With CorEats Pancake & Waffle Mix
It’s a New Year, and a lot of us are starting it out with a commitment to trying to make healthier choices. When you’re busy it can be easy to fall off the New Year’s resolution band wagon, I get it. CorEats mixes are a great way to stick to a healthy diet when you don’t feel like cooking from scratch. As pleasurable as scratch cooking can be, sometimes it’s exhausting. It’s nice to have a mix that you can just add a few ingredients to, and have a ready made meal. The time saved also allows for creativity with no bounds even on busy nights!
For those of you who don’t know about CorEats they’re a local Pittsburgh company that creates a variety of mixes for both savory and sweet baked goods. We did a post previously featuring the pizza dough mix in our Fall Harvest Pizza recipe. All of their mixes are gluten free, vegan friendly, paleo, and keto. That makes it incredibly easy to use them in comfort food recipes while still keeping the food light and healthy.
We made this blini recipe for New Years Eve as we wanted something that felt upscale and decadent, but didn’t leave us feeling bloated. I know for me at least I tend to overindulge during the holidays, and end up feeling pretty poorly because of it. It’s nice to fill that holiday comfort food craving without feeling overly full. We used the CorEats pancake & waffle mix, because we wanted to showcase that pancakes can be more than a breakfast food. Savory pancakes are where it’s at when it comes to appetizers and hors d’oeuvres. The pancake mix worked great for this, because it’s a bit thicker than a mix that contains gluten so it was easy to shape as it was placed into the pan. Even though it’s thick as a batter when it’s cooked up there were still nice pockets of air that made it feel light and fluffy, and not too dense. This mix could work great for crepes, or blintzes as well.
As you can see in the photos these blini have caviar on them. Before you exclaim “But, caviar’s not vegan!” and rage quit this blog forever, relax. It’s just balsamic vinegar that was spherified into pearls. That may sound really complex, but I assure you it’s not. Spherification is one of the most basic molecular gastronomy techniques. All you need is some chilled olive oil, a syringe or dropper, some agar, and whatever ingredient you plan to make into pearls (in this case that’s balsamic vinegar). I’ve broken the process down into easy to follow steps in the recipe, but if you feel like all of that is too much work you can leave the balsamic caviar off. Blini are traditionally paired with smoked fish or caviar, but you can really top them with whatever you want. Try making some smoked “salmon” by marinating some carrot slices, or enjoy with just the sour cream and dill.
While I myself am quite the carboholic I’ve done my research, and carefully chosen keto approved and gluten free ingredients. The sour cream is a light blend of silken tofu, vinegar, and garlic. If you don’t feel like crafting your own sour cream you can find tofu sour cream at a number of supermarkets now. I recommend Tofutti brand, because it’s delicious and it should also be keto friendly. Whether your adhering to a keto or gluten free diet, or are strictly here for the vegan things, these blinis satisfy. Like I’ve said before I love carbs, and so does Nick, and we both really enjoyed these. They’re a great light bite, and would make a great appetizer or finger food at your next dinner party post Coronavirus. These are sure to impress your friends with your new found molecular gastronomy skills. Until then make them for yourself, and pair them with a nice bottle of sparkling wine.
- 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 grams agar-agar
- about 2 cups olive oil
Sour Cream Ingredients
- 2 cloves garlic (optional)
- 1 block of mori-nu firm silken tofu (about 12 oz)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 package of CorEats Pancake & Waffle Mix
- 3 tbsp flax meal
- 9 tbsp water
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- pinch of pepper
- 1 cup plus 1 tbsp oat milk, or other non-dairy milk -1/4 cup olive oil
- a few sprigs of fresh dill to top
- Fill a tall thin glass with olive oil, and place in the freezer for at least a half hour. Using a tall glass ensures that the spheres will have time to cool and set before they hit the bottom of the jar. Using a thin jar allows you to do this while minimizing the amount of oil you actually need to use, and creating less waste. You can recycle a jar of the right shape just for this. I save a lot of glass jars for drinking and storing food in, and I have a jar that I believe used to be a home to olives that was the perfect size for this.
- In a small sauce pan start to heat your balsamic vinegar. Add in the agar-agar powder and whisk thoroughly.
- Bring the mixture up to a boil, and then promptly remove from heat.
- Using a syringe or a dropper drip small droplets into the chilled olive oil jar. Be sure to do this while the mixture is still hot. As it cools it will turn into a jelly, and be impossible to form into perfect spheres.
- You can either carefully spoon the spheres out into a fine mesh sieve, or dump the whole jar out into the sieve over the sink or a bowl. I’ve found that spooning them out, while tedious, makes it much easier to clean them. Dumping the whole thing out leaves behind a lot more of the oil residue that needs to drain through.
- Gently rinse off the caviar spheres, and store them in a bowl in the refrigerator until ready for use.
Sour Cream Directions
- Peel the garlic cloves, and add them to a food processor or blender with the tofu, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and sea salt. Puree until smooth. If you don’t want a garlic sour cream leave the garlic out, but I think it makes a nice flavor combination with the other ingredients and highly recommend it.
- Place in an air tight container and refrigerate for at least a half hour before use. This will give it the chance to develop more flavor.
- Add the entirety of the CorEats mix to a large mixing bowl.
- In a small, separate bowl combine the flax meal with 9 tbsp water and allow to sit for five minutes. This will be the egg replacer.
- Add the oil, and non-dairy milk to the large mixing bowl, and whisk together well. I’ve found that adding a tablespoon or two more of non-dairy milk helps the consistency since we’re leaving out the vanilla. Do not add the vanilla as instructed by the mix package for this recipe. These are supposed to be savory, and even though they’re already lightly sweetened with monk fruit adding some extra salt and pepper seems to balance the flavors in a savory direction.
- Add the flax egg once it has congealed, and add in the salt and pepper. Mix well and allow the batter to sit for a few minutes while you preheat a skillet.
- Preheat a large pan. I used a stainless steel pan with plenty of canola oil spray in between batches, but you can use a non-stick pan as well if you have one. Either way I recommend spraying it with a bit of canola to enhance browning, and decrease sticking.
- Spoon the mixture by the tablespoon into the pan. I managed to cook about 4 at a time, but this will depend on the size of the pan you are using. You don’t want to overcrowd the pan.
- Cook until brown on one side, and flip to do the same on the other just like a normal pancake. This should take about 2-3 minutes on either side. The bubbles are more subtle with this pancake mix than with a thinner mixture, but they are still there. Watch for them to pop along the edges. This is usually a good indicator that it is time to flip the pancake.
- Cover a plate or tray with a towel to soak up some of the excess oil, and place finished blini on it. Repeat the cooking process until all the blini are nicely browned and cooked all the way through.
- Assemble the blini on a nice tray, or serving platter. Top the pancakes with sour cream, then caviar, then some little sprigs of dill. Add some additional salt and pepper to taste. You should have about 14 blini.
- Serve as an appetizer with your favorite sparkling wine.