Every month or so, I partner with one of my favorite local sites, Brooklyn Based, to bring you an exclusive song by a Brooklyn band, recorded at Nadim Issa’s state-of-the-art recording studio in Gowanus, Let ‘Em In Music. Then, I create a recipe with — or inspired by — the featured artist. This month’s mp3 is Pearl and the Beard, performing Bon Iver’s “Re: Stacks” (get the free mp3 and read my feature on them here), and here are the butternut squash pancakes with maple-goat cheese sauce I made with the band. All photos by Dominick Mastrangelo.
Spiced butternut squash pancakes with maple-goat cheese sauce and candied walnuts (recipe + tons of photos here)
Within five minutes of Pearl and the Beard (Jocelyn Mackenzie, Emily Hope Price and Jeremy Styles) entering my apartment, I felt like they were old friends. All three of them are bundles of smiles and energy, and they came prepared to make delicious cocktails, which always gets points in my book. I first heard of the band through Dave of Backyard Brunch Sessions and was instantly won over by their simple but creative instrumentation and strong harmonies that often lean more toward cabaret than Americana (though there’s plenty of that, too).
When I asked them to do an installment of BB Songs, they decided to cover Bon Iver’s “Re: Stacks” from his debut album For Emma, Forever Ago (listen to their gorgeous version of the song here), and they wanted to make “stacks” of pancakes served with goat cheese sauce. From there, I decided on rich butternut squash pancakes and a spread made with goat cheese, maple syrup and yogurt. We topped our stacks with candied walnuts for an extra bit of sweetness — except for Jeremy, who is allergic but still insisted on flirting with danger and stirring them over the stove. Bon Iver’s music, especially For Emma, is a perfect match for the cold — and while we ate these pancakes for dinner, they’d be incredible as a comforting Sunday-morning brunch while holed up in a cabin in the dead of winter. The pancakes are filling, and the sauce — which we spread in between each layer — turns it into a pretty decadent meal. They’re still pretty healthy, though: The sauce is made with goat cheese, maple syrup and Greek yogurt, so there’s plenty of protein and not too much fat. And the butternut squash has got to count for something, right?
Pancakes [heavily] adapted from Ruf Love; sauce from scratch. Makes a lot of pancakes (we ate most of them). Serves about 8.
Butternut squash pancakes
2 1/4 c milk
1 1/2 c pureed butternut squash (this can be done ahead of time)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp vinegar
2 c all-purpose flour
1 c whole wheat flour
1/4 c brown sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
Butter for the pan
• In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, squash, eggs, oil and vinegar.
• In a separate bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.
• Stir the dry mixture into the wet until just combined.
• Melt butter in a pan over medium heat. For smallish pancakes, pour about 2 tbsp of batter per pancake (we used a 1.5-inch batter scoop). Cook until the top is a little bit bubbly, then flip. (C’mon, you guys know how to make pancakes!) They should be slightly browned. Add more butter after every couple batches.
Maple-goat cheese sauce
6 oz. goat cheese
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup maple syrup
Whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl until smooth. Adjust ingredients to taste if needed.
1 c chopped walnuts
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 c maple syrup
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, mix together walnuts and sugar, then thoroughly coat with syrup. Stir frequently so the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan (though it’s not the end of the world if it does). Add more syrup if needed.
Build your stacks!
Four pancakes with sauce in between each layer and on top; top with walnuts.