Humans are predictable. You give them something starchy next to something meaty, and they’ll want to wrap the former around the latter. It’s in our nature. Once in a while, this yields vital discoveries, like pigs in a blanket. In the vacation resort of my imagination, I’m presented poolside with a cigar box full of salty breakfast sausages rolled up like robustos in golden-brown pancakes, along with a footed tureen of warm maple syrup. The pancakes in this recipe are the ones from that dream—fluffy and light and tender. For maximum airiness, whisk the ingredients together within a couple minutes of cooking—the baking powder will be most active during this period.
1. Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together the milk, egg, and vanilla in a small bowl. Set both bowls aside.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Pan-fry the sausages until they are nicely browned and cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes. Place the sausages on a plate and wipe out the skillet.
3. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in the skillet over low heat. Pour the melted butter into the milk-egg mixture, whisking vigorously. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and whisk just to combine. It’s okay if there are some small lumps in the mixture.
4. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in the same skillet over medium heat. Working quickly, pour in 1/4 cup batter, coaxing it into a round shape with the back of a spoon. Repeat for as many 1/4 cupfuls as will fit comfortably in the pan. Cook, moderating the heat so that they don’t burn, until the bubbles that form around the edges of the pancakes pop, about 4 minutes. Flip and cook until the pancakes are slightly puffed in the center and golden brown on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate and repeat for the remaining batter.
5. To serve, wrap the sausages in the pancakes, and serve with maple syrup.
Reprinted from The Wurst of Lucky Peach. Copyright © 2016 by Lucky Peach, LLC. Principal photographs copyright © 2016 by Gabriele Stabile. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.
"Vegetables are perishable, so we don't have any indication of what they looked like 500 years ago," says James Nienhuis, a professor in the Department of Horticulture at the University of Wisconsin.