Do you think that it is possible if you spend weeks testing a recipe over and over again that by the end you are delusional? And if so, would this delusion lead you to believe you’ve made THE BEST version of whatever it was you were testing? I’ve come to the conclusion that this recipe is just such an example that this could be possible.
I am a huge fan of Cook’s Illustrated. For a non cook like me, especially one that still struggles with kitchen fundamentals, I find their no-nonsense, scientific approach to cooking helpful. I love the fact that they test products and don’t necessarily recommend the most expensive and fancy item on their list. Recently when I received an offer to subscribe to Cook’s Country at what I deemed a reasonable price, I decided to send in my subscription card.
You see, I was in a vulnerable magazine state at the time. I still am in a way. My Everyday Food subscription is lacking something…namely anything that looks interesting to cook. When I received my first two issues of Cook’s Country this weekend, I was so excited. The magazine is beautiful. Every recipe has a picture, a full color one even. In fact, the whole magazine is full color, unlike what I remember of its parent Cook’s Illustrated. There are tidbits and product reviews sprinkled here and there. The recipes have long articles talking about the process of trying to perfect the recipe. Which I love to read, because to perfect you have to have failures. And if they fail in the kitchen, then I know I’m not doing it all wrong.
When I saw the recipe for these Heavenly Hots, I knew I had to try them. I love pancakes. And these seemed interesting with their large portion of sour cream. So while at the store the other day, I picked up an 8 oz tub of sour cream with the intention of making the recipe this weekend. Arriving home one night after work, I decided to give the recipe a whirl. It was fairly simple to make.
I settled down to read the recipe again before starting and nearly dropped the magazine. I knew it was just a bit of flour to sour cream. But I didn’t realize just how a LITTLE bit it was: 1/4 cup. And the recipe called for 2 cups of sour cream. That’s alot of sour cream. My little tub wasn’t going to be enough. It would only provide about 1 – 1 1/4 cups. But I soldiered on. I used 3 large eggs just as the recipe called for too. The batter looked a bit on the soupy side. The cakes definitely had to be covered while cooking, as the recipe stated, because there was no way they would cook uncovered and not completely burn on the first side before flipping. And that’s not a guess. I learned that one from experience. My own little test kitchen going on there. ;)
The recipe also said that “five 1 tablespoon scoops” was the measurement for this little pancake. And the whole article described them as “tiny, fragile sour cream pancakes” and comparing them to “silver dollar-size.” There was nothing tiny about 5 tbs of batter scooped into the skillet. I know a tiny pancake. I make them often enough. Two tbs makes a “silver dollar-size” pancake. 2-3 inches wide is a silver-dollar pancake. Not 6-7, especially with this thin batter.
The cakes tasted well enough and were indeed fragile. Not only in their taste, but in trying to flip them as well. However, I won’t harp on that as I’ve pummeled this recipe enough.
I can only hope that other recipes work better. I really have my sight set on trying the Lazy Cook’s Pot Roast next. If that doesn’t work out, nothing will. But the pictures are sure pretty to look at.