LUDO BITES AMERICA: Atole Piñon Hotcakes

Introducing guest blogger Zach Golden, the creator of the incredibly popular website, What the Fuck Should I Make For Dinner?

Hi, I’m Zach. Some genius, wildly attractive, nice smelling person from Sundance thought me talking about making some recipe from LUDO BITES AMERICA was a good idea, and I have a firm policy of not arguing with geniuses who are wildly attractive and smell fantastic. So let’s go on a journey where we test the boundaries of our newly found friendship, meet some wonderful mythical beasts, and most of all make Atole Piñon Hotcakes from Tecolote Café in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

4 c flour
1 1/2 c blue cornmeal
1/4 c baking powder
1/4 c sugar
1/2 TBSP salt
2 large eggs
4 oz. soy oil olive oil
6 c milk
4-6 oz. piñon nuts (aka pine nuts), shelled and toasted
Butter and maple syrup for serving

So a few notes on the ingredients: I was unable to find blue cornmeal so I substituted it for its hypopigmented cousin, regular cornmeal. Also, I was unable to find soy oil; Actually, I doubt its existence, which I’m probably wrong about but my track record with Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and F. Scott Fitzgerald give me some confidence in the matter so it definitively does not exist. Barring a major scientific breakthrough or an alternate reality in which soy oil really does exist, olive oil makes a wonderful substitute. As a side note, if you’d like to follow my recipe to a T, while shopping for your ingredients find yourself stuck behind a schizophrenic man singing show tunes and soiling himself.

The recipe itself is easy. Dry stuff goes in one bowl. Eggs and oil that you beat all together goes in a different one. Then two bowls become one in a beautiful union of wet and dry that is punctuated with whisking in the milk until smooth. If you’re one of the 7 people in the world who own a griddle (Denny’s franchise owners not included), prepare yourself for excitement because the recipe calls for one. However, if you’re like me and the approximately 12 billion others without a griddle, a pan does nicely. Butter the pan, ladle in the batter, drop in some toasted pine nuts and flip the hotcakes when they bubble on top. You’ll know when they’re done because your house will smell like how I imagine a baby sea otter’s hug would feel. I don’t feel comfortable telling you how to eat them, so please just adapt your usual eating habits to this dish.

So now I’m supposed to either convince you that you need to make this dish (to be fair, I just talked to Atole Piñon Hotcakes, and they said they’d make you if they were cooking) or dissuade you from a recipe so misguided that the uranium it produces as a byproduct is too useless to even sell on the grey market. Fortunately it’s the former; I went from soiled schizophrenic to eating in under thirty minutes, which is less time than some fried bologna hamburger helper thing you’d watch on Rachel Ray, and – total bonus – it was delicious. So to sing its praises in the tune of “Eye of the Tiger,” it’s quick and easy, delicious, and produces little to no uranium.