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GOOD COOKING

The Pancake Pace

March 04, 1998|ABBY MANDEL | Mandel's latest book is "Celebrating the Midwestern Table" (Doubleday & Co., 1996)

Weekends call for a change of pace--leisurely breakfasts instead of rush-and-run muffins or bagels. At my house, pancakes are the popular choice. Try a winter fruit medley and Canadian bacon in cider with applesauce buttermilk pancakes and you'll forget the weekday rat race.

Everything can be prepared in advance, leaving only some last-minute cooking before the meal. It's an easy and extremely successful breakfast menu for family or friends that can be doubled or tripled.

WINTER FRUIT MEDLEY LOW-FAT COOKING)

Zest of 1 orange

1 cup orange juice

1 cup water

1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed

2 (1/2-pound) packages dried mixed fruit

2 small Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch dice

2 pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch dice

Combine orange zest, orange juice, water, brown sugar and dried fruit in 2-quart non-aluminum saucepan and stir well. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, over medium-high heat until fruit is almost tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

Stir in diced apples and pears and cook until fresh fruit is just tender but still holds its shape, about 5 minutes. Serve chilled, at room temperature or warm. (If made in advance, gently reheat, adding water if mixture is too dry.)

6 servings. Each serving:

185 calories; 6 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 1 gram fat; 48 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams protein; 1.84 grams fiber.

CANADIAN BACON IN CIDER

2/3 cup cider

1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed

2 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/2 pound sliced Canadian bacon

Combine cider, brown sugar and mustard in 10-inch skillet and stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 4 minutes. (Recipe can be made to this point several hours in advance.)

To serve, gently reheat cider mixture. When hot, add bacon and spoon sauce over. Cook over medium heat until just warm, about 1 minute. Serve warm.

4 servings. Each serving:

278 calories; 388 mg sodium; 28 mg cholesterol; 25 grams fat; 10 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams protein; 0.09 gram fiber.

APPLESAUCE BUTTERMILK PANCAKES (LOW-FAT COOKING

If sweetened applesauce is used, use only 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Add chopped walnuts to the pancake batter for an appealing crunch.

2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 cup buttermilk

2 eggs

2 tablespoons butter, melted, plus extra for greasing griddle

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

2 cups cake flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

Warm maple syrup

Vigorously stir applesauce, buttermilk, eggs, melted butter and brown sugar in mixing bowl until smooth. Mix cake flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in separate bowl. (The recipe may be made to this point a day ahead. Cover each bowl and refrigerate.) Combine ingredients and stir well.

Heat griddle or skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium-high heat. Lightly grease griddle and ladle about 3 tablespoons batter per pancake onto griddle. Spread batter with back of spoon to thin out slightly. Cook until a few bubbles break on top, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn and cook until browned on underside, about 2 minutes. Remove to oven-proof plate and keep warm in 200-degree oven while cooking remaining pancakes. Serve hot with warm maple syrup.

22 (3-inch) pancakes. Each pancake without syrup:

69 calories; 83 mg sodium; 23 mg cholesterol; 2 grams fat; 12 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams protein; 0.06 gram fiber.

* Rug from Upstairs at Diamond, Diamond Foam & Fabric, Los Angeles.

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