Tenderest Cardamom Pancakes

by spiceaholic on May 29, 2015


I’ve happily eaten yogurt for many years, but it has only been within the past few that I’ve transitioned from being merely a yogurt consumer to a yogurt user as well.  You see, it took me a while to appreciate how versatile yogurt is and how it can be used in so many different ways.  But now that I know, I love trying out new yogurt tricks!

I have to say, becoming part of Stonyfield’s Clean Plate Club has given me so many opportunities to play with yogurt and I love how I’ve challenged myself to come up with some interesting recipes.  For this month’s challenge, we were given the opportunity to review Cheryl Sternman Rule’s new book Yogurt Culture, which is an ode to yogurt and its history and presence in so many cultures, providing 115 recipes from around the world from different categories such as “Flavor,” “Sip,” “Slurp,” “Bake,” etc. I’ve already bookmarked the Afghan Beef Noodle Soup with Yogurt (Aush) and Kulfi (saffron-pistachio frozen yogurt) as recipes I’d like to try.  I loved flipping through the book and drooling over both the recipes and photography – it’s quite clear that Rule spent quite a bit of time researching for this book and I appreciate her effort.

Yogurt Culture

(photo credit: Ellen Silverman)

We were given the opportunity to make one of the recipes from the book or come up with our own.  Knowing how busy I would be with finals, getting ready for the baby (August is sneaking up fast!), and social plans I opted to try the recipe for Tenderest Cardamom Pancakes from the book.  I love cardamom and I liked the use of yogurt in the pancake recipe instead of buttermilk.  The recipe makes a LOT of pancakes, 30-40, so you can either keep any extra batter in the fridge for a couple days or reduce the recipe by half.

So not only did I get an amazing new cookbook to add to my collection, but OXO was a sponsor for this month and sent us kitchen tools that paired up with the recipe we were trying. Since I was making pancakes, I received a mini silicone flexible pancake turner plus a “bonus” gift of a butter dish!


Back to the pancakes.  As promised by the title, these are indeed tender pancakes. I have to admit to adding a little cinnamon to the batter and since my cousin is visiting me, I added some chocolate and cinnamon chips as well just for fun! We gobbled up quite a few of the pancakes and still have some leftover! I still need to work on my pancake-cooking skills as evidenced by my pictures, but I will say that the pancake turner was the perfect size for flipping the pancakes!


I hope you enjoy the pancake recipe and that it makes you want to search for this cookbook to add to your collection! You won’t regret it.

*Disclosure: Stonyfield Organic provided me with samples of their Greek yogurt and a copy of Yogurt Culture as part of their Clean Plate Club. OXO provided me with the mini silicone flexible pancake turner as part of this month’s campaign. All opinions are my own.


(photo credit: Ellen Silverman)

Tenderest Cardamom Pancakes

Recipe from Yogurt Culture used with permission from Cheryl Sternman Rule


Yogurt transforms a simple whisk-up batter into the lightest, fluffiest, tenderest, and most magical pancakes imaginable. Any extra batter keeps nicely in a covered jar in the fridge for 2 or 3 days.


3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1½ cups plain yogurt (not Greek) or whey

1½ cups milk, preferably whole or 2%

4 large eggs

4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly, plus additional butter for the griddle

Maple syrup and/or additional yogurt, for serving (optional)


MIX THE BATTER. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the yogurt and milk until smooth. Then whisk in the eggs, followed by the butter. Scrape the wet ingredients into the dry. Switch to a large silicone spatula and combine thoroughly, sweeping the sides and bottom of the bowl; do not overmix. The batter will be a bit lumpy but should have no powdery pockets. Set aside to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

COOK AND SERVE. Heat a cast-iron griddle or skillet over medium-high heat. When a drop of water on the griddle sizzles and evaporates, coat the griddle with butter. Dragging your spoon or scoop in a round (this creates thinner pancakes), distribute about 3 tablespoons batter per pancake onto the griddle. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side, until deep golden. Work in batches, slicking the griddle with more butter as you go. Serve with maple syrup and additional yogurt, if desired.




Fideo Con Pollo - 1

This is one of those recipes that I like more and more every time I make it.  It’s not a coincidence that I first tried it in the fall when the weather began cooling down and warm comfort food was just what we wanted. Plus it’s all made in one pan, so there’s less to clean up!

As you know, even though I own a ton of cookbooks, I rarely end up cooking out of them.  However when I was flipping through my copy of Eva’s Kitchen, by Eva Longoria, her recipe for Sopa de Fideo kept catching my eye.  It doesn’t hurt that the picture next to the recipe got my stomach rumbling, but as I read it, it just seemed like such a comforting, every-day type of recipe. Which is probably why it took me months to work up the courage to try it.  I don’t know, I’m weird like that.

Longoria’s version is a hybrid of the traditionally soupy sopa de fideo and the dry version, fideo seco.  The first time I made it, I accidentally doubled the amount of noodles called for and it still turned out fine, which tells  me this is a VERY forgiving recipe, which is important when you get easily distracted like me.

Each time I’ve made it, I’ve tweaked it here and there, adding more spices and changing the technique as I go.  While she sautes the onion and garlic, then browns the fideo before adding the broth, tomato sauce, spices, and finally adding the chicken before letting it all come to a boil and then simmering, I’ve changed the order so that it’s almost as if I’m making a chicken pullao but with noodles.  So I saute the onions and garlic (I also add a bay leaf), then add my spices (I’ve added oregano and hot Mexican-style chili powder) and let the flavors bloom, then I add the chicken, making sure it’s coated with spices, then the fideo, and finally add the broth and tomato sauce before boiling and simmering.  Seems like little changes, but I think it changes the flavor.

I’ve made it with drumsticks, bone-in skinless chicken thighs, boneless skinless chicken breast, and boneless skinless chicken thighs and I prefer the boneless skinless thighs.  When cooking with bone-in meat I have to cook it for a lot longer to make sure it cooks through, but at the risk of mushy noodles.  I really don’t like cooking with boneless skinless chicken breast unless I’m making a stir-fry — it’s so bland and flavorless and if you cook it in something like this it gets tough and stringy.

If you can’t find fideo in the Hispanic foods section of your grocery store, use broken pieces of angel hair or vermicelli.  The original recipe calls for ordinary tomato sauce, but I’ve been using a Mexican-style hot tomato sauce – use whatever you want.  After doing some online research to see how others make their fideo, I started using Mazola Tomato Bouillon with Chicken to get a more authentic flavor.  However, regular chicken broth works just fine.

Anyway, I’ve made this often enough that I almost don’t need a recipe anymore, I know what goes in and how to cook it.  It makes a ton of food for Mr. Spice and me, giving us leftovers for a few days even after generous servings the first night.  Okay maybe even seconds since we’re piggies.  Here’s a link to Longoria’s version of this dish, my version is below.

Fideo Con Pollo - 2
Fideo con Pollo

Adapted from Eva Longoria’s “Sopa de Fideo” recipe in Eva’s Kitchen: Cooking With Love for Family and Friends


2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 large yellow onion, chopped

2 teaspoons jarred minced garlic

1 dried bay leaf

2 tablespoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste

1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces

3 to 3-1/2 cups broth made with Mazola tomato bouillon with chicken or regular chicken broth

2 7-ounce cans Mexican hot tomato sauce or regular tomato sauce

2 7-ounce bags fideo noodles or equivalent amount angel hair or vermicelli pasta broken into 3-inch pieces

1 stalk green onion, both white and green parts, sliced



Heat oil in large deep skillet over medium high heat.

Add onions, garlic, and bay leaf and cook until onions begin to soften and slightly brown.

Add dried spices to onion mixture and stir to combine, cooking for a couple minutes.

Add chicken pieces and stir to coat thoroughly with spice and onion mixture. Cook for a few minutes, then add fideo.

Pour the broth and tomato sauce into the pan, stir to combine all ingredients.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat and cover with a lid, simmering for about 25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked and liquid is reduced to a thick sauce.  Check periodically to make sure the fideo aren’t sticking to the pan, adding water or broth if necessary, but DON’T stir unless you want mush instead of noodles.

Garnish with sliced green onion and serve.






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