owning the scallion ‘cakes

wpid-green-onion-pancakes.jpg.jpegAnyone else feeling the crazies lately? The end-of-school-year crazies when you run to games and banquets and recitals and whatnot? When you run in circles and fall so behind on sleep that you forget to write your weekly blog post? It happened to me last week and by the time I realized what was up, I decided to do what Disney’s latest darlings would do and let it go.

So here I am a week later, ready to hit it again. Same recipe I meant to write up last week. Still excited enough about it to put it out there.

But first a word about just how I’m going to put it out there. I’m going to start with a photo. A big photo.

ok, this one might be a little bit too big

ok, this one might be a little bit too big

Another addition to my “crazies” last week was a 4-hour food blogging class with the awesome and amazing Claire Stanford at Loft Literary Center. After two years of hosting food for fun, I figured it was time to learn how it was supposed to be done.

I came away with more than a few ways to shake things up a bit. A new bio, for one. Also new: bigger photos. Claire told her room full of aspiring food bloggers to Own Our Photos. Make ’em big and offer a beauty shot first thing.

So those ‘cakes: If you’ve read Attempts in Domesticity, you’ve noticed J’s obsession delight in making recipes from Bon Appetit and other upscale food publications. While I enjoy these magazines as well, I don’t often cook from them and if I do, I’ll rarely post my attempts at recreating a recipe developed, tested, and published with the backing of a professional test kitchen. But that changes today.

fry 'em up in a pan

fry ’em up in a pan

Fine Cooking recently published a recipe for scallion pancakes that stuck with me. Before I knew it, I was at the store buying two bunches of green onions. Short on time, I skipped the dipping sauce (a must-make next time as it looks fantastic) and the pancakes went together more quickly than you can say “yum.” Flour, eggs, chopped green onions, water (does that even count?), salt. Oil for frying. That’s it.

They’re lovely warm, they’re lovely chilled. They’re delicious for breakfast, lunch, dinner, anytime in between. They’re great as-is and also spread lightly with butter or jam. Roll them up crΓͺpe-style. Eat them with fork and knife as you would any other pancake. Take one directly from serving plate to mouth with your hands. It’s all good folks. These pancakes are that amazing. The onion brings a bit of tangy bite, but mostly they’re soft and tender and custardy. Highly recommend.wpid-20140520_125703.jpg

Here’s to great recipes and larger-than-life photos and food blogs. There’s much inspiration to be had in the blogosphere and I’m grateful to have found so many amazing blogs to read and follow. Thank you for coming over to mine!

64 thoughts on “owning the scallion ‘cakes

  1. These look awesome! You just reminded me how I used to make scallion omelettes when I would be in a rush and not much time to cook. These are a big upgrade from omelettes. Your scallion cakes look like the thing that when I would start with one, I can’t stop eating more and more! xx

    • Thanks, Sofia. They were so easy to make and I was doing other things at the time, so good for days when multitasking is the only way to dinner. Big yes to not being able to stop at one!

  2. Definitely adding scallions to my grocery list today – these sound delicious!! I’m so glad you enjoyed the blogging class Liz – but honestly? I think your blog is awesome just the way it is – bigger pictures, smaller pictures – I don’t know – I think it is a perfect blog..

    • Thanks so much, Mimi.You are so always kind with your encouragement and praise. The photo thing is a big deal with the food blogs, though I’m more of a word person so don’t always have much enthusiasm for taking pretty pictures. But how else to show, right? You make me blush with your comment. I like the way your karma truck rides πŸ˜‰

    • When’s the wedding, Jenny? I bet you’re running crazy! How much fun to have (edible) greenery poking through the soil. This is a great place to put the scallions πŸ™‚

      • It is June 7th. Graduation was this past Saturday, and I started my training for my job yesterday. Oh, and in a few days I will be able to schedule my three board exams for my license(s). Yeeeeah, I am going crazy, but my fiance took the time to come visit (from 4-5 hours away) so I am feeling a lot better right now. I think these scallion cakes would also help me feel better….hmm…

  3. I love scallion pancakes but have never made them before. They look so good and they really are versatile. Yes to the crazies, I don’t have enough time in the day, find myself not sleeping because I have so much on my mind. UGH!! Hoping you get some rest and relaxation soon.

    • Thanks, Suzanne. The r & r comes in 15 or so years when my kids are out of the house. Don’t see much respite before then πŸ˜‰ The sleep thing can be tough, as I’ve always enjoyed a good night’s sleep. Living for my naps–when I can get them–for now.

      Hoping you make these–or another recipe–for scallion pancakes. So so easy. Was shocked at how little effort was needed to make something with so much flavor. Great sub for a flour tortilla, for instance, in a wrap or taco.

      Hope you sleep better soon!

  4. Oh man, definitely feeling this end of school year craziness. Just last night I was celebrating the fact that there were only 5 songs on the program for the all-district 5th grade band concert. πŸ™‚

    I need to try this recipe since I love scallions but don’t find uses for them nearly enough.

    • lol, I had the same thought at a recent band concert, though there were three bands, each with four songs, so it added up. But it’s all good, right? πŸ™‚

      Please report back if you make the recipe. Great use for scallions, for sure, as they’re more than just a background note in a stir-fry, etc. They’re the stars!

      Good to see you again. Will be asking Traci if I can be her +1 if there’s another Hot Dog party on your block πŸ™‚

  5. Nothing catches the eye like food. We need it constantly. And those strawberries caught my eye first off. I don’t think I could eat only one scallion pancake. Maybe six. Custardy, you say?

    • Yes, food porn and all that. I’m better at the words, but it’s good to climb out of that comfort zone. Someone wise mentioned that to me recently.

      And I absolutely thought of you when I changed my banner.

      The pancakes are small, so six is totally acceptable. And my second batch was more custardy than the first as they were thicker so more eggy in the middle. I will be making a third batch soon if I keep eating them at this rate.

    • woo hoo! Thanks, Sophie. Freaking delicious is a good thing for sure. And now I’m wondering how your strawberry-basil cocktail would taste alongside a few of these ‘cakes. Sounds like an experiment I’d like to try πŸ™‚

  6. Living the bigger photos! These look wonderful and versatile. Sounds like you enjoyed your class. End of school year crazies, yes we are so there, add to that summer swim team practices started last week already. Crazy insane here, thus fewer posts lately!

    • Thanks, Mama πŸ™‚ I knew you’d be able to relate to the crazy busy. Good luck on your end and I’ll see you around the blogospehere, hopefully with virtual cocktails in hand πŸ˜‰

        • what will you make tonight? I just bought a bottle of Midori, because I remember seeing a drink made with it, but am spacing that drink. Have you used Midori?

          Your adult frozen treat sounds like a fun way to spend a summer’s eve πŸ™‚

  7. I was thinking it had been awhile since we’d heard anything from you! These look and sound absolutely scrumptious. Do you think they’d be good with sour cream? I am literally going into the kitchen right now to see if we have all the ingredients…

    • Lol, I JUST returned from the store with sour cream because I wanted to try them on these pancakes!!! Great minds we have πŸ™‚
      More later as you’ve left extremely kind comments. *blushing* But first must return to crazies. Later!

      • I literally woke up this morning, read your post, and went straight into the kitchen to make these. I substituted half of the flour for spelt but otherwise made them according to recipe. They were SOOO delicious! I am full now but can’t stop thinking about their springy texture and oniony bite. We just ate them with a little butter, and my son sprinkled a little cheese on his and loved it. We’re on vacation with my in-laws, and it was a hit with the entire family. Thanks for the idea! I will definitely be making these again – soon!!

        • You have made my day! Am thrilled you’ve already made them and am intrigued by your sub of spelt flour. Was tempted to use a bit of whole wheat flour, but wasn’t sure I wanted any “grain” flavor. But you liked? Yes to the springy texture–that was one of my favorite things about them. So different. Topping with cheese is brilliant.

          Hope your vacation is great fun πŸ™‚

          • They were incredibly delicious with the spelt, which I feel has a much subtler flavour than whole wheat flour. Of course I haven’t tried them with all white, but these were so good I can’t see myself changing anything the next time (apart from possibly seeing how they taste using entirely spelt). I substitute spelt flour in a lot of recipes because I don’t usually notice a difference except for a slight variation in colour – though the ones I made this morning looked much like the photographs you posted. Whole wheat flour substitutions strike me as a lot dicier. I generally only really substitute a third of the flour with whole wheat if I don’t want an entirely different product – but I doubt I’d try even that amount of whole wheat flour with these either!
            Thanks again for a delicious breakfast today! We just polished off the rest cold with our salad for lunch. πŸ˜‰

    • Thanks, Melissa. Was minding my own business at Trader Joe’s, and when I was reaching for baking powder, my eyes happened upon a cute little jar of fig butter. And I knew in an instant that I needed fig butter in my life πŸ™‚ Why I love shopping TJ’s–they help me realize what I can’t live without!

      Hope you do try and yes to simple. πŸ˜€

  8. What’s better… the scallion cakes or the FIG BUTTER? Figs are so great with savory things. I just ordered a five pound bag of the organic, Turkish figs. These remind me a little bit of latkes, because the are a great “vehicle” for yummy toppings, from sweet to salty.

    • Ah yes, Shanna my figgy friend πŸ™‚ Read my response to Melissa’s comment for how I ended up with that jar. You’re so right–it’s good on EVERYTHING. Will you make your own with your new purchase? Oh yum. Yes, these reminded me of latkes, too. So much so that I went to the store just to buy sour cream for topping.

      Will be in touch re: blogging class. Hope things go well on your end and you’re feeling fantastico.

  9. Wow, a food blogging class! I might have to look into that someday. Thanks for sharing some tips you learned πŸ™‚
    The scallion pancakes look delicious! I usually just buy them from the Asian grocery store, but it might be easier to just make my own! Never spread them with butter of jam though…will have to try eating them this way next time. Thanks for sharing, Liz! πŸ˜€

    • Thanks, Ada! I’m sure you could find a class in your area–lots of food writers there πŸ™‚

      These pancakes are way too easy (and cheap) to make to purchase them elsewhere. Even someone planning a wedding could whip them up πŸ˜‰

  10. I love scallion pancakes. Lovely photos. Ngan just made since on her blog and I was so excited to see that they were manageable. I think the crazies come with the season change.

    • Thanks, Amanda! Thinking you’re right about the seasonal crazies. Lots of changes to balance. Thinking Ngan’s pancakes stuck somewhere in my brain so that when I saw the recipe in F&W, I was already primed to make them. Absolutely manageable. Especially for someone who roasts fish whole πŸ˜‰

  11. oh, these sound so good and i do love the big pics with my horrible vision and it does look more foodie-ish. but i also loved it the way it was too, you are blognificent!

    • Thanks, Beth. I love the new word you coined and am honored to be on the receiving end! Am not all over the food photography thing–much more comfortable with words. But will play the game if it makes this a better blog.

      You are commentificient πŸ˜€

  12. Hi Liz! I love the big picture… nice one πŸ˜‰ It was great meeting you at the food blogging class on Saturday.
    Oh and I so get the end of the school year fiasco! Can’t wait for it to be over, especially since the weathers getting nice out.
    Looking forward to reading many of your posts – old and new!

  13. I’m excited about these pancakes and especially excited about your new big photos! I wish I had a 4-hour class around here. I’m going to my first conferences this fall, but I’m worried they will be more about socializing and less about learning. We shall see!

    • Thanks, Andi. Report back after your conference–very cool. The class was a good amount of time to learn, but not so much socializing. If you’re interested in one of my favorite handouts (What Makes a Good Food Blog), I have scanned it for another friend and would be happy to share. Lemmee know.

      Am still more interested in putting good copy out there as opposed to photos, but no reason not to do the best I can with the pix. Will try to keep ’em big and proud.

    • You should for sure give them a whirl! Easy peasy. Can totally see you whipping them up in your kitchen. And so low-cal, there will be plenty of room for those diner treats you love πŸ™‚

  14. These are so fancy. This must be what put pancakes on my mind the other day.

    My grandma used to always make nettle pancakes when I was littler. I wonder if that was a similarish idea. They were certainly green.

    • Nettle? Wow, old-school. Do you remember having these and if you liked?

      Maybe these come off as fancy, but they’re the easiest pancakes I’ve ever made.

      • I do remember them and I believe I did like them. I can’t remember specifically enough to describe flavors but I’m sure there’s a recipe or two floating around somewhere.

        Easy and delicious (and fancy) is my favorite combination in the kitchen.

    • you have no flour and eggs? Oh, Becky. How can you make one of your amazing cakes then?

      Thanks for coming by. It ain’t no Easy Street, though Mrs. H might like some of the cocktails served up.

  15. Ha! Obsession might be the right word! πŸ˜‰ Those look great by the way — I love scallion pancakes. One of my favorite dim sum treats. I also love BIG pictures — would love to hear what other gems you learned in the class. Sounds interesting!

    • Thanks, J. You’ve inspired me more than once with your food magazine picks. Would be happy to send you a scan I made of some of her tips. Should I send it through facebook? I learned a lot about the mechanics–when it’s best to send out posts (M, T, or Wed a.m.), word count (250-500, which I usually go over), etc. The class also touched on marketing and monetizing, which I’m not so much into (the monetizing part anyway). But a great class and also great networking. Let me know if you’d like to see the handout(s).

      • If you can send it through FB that would be awesome! Thank you! I am so very curious what else she said. And my word counts always go over that too — guess we just have a lot to say! πŸ˜‰

  16. I love scallion pancakes, Liz, and these look terrific (especially in the bigger photos!). I looked at the recipe and it reminds me of how my mom used to make Asian style pancakes with the “wet” batter. I think this method yields a very nicely textured pancake, perfect to whet one’s appetite. YUM, fig butter!

    • I think it was your recent scallion ‘cakes that stuck those Fine Cooking pancakes in my mind, Ngan! I wasn’t as familiar with them as you, so didn’t consider “wet” styles versus others. But I loved how custardy they were in the middle. Will need to make batch #3 very soon. And the fig butter was a surprisingly good match. Who knew?

  17. Your pancakes look really tempting Liz. I’m sure that they tasted fantastic, especially with that fig butter.

    It’s interesting how many things have different names in the US and the UK. So, you refer to the key ingredient here as both ‘scallions’, and ‘green onions’. I would call them ‘spring onions’, in common with most people in England. But my Scottish relatives (including my father) refer to them as you do, as scallions.

    • thanks, Georgina. The pancakes were positively addicting. Your comment got me curious, so I did some googling. Sounds like green onions/scallions are the same, but just a matter of geography as far as who calls what what. “Spring onion” makes the most sense as that’s when they pop up πŸ™‚

  18. No doubt I would love these! Fig butter sounds fantastic, I’ll have to look for it at TJ’s. I have never had a savory pancake and it makes perfect sense! Why not? Love how you attended a four hour blogging class! Must of been very interesting. Larger than life photo’s eh? Ok…I’ll remember that tip! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Seana. You need no help with those photos. The sweet-savory was a happy accident as I’d just stumbled on the fig butter at TJ’s (that store is the best at helping me realize what I can’t go another day without–fig butter was one such product) and it somehow made sense when I had those ‘cakes on the griddle.

  19. I’m sure the food blogging class was very informative and I like your photos whether big or not. I saw these scallion cakes but haven’t had a chance to prepare them…I think I need to change that.

    • Thanks, Karen! You SHOULD make these pancakes. Easy as pie (easier, really) and healthy and yummy. What’s not to like?

      Appreciate your kind words very much.

  20. Looks great! Was just thinking that the scallion pancakes might be good as a base for pizza or a fusion flatbread of some sort. Or maybe that might be a bit odd, hehe. I’ll have to pick up some fig butter on my next Trader Joe’s trip, which happens weekly. I feel you when you have to “let it go” with blogging sometimes. I have drafts that I started from a couple months ago!

  21. I don’t know how I missed this one, looking at the date, I must have been in Canada. Great post, love the photos and I enjoyed your new about page. Hang in there, the summer craziness is just beginning!

    PS I’ll let you know how a gluten-free version flies…thanks for the inspiration.

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