Months ago, I did a queso review of Kerbey Lane Café in Austin, Texas. Kerbey is a bit of an institution in this area – nowhere else can you eat queso-covered eggs, follow them with a fried-chicken-and-pancake combo, and then wash it all down with a $2 mimosa. For the lazy and hungover hermits of the world who can’t be bothered to put on pants and go out for their food, Kerbey even sells their very own pancake mix in local grocery stores.
To my eccentric glee, the restaurant recently challenged Austin-area bloggers to create an original recipe using the beloved Kerbey pancake mix. The recipe could be savory or sweet, pancake or non-pancake, as long as it contained any flavor of their mixes.
As you can probably guess, I’ve been a pancake-making monster over the past few weeks. Well, let’s face it. Someone who spends a lot of time making piles of pancakes is no monster. I’m a pancake-making SAINT.
A breakfast food humanitarian.
I’ve come up with different concoctions by flinging random ingredients into the batter and taste-testing it until it seemed remotely edible. Then, I’ve carefully poured the batter onto a hot skillet, or shoved it into a hot oven, and left it there until it successfully bloomed into something else. I’ve even taken careful notes of the way the results looked and tasted and smelled, so that I could more efficiently alter the recipes for improvement.
Forget sainthood, I was like a pancake-making mad scientist.
Take a look at the chemical combinations I created in the lab over the course of a month:
I attempted to de-sweetify the pancakes by adding savory ingredients…
I created a s’more-like dessert using a blondie, marshmallow, and chocolate icing (and instantly developed diabetes after one bite)…
Then, I made a peanut butter bar topped with, once again, chocolate icing. Simply looking at this one will give you 8.5 cavities…
Taking a break from the sweets, I made some cheesy, garlicky biscuits that had the look and texture of cheesy, garlicky dryer lint…
All in all, I probably made around 10 different creations before finally hitting the FLAPJACK JACKPOT. Say that five times fast.
I’ve submitted the recipes and photos for these three beauties:
Caramel-pecan pancakes topped with…well…chocolate icing again. Stick with what you know, ya know?
Grilled ham-and-cheese pancake-for-bread sandwich, which has a terrible name, but tastes similar to a Monte Cristo sandwich. A beautiful marriage of sweet and savory.
Peanut Butter Bars, now sans chocolate icing…
The winner will receive a $250 gift card to Kerbey Lane Café. I tried to tell myself that I was doing this contest for the simple fun of it, and to not get my hopes up, but then my queso-and-mimosa-loving little heart collided with my irrational competitive streak, and now I really want to win.
Cross your fingers for me! And also maybe your legs. You know what? Just go ahead and cross all of your body parts for me, including your eyes and lungs and toe nails. I need all the luck I can get!
Have you ever participated in a cooking contest before? How did it go? If you were doing this pancake contest, what kinds of recipes and combinations would you have tried?