There’s a restaurant here in Baltimore that Brian and I pretty much regard as an annex of our own home: Golden West Cafe. Considering the frequency with which we dine there, you’d think I’d have tried everything on their rather extensive menu, but I am a child of habit and pretty much restrict myself to two (super awesomely satisfying) dishes.
There used to be a third.
At some point, however, my beloved lemony pancakes, the ones flecked with zucchini and onion and stuffed miraculously with a slice of brie cheese in the middle, disappeared from the menu. I don’t know where they went or why they left; they didn’t leave a note.
They did make enough of an impression on me, however, to set my hands to some recipe forensics. After just a few tries and tweaks, I had my own version of those flapjacks back on my plate.
Lemon Zucchini Pancakes with a Heart of Brie
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
1T olive oil
1 small zucchini
2 scallions, finely sliced
1 tsp. lemon zest
6 thin slices of brie
In a medium-sized bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Set aside.
Shred zucchini and blot well with paper towels to remove as much excess moisture as possible.
Beat egg into the buttermilk and add this mixture, the oil, zucchini, scallions, and lemon zest to the dry ingredients. Whisk together until just incorporated. Allow to rest while bringing your skillet or griddle up to medium heat.
When hot, grease lightly with a little butter (I keep a paper towel nearby to spread the grease around and keep it from getting excessive). Drop batter by the scant 1/3 cup onto your cooking surface of choice; it’s somewhat thick, so you may need to spread it just a bit with your ladle, but don’t thin it out too much. You want some fluff.
When dry around the edges and ready to flip, place a slice of the cheese on top of the uncooked side and turn in over in the pan. If you have a problem with the cheese melting to the skillet instead of browning and crisping, lightly re-grease the pan before you set the uncooked side down on it again.
Continue in this manner until all pancakes are made. I got six 5-inch cakes.
Serve hot topped with a pat of butter and a drizzle of honey.