Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Still shopping the pantry: tortillas with shrimp

This week's food question: How many different types of of flour do you have in your pantry? I have seven — regular, whole wheat, self-rising, gluten (for seitan, of course), chick pea, masa harina and cornmeal. I know what you're thinking — only seven! But don't let that influence your impression of me. I'm sure my varieties of pasta are in the double digits.

While this topic sounds less-than-stimulating, it did inspire this week's menu and my continuing efforts to shop my pantry.

I had wanted to feature Bon Appétit's CORNBREAD CASSEROLE AND BUTTERNUT SQUASH, MUSHROOMS, AND ANCHO MOLE this week (left). But, while not terrible, my attempt was less than post-worthy. The prep was long and the crust, made with masa harina, was heavy and bland. But, hey — it could feed 20!

Thankfully I had an excellent backup courtesy of the New York Times:


1/2 cup  chick pea flour
1/2 cup white flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped onion or scallions
About 1/2 cup raw shrimp, chopped
2–3 tbsp chopped chives
Olive oil


In a bowl, combine flours and baking powder with salt and pepper. Add a little more than a cup of water and stir to combine; consistency should resemble pancake batter (if batter is too thick, add more water, a little at a time). Stir in the onions, chopped shrimp and chives.

Put an 8" nonstick skillet* over medium-high heat and film its bottom generously with olive oil. When oil is hot, pour in half the batter until it fills center of pan; spread gently with a spoon to form a large pancake.

Cook about 4 min; flip pancake and continue cooking for another 4 min, adjusting heat so as not to burn, until it is crisp on outside but still moist inside. Remove from pan and serve immediately, while the remaining batter cooks.

*The original recipe called for a large skillet, but, in my experience, that makes for an unstable pancake. I strongly recommend a skillet no wider than 8 inches.

In addition to being a great way to use up expensive chick pea flour, this recipe is also a favorite Saturday night tradition. Shawn and I eat the first pancake at the stove while the other cooks. (I always take a "serve immediately" instruction very seriously.)  For a vegan alternative just omit the shrimp.





Char said...

Hi Kristen - this looks yummy, and I'd like to try it, but I have a question about the "flours" you refer to -- the recipe as printed indicates only 1/2 c of white flour, but the instructions say to mix the "flours" - and later in the narrative you indicate using chick pea flour. Do you just substitute any combination of flour, up to a half-cup total, or is there an ingredient(s) missing?

And how do you think this recipe would work with some cornmeal? I have a pancake recipe that swaps some cornmeal in for some of the white flour, and I find that it makes for a surprisingly tender pancake with a nicely crisped edge.

Kristen said...

My bad! I left out the first ingredient of recipe (1/2 cup chick pea flour), but it's fixed now. Thanks for catching that. And, as a reward, I'm bringing you some chick pea flour!

Re: the cornmeal, I'm not sure about that. Chick pea flour has more than 2x the protein of cornmeal and water is the only binder in this recipe, so I wonder what the consistency of the batter would be like. (I consulted my collection of cornmeal fritter recipes and they all either call for milk or eggs or both.)

If you try it, let me know!