Monday, April 14, 2014

The Crepes of Wrath

Spring Wild Rice Pancakes
Crepes of wrath? What’s that all about? Truth be told, it’s the first crepe-based pun I could come up with (after Crepe Expectations, which I already used in a pancake-themed post from last year). It’s not like these crepes put me in a vengeful mood – far from it, they were a welcome harbinger of spring.

(Edited to add: I just learned that The Grapes of Wrath was published exactly 75 years ago, on April 14th 1939!) 

The April Daring Cooks Challenge was brought to us by Joanna from What’s On The List. She taught us all about Pathiri and challenged us to create our own version of this inspirational Indian dish!
First a confession – there is nothing Indian about what we made  - but in our defense, Joanna’s challenge instructions specified that ‘the crepe batter recipe can be a recipe of your choice, but the filling must be of a savory nature and I “challenge” you to be “as creative as you can be!”’ So we pulled out a wild rice pancake recipe that we’d previously made many moons ago and came up with our own filling depending on what looked good at the farmers’ market. I’m sure we’ll revisit Pathiri some time as we do like Indian food.

Here are our beautiful spring vegetables: baby carrots, asparagus and pioppini mushrooms:
The aforementioned pancake recipe was originally based on one at, though as is our custom we didn’t exactly follow the recipe.

Wild rice pancakes (serves 2)

1/2 cup wild rice
1 1/3 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
2 finely sliced scallions (green onions)
1 large egg
scant 1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
salt and pepper
vegetable oil
Cook the rice, water and salt for about 45 minutes until tender (we did this the day before so that it would cool completely before we used it). Mix together the egg and milk and combine with the rice. Add the scallions, stir in the flour until smooth and leave to stand for at least 20-30 minutes,
To cook the pancakes: Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-hot heat  and add a small amount of oil, swirling so that it coats the pan. Add a ladleful of batter and gently tilt the pan so that you have about a 6-inch disc of batter:

Cook until the edges start to brown and the batter starts to get firm, then flip and cook the other side. Keep warm while you do the rest of the batch.

For the fillings, we sauteed the mushrooms in butter, pan fried the carrot (cut into thin ‘coins’) with some finely sliced onion and a little balsamic vinegar, and finally cut the asparagus on the bias and steamed it. No more detailed recipes, since we sort of made this up as we went along.

Our one nod to the pathiri recipe was to assemble this into a stack of pancakes with the savory layers in between. You can only really see the asparagus in the photo at the top of this post, but the others are inside the tower and the final result was a fitting start to spring here in San Francisco.
Thanks for the challenge, Joanne!


  1. Your version sounds delicious, and SO much healthier than the ones bathed in coconut sauce

  2. What a perfect vegetarian version, and I love the idea of using wild rice in pancakes. Got to try that.

  3. Love the idea of the wild rice pancakes for the crepes!! I could eat those by themselves. Great pathiri!