On the menu this week, Watercress Salad, Chive Pancakes and Cinnamon Raisin French Toast — enough to serve four on a $40 budget.
Watercress Salad with Citrus Dressing
4 handfuls watercress
Juice of 3 oranges
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1-2 large shallots, finely chopped
splash of red wine vinegar
sugar to taste
Combine the dressing ingredients together in a bowl. Drizzle over the watercress. Toss and serve on large plate. Let everyone help themselves.
Chive Pancakes with Smoked Salmon and Lemon Cream
1 cup milk
1 large egg
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 pinches salt
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
8 tablespoons sliced chives
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
freshly ground black pepper
16 ounces smoked salmon
Pancakes: Beat milk, egg, melted butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt together in a large bowl until blended. Add the flour and baking powder; stir them in gently until fully incorporated and batter is smooth. Let batter rest for 10 minutes.
Cream: Whip the sour cream and heavy cream together vigorously in a medium bowl with a whisk until light and fluffy. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon into the cream, then grate some of the rind of the juiced half into the cream. Mix in four tablespoons of chives, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper.
To make pancakes: Heat the skillet for about three minutes over medium heat. Add a couple tablespoons of butter to the pan and melt until the butter covers the bottom. Use a ¼-cup measure to scoop the batter. Let the pancakes cook until small bubbles pop through the surface and the bottoms are light brown. Flip each pancake with a spatula and cook the other side for another few minutes.
When the pancakes are done, place one on each plate. Top each pancake with a couple of slices of smoked salmon, mounded up. Add a dollop of the cream mixture on top of the salmon, a bit off-center. Garnish with grated lemon zest and sliced chives.