Chinese Green Onion Pancake

 

Growing up, I knew it was a special occasion in our house when Dad was in the kitchen. My mom was the one who cooked for us day in and day out. My dad on the other hand, made specialty foods for us when there was a holiday or if we were having important company coming over for dinner.

This green onion pancake was one of his specialties and one of my favorite childhood foods. This savory pancake is filled with a pungent green onion flavor and crispy layers of salty, doughy goodness. Who knew five simple ingredients could be incorporated into such a delectably tasty dish.

This is a very common street food item in the streets of the Taiwan night market. You can smell the oil and green onion perfuming the air as you walk from vendor to vendor. The pancake can be eaten at any meal, in lieu of rice.  You can also use it as a tortilla and fill it with meats and vegetables, like a Chinese taco of sorts.

 

Chinese Green Onion Pancake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup warm water

1 cup finely chopped green onion

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp salt (more as needed)

6 Tbsp cooking oil

 

In a bowl add water to flour and mix with your fingers and mix until smooth. Set aside for 20 minutes. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth. After resting, remove the dough and knead it on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic. Roll the dough to form a one inch thick log and cut into 6 pieces.

Take one of the 6 pieces of pancake dough, using a rolling pin, roll out into a circle about 4-5 inches in diameter. Brush dough lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle salt and then some green onions over the dough.

Now roll it like a cigar (not that I condone smoking of any kind), into an egg roll shape. Then taking the dough from one end, roll it up again lengthwise until it forms a coiled ball. Then turn it over on its end (spiral side up) and press the dough down with the palm of your hand. Roll it out with a rolling pin, into a circle ready to be pan-fried. This technique will give the pancake its flaky layers.

Do the same to the other 5 rolls of pancake dough. Keep them separated, otherwise they’ll stick.

Heat up a pan and then pour in about 1 to 2 tablespoons of cooking oil. When the oil is hot, fry the pancakes until golden brown on one side and then turn over to fry the other side. Enjoy best warm.

 

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Chocolate Cupcake with Blue Buttercream Frosting

The mini muffin pan is the newest addition to my kitchen and it is a very welcome addition too. It’s so versatile for cupcakes and also appetizers such as tartlets, quiches, and a whole host of other things. I just love how they make these single-bite mini cupcakes. There’s just something about bite-sized food that is so appetizing.  It may be that it makes me feel like I can eat more than one. Actually, I’m sure that’s why!

I made both mini and full-sized cupcakes for a baby shower recently.  Can you guess what gender the baby is? The baby blue frosting was just enough to add to the theme, but not too much that is was unappetizing. Blue and brown is such a classic color combination too.

I made a special trip to my local craft store to buy blue cupcake liners to match these cakes. As you can see they didn’t make much of an impact on the overall look of the cupcake, but I knew they were there! Now, I get why I’ve been seeing double and even triple-lined cupcakes on magazines. If you really want your paper liners to pop, you can add another one to the outside of the cupcakes just for presentation.

Chocolate Cupcake with Chocolate Frosting

From Hershey’s Kitchens

2 cups sugar

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup boiling water

Chocolate frosting (recipe follows)

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.

Easy Buttercream Frosting

1 cup (2 sticks) butter (room temperature)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 lb. powdered sugar
1-3 teaspoons milk

Using a mixer, cream softened butter and vanilla until smooth.

Add sugar gradually, allowing butter and sugar to cream together before adding more.

If you want your frosting a little creamier, add a teaspoon of milk at a time and beat on high until you get the right texture.

Then, just use icing colors to tint the frosting the color of your choice.

This is usually just enough for a 2-layer cake, so I would recommend doubling this for a three-layer.