Each week on the Food Chain, we ask a chef to describe a dish he or she recently enjoyed. The chef who prepared the dish responds and then picks his or her own memorable meal. On and on it goes. Last week, Brian Huston, chef de cuisine at the Publican in Chicago, waxed lovingly about the burger and fries at Diner in Brooklyn. Now it’s time to see what Diner chef Sean Rembold has loved recently. Take it away, Sean.
“I was in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago and ate at the restaurant called Outerlands, in the Sunset neighborhood, right out on the Pacific coast. They have an amazing savory Dutch pancake. The bacon and the maple syrup — which is a pretty obvious combination — were really delicious. The texture of the pancake itself was pretty spot-on. I would say almost the perfect balance of salty to sweet, and the texture somewhere between scrambled eggs and baked eggs; it seemed almost between a pancake and a French toast. It seems like they’re making them in a cast-iron skillet. Also, the ambiance and everything about Outerlands is incredible and reminds me of Williamsburg circa 1996. It really feels like you’re in a houseboat instead of in a restaurant.”
Outerlands co-owner and head baker, Dave Muller, responds:
“The Dutch pancake was one of my mom’s coveted specialties that my brothers and I would pine for and receive as a reward for good conduct. It’s a simple recipe that we eventually learned how to make as boys, thereby circumventing the behavioral requirements. It’s a thin batter composed of eggs, milk, all-purpose flour, and salt, ladled into a preheated cast-iron pan with a melted pat of butter. Juicy chunks of bacon are sprinkled into the batter and it bakes for around twenty minutes until it poofs into a dynamic, undulant crater with enough structure not to fall, while remaining custardlike in the center. A light drizzle of organic maple syrup balances the salt and fat. We also serve a version without bacon, covered in seasonal fresh fruit. A fluffy dollop of our housemade ricotta can be added to either.”