Pancake mixes aren't just for making pancakes. Use these mixes for making everything from pancakes to savory dinners and appetizers. Pancake mixes labeled as "complete," or "pancake and baking mixes," are the most versatile because they usually contain dried eggs, dried milk or fat.
Pancakes in a Flash
The most obvious use for pancake mix is, of course, pancakes. But don't settle for just ho-hum, ordinary pancakes. Enliven pancakes with frozen berries, diced apples, chopped pecans or a bit of banana puree. Try whole-grain or multi-grain pancakes for a change of pace. Add a bit of fresh orange juice to warm maple syrup or thicken apple cider with cornstarch for apple syrup. Melt raspberry jam with a little orange juice or water to make raspberry syrup.
Almost any pancake mix can be used for waffles too. Add an egg and some oil to make a waffle batter that's rich and won't stick to the waffle iron. Spray the waffle iron with a nonstick cooking spray. Vary your waffle repertoire just as you would pancakes by adding fruit or chopped nuts. Try a bit of pumpkin puree and cinnamon for pumpkin waffles. Sift unsweetened cocoa and a bit of sugar into the waffle mix for decadent chocolate waffles.
Pancake mix makes a sweet, slightly nutty breading for any kind of meat. Add a bit of salt and rosemary or thyme to pancake mix. Dip chicken, pork chops or thin cuts of steak in egg, butter or milk and dredge the meat in pancake mix. Fry or oven-bake the meat for a tasty departure from flour breading.
Read the ingredient list on muffin mixes and pancake mixes and you'll find them surprisingly similar. Both contain flour, sugar, leaveners, flavorings and possibly powdered milk or eggs. Make muffins with pancake mix by adding eggs, oil and milk to make a batter somewhat thicker than pancake batter. Add your desired ingredients, such as vanilla, cinnamon and chopped fruit or poppy seeds, and bake in greased muffin tins.
Pancake mix makes onion rings sweet, crunchy and delicious. Soak sliced onions in buttermilk for 30 minutes. At the same time, combine pancake mix with a bit of salt and cayenne pepper. Drain the buttermilk and dredge the onions in the pancake mix. Fry in hot oil until golden and crisp.
When you want a savory breakfast instead of sweet, reach for pancake mix again. Combine pancake mix with eggs; milk; cheese; browned sausage or bacon; and seasonings, and bake until the casserole is golden brown and cooked through. For South-of-the-border taste, add green chilies to the casserole and serve with salsa.
Fast Fast Food
Combine pancake mix with eggs and milk to make a stiff batter for dipping snack foods, such as cheese sticks and hot dogs. Drop the foods into hot oil and fry them until they're golden brown for homemade fast-food snacks.
Make a veggie quiche for a quick weeknight dinner or breakfast. Whisk together pancake mix, eggs, oil and milk to make a thick batter. Add steamed veggies, such as broccoli, onions or red pepper, and bake until golden brown and set. Add shredded cheese or cooked bacon for more flavor.
The next time you have leftover pancakes, slather them with pizza sauce and toppings and bake them for a quick lunch or dinner. The tangy tomato sauce balances the sweetness of the pancakes.
Use pancake mix as the basis for pies, cakes and cookies. Combine the pancake mix with sugar, eggs, milk and oil, as well as your favorite flavorings, for quick desserts. You can even replace pie crust with a pancake mix batter. The results will be more cakelike, but much simpler than rolling out pie crust.
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