Oatmeal guava pancakes with coconut porter infused syrup, bourbon braised coconut bacon and roasted fingerlings

Yup. Bringing it back, after a an extremely long¬†hiatus. You’re not interested in why, so let’s move on to what I hope will be a fresh start. Lots of ideas in my head and maybe some will even inspire Kevin to complete one of the half-dozen draft posts he’s started ūüôā

So, a little while back The Cinnamon Snail –¬†ever so creative gurus of vegan food truck¬†cuisine – had a special breakfast item:¬†Bourbon hazelnut pancakes with cranberry orange relish, pine nut butter, & dark beer syrup. I KNOW, RIGHT?! WOW! Missing out on the special inspired me to get into the kitchen on one otherwise lazy football-filled Sunday. Here are the results.

I started with the syrup, since it takes some time to boil down. I made syrup infused with¬†Maui Brewing Company’s Coconut Porter, following the same method I used for¬†this¬†glaze. Basically, a 3:1 ratio of maple syrup to beer, boiled down to a¬†consistency that’s right for you.

For the pancakes I once again turned to the Veggie Works cookbook. I used the oatmeal pancake recipe, making a few modifications.

Oatmeal Guava Pancakes

1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup white flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup guava juice
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon of Earth Balance spread

Cook the oats in the water for 3-5 minutes, covered. Mix the remaining dry ingredients together in a bowl. Add the juice, almond milk and Earth Balance to the oats and mix well. Pour the oatmeal goop into the flour mixture and beat into a batter. Heat a skillet, oil and cook ‘m up.

I paired the pancakes with some Buffalo Trace-braised coconut bacon¬†(by the way, very lame that¬†Maker’s Mark¬†is watering down their bourbon), made with¬†applewood liquid smoke. I also added a little bourbon barrel-aged¬†Worcestershire Sauce¬†that Kevin hooked us up with. Meanwhile, I chopped up fingerlings I picked up at the Farmers’ Market and roasted them with coconut oil, pepper, smoked salt and some Pain is Good jerk seasoning.

 

The results were awesome. The syrup had the sweet barley flavors of bourbon and a slight burnt flavor that was distinctly like the toasted coconut notes that come from aging in a charred oak barrel.  Combining this with the bacon and the tropical fruit of the pancakes brought the flavors out even more. If I were to make this again I would probably add some actual fruit (pineapple?) and top with some crushed, toasted macadamia nuts. Pair it with Coconut Porter or your favorite breakfast beer and start the day off right. Enjoy.

 

 

Coconut “Bacon”

I have a secret desire to be a hipster. Not really.¬† But if I was a hipster, I’d probably be eating bacon right now.

Anyway, last year on one of my annual visits to Albany, NY, Brett introduced me to the notion of coconut “bacon” – which he once had at Aux Vivres, a vegan restaurant in Montreal. Brett’s method of duplicating said food was a process of microwaving coconut flakes in a marinade for short periods of time, stirring, and repeating until it was done.¬† It was a trial-and-error process, but the results turned out great: Smokey, salty, crispy bacon chips.¬† After my success with the Just Tomatoes Bacon Bits, I wanted to try something similar, but pan-frying in oil instead.

The most important ingredient? Coconut flakes.¬† Most places sell small shreds of coconut – these won’t really work.¬† You need something substantial.¬† I discovered that my local Whole Foods started selling these bags of sliced & dehydrated coconut flakes for a few bucks.¬† Score.¬† Armed with some ideas from the Tempeh Bacon recipe in Vegan Brunch (my favorite cookbook), I was on my way.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of coconut flakes
  • 3 tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce – I pretty much only buy tamari these days)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of liquid smoke
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

I mixed up the ingredients in a bowl, then stirred in the coconut flakes until they were mostly evenly coated.¬† I let this sit to soak for about 15 minutes.¬† I then dumped the bowl into a frying pan over medium-high heat.¬† At this point, there was a decent amount of extra liquid in the pan, so I was aiming to carmalize that up a bit.¬† You’ll need to watch this like a hawk – it can easily burn if you step away for any substantial amount of time.¬† I give the pan a good stir every minute or so to make sure all the flakes were cooking nicely.¬† As the flakes got crispier and darker, I lowered the heat (gradually) to prevent burning.¬† Feel free to sample a bit or two along the way to see how the taste is progressing.

I was left with a nice amount of slightly crispy, bacon-colored, oily goodness.¬† These come closest in texture and taste to what I remember as a bacon-eating kid compared to any other vegan analogues.¬† I paired them with the “Perfect Pancakes” from Vegan Brunch and have enough flakes left over to use as a topping in a seitan sandwich for later on in the day.

Note: It looks like you can snag the coconut flakes I used on Amazon fairly cheaply.