Friday, February 12, 2016

The Count of Monte Pancake: A Sweet and Savory Treat for National Pancake Day (and a Hungry Jack/T-Fal Giveaway)

I was compensated with product for this post, though the views expressed are all my own
Update: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to the winner, Jackie! 

It seems as if there's a food holiday for everything. If, say, you want to take off work to observe National Wiener Schnitzel Day, then please mark your calendars for September 9. Or if you'd like to arrange your next vacation around a month-long celebration of salad, vinegar, or hamburgers, make sure to request your paid time off for the month of May.

Meanwhile, I am considering declaring my adherence to a pancake religion of some kind (it's as good as any) as this February 17 is National Pancake Day and I could really use a day off. Mind you, I have no quibble with a pancake holiday whatsoever, especially given the fact that I've been invited to celebrate it - and T-Fal's 60th anniversary - by the folks at Hungry Jack and T-Fal.

After all, the gifts of pancake day rival those of Christmas: For my participation, I received a package of Hungry Jack Buttermilk Pancake Mix and Hungry Jack Syrup, along with T-Fal's newest product, a 12-inch nonstick frypan, dubbed the Opticook due to a handy little circle in the middle that changes when the pan has reached proper cooking temperature.  And, to spread the wealth, I have been authorized to award the very same bundle of goods to one lucky reader.  More on that in a bit.

In return, I faithfully promised to come up with an original pancake creation of my own, which I now share with you.

Here are the cast of characters in my Pancake Day treat:
Yes, my lovelies - you spot Brie and ham along with the usual sweet suspects of berries and lemon. I like to take my sweet with some savory whenever I can, and for this recipe I took inspiration from one of the most fondly remembered drunken late night foods of my youth: the Monte Cristo as served at the now-defunct Gampy's in Baltimore, Md.

It was, as I recall, a perfectly-greasy deep-fried ham and cheese sandwich, served with a raspberry dipping sauce. For my interpretation, I used pancakes to roll up Black Forest ham, Brie, and berries, which I topped with more berries, lemon zest, and copious amounts of syrup. This would have pleased my young drunken soul -- it certainly pleased my (somewhat) older one!

The dish itself is pure simplicity. I must confess that I do not as a rule use pancake mix, as I'm a from-scratch kind of person; that said, the buttermilk mix made delicious pancakes and expedited the entire process immeasurably. And nothing stuck to the T-Fal pan (and the changing heat indicator circle, here obscured by a pancake,  pleased my OCD):

Rather than take up space with a proper recipe, because this is so simple to pull together I'll just tell you what I did and let you look at pretty pictures.

First, follow the package directions on the Hungry Jack pancake mix (you literally just add water). Make your pancakes - again, this isn't rocket science and the T-Fal nonstick pan makes this super easy - and when you've made as many as you like,  lay a few slices of Black Forest ham, a healthy bit of Brie, and some berries on each individual pancake, like so:

Roll those babies up and top with more berries, some lemon zest, and a whole mess of sweet, sweet Hungry Jack syrup. Eh voila! Your Monte Cristo Pancake Roll Ups - or, as I affectionately call them en masse, the Count of Monte Pancake:

If you, like me, adore the play of savory and sweet, you will probably want to make a whole lot of these. Pancake Day comes but once a year after all!

And now, to reward your patience, I will share the rules of the giveaway. All you need to do is leave a comment below telling me your favorite way to enjoy pancakes. That's it! I'll pick the winner using on - what else? - Pancake Day, February 17. The winner will receive their very own pancake kit consisting of the Hungry Jack Buttermilk Pancake Mix, Hungry Jack Syrup, and the brand-spanking-new T-Fal Opticook pan.

Good luck and Happy Pancake Day.


  1. Kristin G

    I love to enjoy pancakes hot with syrup on top. I sometimes put fruit or chocolate chips on my pancakes.

  2. WOW! These look delicious. Want to come to NC, and we can have a bfast party!?

    1. Make it a brunch party (because booze!) and you're on!!

  3. Yum! Must try this asap! You always have the best recipes, Trix!

  4. One unique way we use pancakes is to make the batter extra thin, which allows us to make large pancakes that resemble a tortilla or crepe. Then we fill them with an egg, sausage, and cheese mixture, similar to an egg burrito. It isn't as fragile as you would expect, and turns out really good.

  5. Mmmmmmm pancakes! I love banana and peanut butter pancakes, sometimes with bacon crumbled on top--Golden West here in Baltimore does a nice Elvis style!

  6. I enjoy experimenting with toppings but my favorite thing about pancakes are the crispy edges. Thats why I make them at home because restaurants usually do fluffy instead of crispy. :)

  7. I love warm Vermont maple syrup, berries, and a little butter on my pancakes.

  8. I like them with a lot of butter and some syrup on top

    dlatany at gmail dot com

  9. Pancake is one of my favorite breakfast and desserts. Never try serving bacon with it, because I like my pancake sweet. I think I will try this, it looks so good. I like to serve my pancake with honey or sweetened condensed milk and banana. I can never feel bored having this combination. :)

  10. My favorite way to enjoy pancakes is with tons of butter & pure maple syrup! Sometimes I'll even add some fresh fruit and powdered sugar if I have it! I love your suggestion and I am definitely going to try it!

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  14. I love pancakes with butter and syrup! I also love to add some fresh fruit sometimes like blueberries or strawberries and some whipped topping.

  15. Yummy! This food looks like the pancake of French. It is nice and seem to taste well. I love it. Thank your sharing!

  16. Wow, absolutely fantastic blog. I am very glad to have such useful information.