I started this topic last week with the basic Dutch Baby, or Pan Plano recipe. Now we are going to look at some refinements and embellishments that can be done when not squatting around a campfire.
A Short Philosophy of Food
Before we cook, let us ponder for a moment the role of foods and meals in our lives.
Is food simply something to stuff down our gullets so we can continue to play video games or be otherwise entertained by television? Or is a meal and food something to be planned, prepared, served, and enjoyed?
I’ll admit, sometimes preparing meals is a chore – especially at the end of a long day. But.
But as I stand at the cutting board, slicing onions and chopping herbs, I have a chain of memories of doing the like many times before. It gives a measure of continuity to my life. And connectivity to my past self. It also connects me to all my ancestors who have been doing the same for eons.
Connectivity to our roots is important. Think about how eagerly people reach for the ingredients to make the Christmas cookies that grandma used to make. Why should you celebrate that connectivity to your roots only once per year? Why not every single day of our lives?
Family History with Dutch Babies
I first had a Dutch Baby made in a Dutch oven, over a campfire, at about age 12, in Vermont. It was toasty and delicious beside the fresh trout we caught that morning. Dad’s friend Tim made them and told us they were called “Dutch Baby” because it was made in a Dutch oven, but he said it with that twinkle in his eye that told me he was kidding. I got home and hunted for the recipe in our cookbooks – without success – so I knew that it had to be a joke. This was back in the days before the internet.
My next encounter with Dutch Babies was a decade later and a continent away, with a different friend of Dad’s. We visited Steve in Hollywood, and had a potluck brunch al fresco beside his pool. Steve’s neighbor Jane stopped by and joined us – Jane Fonda that is. I had no idea who she was, and besides I was more entranced by the plants. Dad was entranced by the beautiful lady, brother Terry was entranced by Space Invaders on Steve’s computer, and Eliza played in the swimming pool. But back to the Dutch Babies – Steve served them with sliced fresh strawberries, a squeeze of lemon off his tree (which impressed me!), and some powdered sugar. Tasty!
As I mentioned last week, I also learned about Dutch Babies from Carlos, a descendant of a Spanish land grant family. He had memories of his Grandfather making them, and calling them Pan Plano or flatbread. And thus, his family food story and my family food story connected and intertwined. My stream of connectivity to the world around me grows into a river with many tributaries, gently carrying me along.
Dutch Babies – Embelishments
Embelish. Mix 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning – or other herbal blend – into your batter before cooking. Include 1 /2 cup shredded cheese or queso fresco. Too much cheese and it doesn’t cook right.
Spice it Up. To the basic batter add up to 1 /4 cup diced green chilies and up to 1 /2 cup queso fresco. Serve with refried beans and the Sonoran Cabbage Salad from our cookbook “Using Honey in New & Savory Ways.”
Get Sweet. Make it into a dessert. Yum!
To the basic recipe add: 1/ 4 teaspoon vanilla 1 /2 teaspoon cinnamon 2 tablespoons sugar
Prepare and cook just like the basic recipe.
Top with fresh fruit and sour cream or Greek yogurt Fruit or maple syrup taste good on top too. Like shown in the cover photo. Yes, blueberries are not very Southwestern, but they are available in local supermarkets now days.
Add some Honey on top? Sure!
Dutch Babies do taste great with a drizzle of honey! For other ways to use honey you need our new cookbook. Using Honey in New and Savory Ways offers 36 pages of tips for using honey in your cooking, as well as in all manner of dishes. A steal at only $6! This link is to our sales site. The profits from the sale go to the local Horticulture Therapy non-profit Tierra del Sol Institute.
We hope you will help support some local Southwest folks!
From the review:
“Honey is for more than desserts and this book can help! Using honey in cooking savory dishes helps engage all your taste buds and adds a layer of added flavor to everyday dishes – plus holiday fare.”
Beekeeper? We offer volume discounts – because if you sell honey in local markets you might want to offer some of these books as well.
© Article copyright Savor the Southwest // Jacqueline A. Soule. All rights reserved. You must ask permission to republish an entire blog post or article. Okay to use a short excerpt but you must give proper credit. You must include a link back to the original post on our site. No stealing photos.
The authors of this website have researched the edibility of the materials we discuss, however, humans vary in their ability to tolerate different foods, drinks, and herbs. Individuals consuming flowers, plants, animals or derivatives mentioned in this blog do so entirely at their own risk. The authors on this site cannot be held responsible for any adverse reaction. In case of doubt please consult your medical practitioner.
© Article copyright Jacqueline A. Soule. All rights reserved. You must ask permission to republish an entire blog post or article. You can use a short excerpt but you must give proper credit, plus you must include a link back to the original post on our site. No stealing photos.