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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Breakfast? In my house, we call it dinner

This column originally ran in the Oct. 2, 2014 edition of the Bayside Gazette.
In the hallowed halls of any culinary museum, you will find references to James Beard and Julia Child, their contributions to the world of food so far remaining unsurpassed. Are there chefs who are better than they were? Possibly, yes. But with their departure years ago, we’ll never know.
They spoke to the masses at a time when few others were. They had a new voice and took cooking in a new direction: on television and onto the bookshelves on the mass level. Their poise, ideas, vast network of chefs and entertainers and their dedication to the craft were unparalleled as were their marketing skills.
When I was a kid, I remember watching Julia Child and not really understanding what was going on. I respect everything that she was able to accomplish, but I was not a regular follower. James Beard was not a recognizable name for me until I went to culinary school in the 1980s, but TV’s “Galloping Gourmet” [Graham Kerr] was an early hero of mine. But that’s the way entertainment is. For some reason, I thought he was all class.
I don’t muse on the culinary greats enough these days and I can’t recall the last time I typed Child’s name. But as I walked around at work today, I started thinking about all of the things that I have seen on television: inspiration, ideas, laughable moments, triumphs, failures and the transformation of young television chefs to professional media moguls.
I remember when I saw Emeril for the first time. It was just after my dad passed and I took a semester off from college to travel the country with my mother to help her with her jewelry business. That I will save for another time. In fact, I could probably write a yearlong series on that one, but I digress.
Back to Emeril, here was this young chef from New Orleans with a Boston attitude and accent yelping on the TV screen as he made some interesting dishes. I was intrigued, as was half of the nation. Fast-forward a few years and they unfortunately made the decision to give the man acting lessons. After that point, I couldn’t watch anymore since it was much more about entertainment than the food. Not to take away from his many accomplishments – I still have a book in my collection from 1984 in which Julia herself identified the “master chefs” of America and Emeril was one of them, along with Jean Louis Palladin, et al.
All of these thoughts flew out of my mind as quickly as they had entered when I recalled a recent trip to the Boardwalk. We’ll call that my “squirrel.” I tend to stray mentally but that’s what makes me who and what I am.
Anyway, on this trip I was reminded of one of the greatest food contributions known to mankind.  I speak not of the mighty funnel cake. Nor do I refer to snow cones, soft pretzels or pizza.
No, I’m talking about deep fried Oreos, and I’ve never had one. I walked by numerous shops shilling the fried fool’s gold, but didn’t give it too much of a thought. Today, however, I got a hankering for a Double Stuffed Chocolate Oreo, one of the greatest mass-produced cookies ever. But just as I have never seen an episode of “Honey Boo Boo,” I have a similar rule about fried Oreos. I’m not sure why, but I resist.
I got home that night and it was decided that dinner would be breakfast. I mean, we were going to have breakfast for dinner, a tradition in our house that goes back to the Middle Ages. And then it hit me: Chocolate Oreo Pancakes. Good God, that sounds good.
They were.
Just like adding M&M’s or chocolate chips, the filling in the Oreo turns molten while hot, but as it cools down a little it turns into a creamy filling that is not to be rivaled.
With a dab of butter, fresh maple syrup and some salty bacon, you will be glad that we broke every tenet of decency when it comes to breakfast. You’re welcome.
Yep, I think this will land me in a culinary museum someday.
Oreo Pancakes
Makes about 18 pancakes
2 cups AP flour
1/4 c. Sugar
1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. Baking powder
1 tsp. Salt
1 cup Milk
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp. Fresh vanilla bean seeds
1/4 cup Melted butter
2 large eggs
6 Double stuffed chocolate Oreos

1. Put the Oreos in a sturdy plastic bag and smash with a hammer, ensuring that you have some chunks left.
2. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
3. While stirring with a fork, add the milk and the buttermilk.
4. Drizzle in the melted butter and the eggs, making sure that you do not overbeat the mixture. Doing so will result in tough pancakes.
5. Fold in the Oreo chunks and proceed with cooking as you normally would.
6. Serve with salty bacon, some good butter and, of course, great maple syrup.
7. Bask in the glory of the greatest pancake ever to adorn your table.