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Blueberry Blue Corn Pancakes

Blue corn is common in the American Southwest and has a rich and nutlike flavor. It is treated with wood ashes, which are alkaline and, like lime and lye, makes certain amino acids more available. People value blue corn meal for its superior nutritional value. The alkali treatment also intensifies its blue color, as does the alkaline baking soda in this recipe. You can find blue cornmeal at specialty grocery stores that sell Mexican or Southwestern ingredients, such as Reyna in the Strip District. If not, feel free to substitute a yellow or white cornmeal, but the color and texture may be different.

1 cup blue cornmeal
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 large eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup fresh blueberries
Butter or oil for greasing griddle
Butter and syrup

Mix the cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, mix the milk, eggs and butter well.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just enough to make a thin, homogeneous batter. Allow the thin batter to rest for 10 minutes.

Stir in flour and mix the batter until patches of white disappear. Do not overmix. Fold in the blueberries.

Heat the griddle until it feels hot to the palm of a hand held a few inches above it. Grease it lightly by brushing with butter or oil. Using a 1/4-cup measure, drop pancake portions of batter onto the griddle.

When bubbles form on top, the edges are firm and the bottoms are brown (1 to 2 minutes), turn and cook the cakes until they are lightly browned on the second side. Serve with butter and syrup.

Makes about 16 4-inch cakes.

"What Einstein Told His Cook"

Sunday, June 09, 2002

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