Two weeks ago I was blessed to be involved in the photo shoot for Wanda Adams' third cookbook, tentatively titled "Island Plate II". It's a follow up to her bestselling "Island Plate" which commemorated the Honolulu Advertiser's 150th Anniversary. Wanda has this amazing ability to look at a recipe and to be able to tell if it's going to be one winnah.... or not.
We were a close knit but diverse team of food and design people. I loved hearing the almost foreign languages in the SubZero kitchens. Romeo would say "Close to onion" and Iwa, Brian and Scott would know exactly what he was talking about. That means something like the shot has to be tighter for the onion but who knows? Wanda and I would talk about blanching, then "shocking" the baby bok choy.
There were a couple of dishes, like this pancake recipe, that required split second timing. It must have looked hilarious to see our choreography. I was stationed at the oven window and intoned the minutes like the Iron Chef announcer until the pancake was ready. As soon as it puffed to its fullest I whisked it to the stainless steel table which had already been tested for lighting. Iwa plopped on raspberries. Wanda dusted it with a flurry of powdered sugar, then one last dollop of whipping cream and we all stepped back for the rapid fire photographs.
I cannot divulge any recipes from the cookbook except the following David Eyre's Pancake which is a version of Dutch Babies. It can be found all over the Internet.
David Eyre was the founding editor of Honolulu magazine who played host to the NY Times' Craig Claiborne in the 60's. David served Craig this pancake and Craig wrote a story about it. The story goes that when Craig retired he was asked which was his most requested recipe during his long and illustrious tenure as food editor and Craig said, hands down, it was this one.
David Eyre’s Pancakes
w/revisions by MC
One-half cup flour
One-half cup milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
One-half teaspoon nutmeg (do not leave this out)
4 Tablespoons butter (this is one-half a block)
2 Tablespoons confectioner’s sugar (measure, then sift)
Juice of one quarter of a lemon, remove seeds
Make the batter just before baking, do not make ahead. Have everything ready before you begin. Do not do any steps ahead of time.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, milk, eggs and nutmeg.
Beat until well mixed but never mind a few lumps in the batter.
Melt butter in an 11 inch oven safe aluminum or other metal (not nonstick) skillet, in the oven. An 8 x 8” square or 8" round metal pan will work equally well. Leave the pan in the oven to heat. (Do not melt the butter first and pour into the pan.)
Take the pan out of the oven. Carefully and slowly pour in batter into the middle of the hot pan that has the melted butter. Bake in a 425 degree oven approximately 20 minutes or until pancake puffs and turns golden brown. Sprinkle generously with the powdered sugar and the lemon juice, over all. Return briefly to the oven for 30 seconds so that sugar and lemon juice can amalgamate.
Makes 2-4 servings.
Can top with stabilized whipped cream and fruit: raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, bananas, sliced pineapple with macnuts. Or you can leave out the sugar and lemon juice and make it savory with a cream sauce, like chicken or a shrimp curry.
Stabilized whipping cream: measure 1 cup of heavy cream. Whip until soft peaks form. Add 2 teaspoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of sour cream or plain yogurt. Whip to stiff peaks.