Who says breakfast pancakes can't be savory? Ellsworth in Paris stars cheesy cornmeal hotcakes with soft mushroom confit and a fried egg on its brunch menu. Fresh parsley and thyme bring it all together to brighten up the dish and the morning. For something a bit simpler, try just the corn cakes drizzled with honey.
To learn more, read "Vive la Breakfast."
Cornmeal Pancakes with Mushroom Confit and Eggs
Recipe adapted from Hannah Kowalenko, Ellsworth, Paris
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 50 minutes
For the Mushroom Confit:
12 ounces assorted mushrooms (shiitake, oyster and/or cremini), torn into small pieces
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 large garlic clove, smashed
1 thyme sprig
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (½ lemon)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Pancakes:
1¼ cups fine cornmeal
½ cup all-purpose flour
1¼ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
¾ cup (2 ounces) grated cheddar cheese
Vegetable oil, to coat pan
4 fried eggs
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
1. Make the mushroom confit: Preheat the oven to 300°. Arrange the mushrooms in a medium roasting pan; top with the melted butter, garlic and thyme. Cover the mushrooms with parchment paper, letting the paper directly touch the mushrooms and butter, and cook in the oven until the mushrooms are very soft, about 1½ hours.
2. Remove the mushrooms from the oven, stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Makes 1½ cups of mushroom confit. Make ahead: Store the mushrooms in a container, making sure they are submerged in the butter. Keep them in the fridge for up to 5 days. To reheat, warm the mushrooms in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.
3. Make the pancakes: In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, butter and egg. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. When almost combined, fold in the cheese.
4. Heat a griddle or a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Brush the griddle or skillet with 2 teaspoons of the oil. Working in batches, spoon ¼ cup of the batter onto the skillet and spread it out with the back of a spatula. Cook until small bubbles form on the surface and the bottom is browned, 1½ to 2 minutes. Flip and continue to cook about another 45 seconds to 1 minute. Repeat with the remaining batter, adding more oil to the griddle or skillet as needed. Makes 8 to 10 pancakes.
5. To serve, top each pancake with a fried egg and spoon on the mushroom confit, along with a little melted butter. Garnish with the parsley and thyme, and serve immediately.