elegant!

Namratha said...

Hehehe, Susan you have me in splits over this post! :-D Glad the pancakes turned out well, they look delicious :)

Toni said...

Honey, we all turn to a box from time to time! Yep. In fact, Mimi over at French Kitchen in America had a whole Bisquick recipe event last year. Lots of bloggers turned in their recipes, and let me tell you, it felt GOOD to see so many cool chefs owning up to their Bisquick habits!

It's been years since I ate pancakes, but chestnuts and pancetta and creme fraiche? Oh, girl, you've got me drooling!

Elly said...

I love this post :) Glad your pancakes turned out great. You had me at chestnut pancakes but I was on the floor at pancetta and creme fraiche. Mmmm.

Anonymous said...

I tried pick up a box of Bisquick and somehow, I don't know what hand just wouldn't reach out to it. I had to implement Plan B with my recipe. Which in my house usually means it goes in the recycle bin.

And it sounded so good too!

LOVE the photos!!

Kate (in the Kitchen)
Anonymous post responser who hates anything Google

Anonymous said...

Bisquick or not, these look positively amazing . . . love the salty-sweet thing going on.

Elle said...

The photos cracked me up...too funny. I use this version of Bisquik myself...can't always find the time to bake from scratch. Your pancake recipe is divine...sweet, salty...fluffy, sticky. mmmm

Elle said...

Just figured out that I'll be away from computers on the want to wish you in advance a happy blog birthday. Your blog is always fun to read and has great recipes.

Manggy said...

Susan, there's nothing to be ashamed of! We are all busy people and it doesn't hurt to cut time-corners here and there. Also, Bisquick as far as I know is basically just a pre-mixed packaged product. You could probably make your own Bisquick from flour and leavening agents. It's not like you're making artificial pancakes!
P.S. The pancakes look excellent!

Anonymous said...

They do look quite good, but as an international reader - what the heck is bisquick?!

Nic said...

Great post, very funny! I'll admit I used Bisquick when I lived in Az, the pancakes were pretty good!

Mike of Mike's Table said...

lol, I read about this scandal in Us Weekly. Looks like a good way to dress things up a bit though. ;-)

Asha said...

LOL!!! I loved your mug shots!!

Really!! Pancakes are the easiest to make though. We are used to making our Dosas I guess. Ricotta pancakes looks delicious!!

Happy Monday Susan.

Finla said...

I loved this post.
Loved the pictures too :-)))

Peter M said...

Ahahahaha, Susan you made almost fall off my chair...the photos are hilarious...Bisquick Blogga is your new moniker!

As for the pancakes, you get bonus points for making them savory.

Anonymous said...

I would love to try this, sounds very simple and nice:)

Anonymous said...

I'm splurting coffee all over my screen, what a hoot, Susan!

My mother insisted on homemade pancakes for years and years. Then she found out that our small town's local diner (in a gas station, natch) secret to light and fluffy pancakes was Bisquik. From then on, she insisted on Bisquik.

Very fun, m'dear though you certainly have brought Bisquik to a new elevation!

Anonymous said...

funny! my mom always makes waffles from mixes, and they're delicious! what a neat recipe! :-)

Rachel Rubin said...

I have always had the hardest time with chestnuts - I had no idea they came bottled! In the past I have purchased a bag of chestnuts and attempted to "roast" and "peel" them. It never worked.

Anonymous said...

Ha! This is why I don't make pancakes. :-)

Mishmash ! said...

:))))))))))))))) that was a refreshingly hilarious post :))))))))))


Le Flâneur Novice said...

Since the first day I saw your picture here I feel close to you (inside myself), and you make me really smile...

But this time made a big laughter!


Thanks Susan!

Mansi said...

I made a giant family-sized baked banana and walnut pancake too this weekend Susan! and guess what I used!??? yep Bisquick:) I love it, and always use it, so if that's a crime, I'll share it with you:)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Debra-"Pancake success"--I love the sound of that!

Sam-It's good to giggle. :)

TW-Leave it to you to say something just right. :)

Namratha-Oh, good, I love to make people laugh.

Toni-I never saw that event--it must have been great.

Elly-The flavors are really spectacular together.

Kate-I'll have to remember not to make pancakes if you're ever visiting out here! ;)

Sarah-How I love anything salty-sweet.

Elle-Mmmm...I should've used your adjectives in my description. :) Thanks about the b-day--how incredibly thoughtful of you!

Manggy-Aren't you kind. :)

Ellie-It's a powder pancake mix to which you add eggs and milk. It's a shortcut to making them from scratch.

Nic-I guess when you're in America, you've gotta use it, at least occasionally.

Mike-US Weekly already picked it up? What's next--a segment on Entertainment Tonight? ;)

Asha-It's good to laugh on a Monday, isn't it? :)

Happy Cook-It was fun taking them too ;)

Peter-Bisquick Blogga, huh? I kinda like it.

Sorina-They were really easy.

Alanna-So, that's why diner pancakes are always so good... ;)

Sugarlaws-I haven't tackled waffles yet...

Rachel-You'll never go back to roasting again. At least I haven't.

Ann-I hear ya.

Shn-Oh, good. Thank you! :)

Bal-That is one of the sweetest comments I have ever received. Thank you kindly.

Mansi-Mmmm...banana and walnuts might be next. I love that combination.

Suganya said...

You are naughty, Food Blogga ;)

Anonymous said...

This is so funny susan...a great when is the jury out with the verdict?

Cakelaw said...

These pancakes look delish - it's always great to have a helping hand from a packet mix every once in a while!

Nora B. said...

lol! You are so funny, Susan. :-) The combination of flavour sounds delicious. How's Jeff's pancake skills?

MeloMeals said...

HA! We'd never know it if you didn't fess up.

They look great! What is the difference between heart smart bisquick and regular bisquick? I've never had bisquick I don't even know what it is.. must google.

I have a dirty, dirty secret.. I like instant mashed potatoes and sometimes I will buy them and have them for dinner. How sick is that? (they remind me of my grandmother)..
*hides head in shame*

Mandy said...

you are too funny, Susan! I am thinking of having pancakes for dinner now....

swirlingnotions said...

I'm a sweet and savory kind of gal myself and my favorite pancakes have always been bacon pancakes, with big crumbles of bacon mixed right into the batter. That way you don't have to mess with the whole having to sneak a piece of bacon in your mouth to counter the syrup-soaked flapjacks. So much easier (and less messy) to just get it all in one bite.

cindy said...

ha, ha! i confess i use 'krusteaz' (not the clown!) pancake mix! it really makes better ones than i do, and i don't need to have all the ingedients! sometimes i put a bit of that 'amish friendship bread' starter into makes it taste a little different!

Anonymous said...

No, no, no!!! Say it ain't so!!
I know you can pancake! I know you can! If you try again, without the help of Betty Crocker, try leaving you pancake batter to sit for at least ten minutes. It will help the leavening ingredients start to work their magic so you can have tall fluffy pancakes even with whole wheat.

Love your blog!

Anonymous said...

hahaha love the mugshots! don;t drop the soap!

wait, theres a way to make pancakes other than bisquick?

these look so good, YUM

Anonymous said...

You're so funny! I love the photos! were snagged!

Anonymous said...

hahaha... i love this!
Nice mugshot! and great recipe of course! :-)

Helene said...

You just cracke me up!! The pancakes look my dinner tomorrow!!

Rachel said...

Hilarious and those are gorgeous mugshots :P!!!

The pancakes look so fluffy!

Susan, you have been tagged for a meme!

David Hall said...

Ha! Great story, love the photos. So why do you reckon you are such a failure with pancakes? I find that a nice hot pan with a little butter does the trick. As long as the batter is the right consistency, it will work.


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Has General Mills contacted you yet? That is the funniest yet! How terrible not to be able to make a simple pancake that you have to resort to creating your own.
Great fun. Lovely pancakes.

Oh for the love of food! said...

Susan, you are hilarious! The pancakes look awesome - absolutely drool-worthy!

Rachael said...

Oh how funny. I totally agree about bisquick being amazing, by the way!!

I have faith you could have homemade pancake success! I'm addicted to throwing in a handful or two of bran flakes (not the cereal - the actual flakes from bulk food) into the basic pancake recipe. It really lightens them up (the bran doesn't absorb liquid). Another tip - you could try adding coconut milk or a bit of heavy cream to homemade pancakes in place of milk.

Anyway, you're making me crave bisquick. It is sooo good (even if it is bad!)

Suzana said...

Susan, you crack me up! I am also terrible at getting these done - my pancakes are always awful. Now I have a problem: where to I get that Bisquick in Lisbon?? :P

sra said...

Howlarious! How did I miss this? This post is a riot, Susan!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Suganya-I am. I am.

Ronell-I think by the end of the week. I've been sweating it out. ;)

Cakelaw-So true.

Nora-Worse than mine.;)

Melody-Your secret is safe with me. ;)

Mandy-They're so great for dinner.

Swirling Notions-Bacon mixed right in... swoon.

Cinderelly-How dad used to buy that muffin mix.

Mimi-That's a great tip--thanks so much! :)

Aria-Yup! ;)

Maryann-There was no escape.

Zenchef-Oh, thanks.

Tartlette-They would be perfect for dinner.

Rachel-Yeah? Not bad for mug shots? ;)

David-I think it's the batter more than the pan, you know?

Tanna-Not yet, do you think they will? ;)

Carol-Oh, many thanks!

Rachael-Thanks for the tips--will definitely try (with my fingers crossed). ;)

Suzana-I think they should seriously start selling it abroad.

Sra-Oh, I'm so glad you like it. :)

Cris said...

What a funny post! I envy your bisquick mix... I can barely get the yellow box here, had never heard of the heart smart one. :-(

Susan @ SGCC said...

Loved this post! Love Bisquick too! I use it for my pancakes (and lots of other things)too. Shhhh! Don't tell the paparazzi. I'm not as photogenic as you!

Bradley said...

Susan, thank you for the comments - You may have answered this some where, but what do you use for a camera for the food photos? They always look so great!

Anonymous said...

What is it about pancakes that elude us? I have exactly the same luck with them! I know the dirty little secret...thanks for sharing it and risking reputation! ;)

Anonymous said...

Keep making things which involve pancetta, chestnuts, and creme fraiche and I think the judge will be willing to overlook your bisquik use -- and maybe even give you an early release for good behavior!

Anonymous said...

Ha! Great story, Susan! And these look amazing!

(from another closet Bisquick lover to another)

Anonymous said...

that is too funny! the pancakes look delicious!

Lydia said...

wow! i just noticed your from san diego. so am i! we're neighbors. :) fun to find you on here!

ExpatChef said...

I won't tell. I probably won't use Bisquick either (bad childhood memories) but I love bacon waffles with sage and maple syrup. Similar, though your version is decidedly more high brown (even with the Bisquick).

Lisa Johnson said...

LOL! This is the cutest post!! Those pancakes look wonderful all jazzed up like that. I bet Bisquick never tasted so good! : D
And you look adorable!

daphne said...

hehe.. love those photos of yours! great entry.

Chibog in Chief said...

he he this funny post..dont worry i'll bail you out..on condition you give me some of these pancakes...dont worry about that thing of "ready to use mix" your photos and recipe gave justice in the end..yummy!!!

J said...

You are funny!! :) I too hope I'm never caught with a cake-mix in hand ;)

Patricia Scarpin said...

Susan, you crack me up!!!
Those mugs shots are killing me. :)
Oh, and the pancakes are mouthwatering. :)

Anonymous said...

LOL! :-D

I bet you every food blogger has got a dirty little secret. Sometimes when I'm feeling lazy (not often) I use canned cook-in sauce to stew my chicken in and I really enjoy it. In the meantime I'm vehemently against any canned food. Shhh! Don't tell anyone.

Those flapjacks looks gorgeous, can't wait to try making them sometime. Don't have Bisquick here though...

Scribbit said...

YOu're too funny--we're pancake fiends over here and this will be well-received.

Farmgirl Susan said...

Too funny. I love it--and your sense of humor! : )

Meeta K. Wolff said...

Awesome! I had a good laugh at this - hey I am glad the paparazzi did not catch me yet - too bad Susan you bummed out ;-) I love what you did with the pancakes. Now where is my Bisquick! Hugs!

Emily said...

Oh, this was so funny! I love your sense of humor.
Some of the food bloggers out there, are a little too serious.

So you used a's ok, because you doctored it up.

Anonymous said...

So are these paparazzi just in Calif. or are they on the east coast too? Because I've got Bisquick and jarred pasta sauce in my cupboard!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Cris-It has less fat than the regular.

Susan-Very cute. ;)

Bradley-Check your email!

Joey-I feel better knowing someone with your superb culinary skills has trouble with pancakes too. Thanks for making me feel better.:)

Julie-You think? ;)

michelle-I won't tell anyone.

Lydia-Howdy, neighbor!

Expat Chef-I understand completely. Mmmm...sage and maple.

Anali-Aw, thanks so much.

Daphne-Oh, good.

Dhanggit-That sounds like a good deal to me.

Jyothsna-Better watch out... you never know who is watching.... ;)

Patricia-Thanks. :)

Michelle-Your secret is safe with me.

Michelle-Hope they like 'em.

Susan-Good, I'm glad.

Meeta-Watch out!

Emiline-It's good to laugh. Life is serious enough. :)

Anonymous-I think you're safe!

Chris said...

Oh my gosh - I am laughing! Thanks for a great post.

Anonymous said...

It has been a few days since you posted this recipe and I finally had a chance to try it.
It turned out amazing!!!!!!! :)
Thanks !!!!

Anonymous said...

Haha! This post is awesome!!