A few months ago my friend Dede Lahman and her husband Chef Neil Kleinberg came out with a fabulous cookbook revealing all the secrets of their New York award-winning restaurant, The Clinton St. Baking Company. If you haven’t made a trip to the Clinton St. Baking Company, it’s certainly worth putting on your list
Photo courtesy of Dennis Yang
the next time you are in New York City. CSBC is the perfect neighborhood restaurant. It specializes in food that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside and is fully equipped with a comfortable environment and friendly staff. Numerous magazines and newspapers have touted their pancakes, biscuits, and brunch specials.
And now with their new cookbook and you can try to recreate the magic in your own kitchen. I have been a part of this cookbook from the beginning. Dede, an old camp friend of mine, reached out to my Mom and me and asked us to test some recipes. The whole process was a lot of fun (I tested the scones and my Mom tested the frittata) and the finished product is beautiful. The book has lots of pictures and stories behind each of the recipes, told in Dede’s unique voice. This is a must-have addition to any cook’s library.
Below you will find two of my favorite recipes from the cookbook so far. Clinton St. Baking Company is known for their fluffy pancakes. After seeing the recipe I finally realized what their secret is—separating the eggs and then whipping the
Photo courtesy of Clinton St. Baking Company
egg whites until they form soft peaks. These are then folded in, allowing the pancakes to almost have small soufflé-like spots. Incredible! The smoked salmon scramble is a great, quick weekend treat. You can either serve it as I describe below or pile it high on a bagel. Either way is delicious! Try out these recipes on your next lazy Sunday.
Clinton St. Baking Company Pancakes
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder, plus 1 teaspoon
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
6 large eggs, separated
2 cups whole milk
¼ cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted, plus 2 teaspoons unmelted for the griddle
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup of cinnamon sugar for dusting (if desired)
1. Measure and sift all the dry ingredients into a large (preferably stainless-steel) mixing bowl: flour, baking powder, sugar, salt.
2. In another bowl, whisk together the yolks, milk, melted butter, and vanilla until combined. Whisk the wet mixture into the dry mixture. The result should be slightly lumpy, yet combined to form a batter.
3. Whip the egg whites in a medium mixing bowl until they reach medium peaks (soft in the middle). You can either whip them by hand with a whisk, or put them in the bowl of an electric mixer to whip. Be careful, you don’t want to over-whip the egg whites.
4. Gently mix half of the whipped whites into the batter with a large rubber spatula. Then gently fold the remaining half into the batter. Remember: this batter should be slightly lumpy and have large parts of egg whites not fully incorporated. It should look like white caps in the ocean with foam on top. This batter will last a few hours in the fridge without deflating too much.
5. Heat a griddle—either an electric griddle, a stovetop griddle, or a big flat pan to 350˚ to 375˚. Grease the hot griddle with the remaining butter. Drop ¼ cup (approximately 4 tablespoons) of pancake batter on the griddle and cook to set. (If you want add 1 tablespoon blueberries, chocolate chips, or other toppings before turning the pancakes. Never add the fruit to the mix; always add the fruit to the pancakes once they’re on the griddle). When you see bubbles start to form on top, lift the pancake halfway up to see if it’s golden brown and crispy on the edges. If ready, flip the pancakes.
6. When the pancake is golden brown on both sides, remove with a spatula. Repeat with the remaining batter, cooking several pancakes at a time. Garnish with cinnamon sugar and serve with warm syrup.
Makes 18-20 3-inch pancakes.
Clinton St. Baking Company’s Smoked Salmon Scramble
4 slices of seven-grain (or multi-grain) bread
8 large eggs
Pinch of ground pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 slices (8 ounces) smoked salmon, Nova or Scottish (coarsely chopped in to bite-sized pieces)
6 Tablespoons cream cheese softened (Philadelphia preferred, not whipped)
½ cup minced scallions (green and white parts)
½ cup minced fresh chives
1. Toast the bread, according to preference.
2. Whisk together the eggs and pepper in a bowl until combined.
3. In a 9 to 10 inch omelet pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once the butter is frothy, add the eggs. Gently scramble them in a circular motion with a heatproof spatula, starting from the center of the pan and moving outward. Shake the pan to distribute the uncooked eggs. Once the eggs begin to set, add the salmon, breaking it up with your spatula and distributing it throughout the egg mixture. Add the cream cheese, 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue to lightly scramble the eggs so that the ingredients are evenly distributed. Add the scallions and remove the eggs from the heat.
4. For each plate, serve the eggs with a slice of toast, sliced again on the diagonal. Sprinkle chives on top of the eggs.