A few weeks ago I was enjoying a late-night marathon of Mind of a Chef (when I definitely should’ve been sleeping), and fell instantly in love with the buttered popcorn grits made by Chef Daniel Patterson. As a person who has popcorn for dinner more than I’d like to admit, it was definitely a mind-blowing moment for me, and I couldn’t wait to experiment with the idea of adding buttered popcorn to everything. If you consume it straight, it tastes like buttered popcorn, but as you add it things like milkshakes (I did this) and pancakes, the flavor becomes a bit more subtle.
In place of buttermilk or milk, the popcorn liquid is used and it works beautiful when incorporated into pancakes. The result is a deliciously tender pancake, perfectly fluffy and with the flavor of buttered popcorn. I usually steer clear of garnishing with what’s inside of the dish but more popcorn on top adds an awesome crunchy texture. These pancakes work well on their own (I personally love just butter on top) but of course you can add maple syrup, too.
Buttered Popcorn Pancakes
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup popcorn kernels
- 2 cups water
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- In a large saucepan, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, pour in the popcorn kernels and cover the pan with a lid. Shake the covered pot a few times until you hear the kernels begin to pop. Bring the heat down to medium and give it a few more shakes to ensure even popping. When the popping sound ends, carefully uncover the pan and pour the popcorn into a bowl, discarding any un-popped kernels and any burnt bits. Reserve a heaping handful of popcorn as garnish for the pancakes.
- To the same large saucepan, set over medium heat, add the water, butter and salt. Bring the mixture to a slight simmer. Add a heaping handful of popcorn to the water and simmer for about a minute, until the popcorn has softened. Transfer to a fine-mesh sieve placed over a measuring cup and strain, pressing the softened popcorn to expel it of its liquid. (On occasion, take a spoon and scrape the bottom of the sieve and add the "grits" to the liquid." Pour the liquid back into the saucepan and repeat the process of cooking the popcorn and straining it through a sieve, until all the popcorn is gone. You should end up with about 1 cup of liquid.
- To a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. To the measuring cup with the popcorn liquid, add the egg and whisk until thoroughly combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing until just combined. Small to medium lumps are ok.
- Preheat your oven to 200 degrees F. Heat up your griddle (or cast iron skillet) over medium heat and brush with 1/2 tablespoon of butter or a few teaspoons of oil. Scoop the batter, using a tablespoon measure, onto a warm skillet. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until small bubble storm on the surface of the pancake, and then flip. Turn heat down to medium-low and cook on opposite side for about 1 minute, or until golden brown.
- Transfer cooked pancakes to a baking sheet and place in the warm oven. Proceed with the rest of the batter until done. Serve with a sprinkling of popcorn and warm maple syrup.
Note from food blogger Adrianna Adarme: Chef Patterson's recipe didn't have ratios. The ratios I followed here gives you more liquid, which is needed for the pancake batter, than "grits" (which is pictured in the link).
Adrianna Adarme is a food blogger and author living in Los Angeles, California. She writes the blog A Cozy Kitchen, where she shares comforting, everyday recipes from her kitchen. She recently authored her first cookbook, PANCAKES: 72 Sweet and Savory Recipes for the Perfect Stack. She’s a lover of breakfast, pie (and sometimes even pie for breakfast), corgis and cute things. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.