FAT TUESDAY PANCAKES

Serves 4.

Note: For testing, we used Hungry Jack Complete Extra Light & Fluffy Pancake & Waffle Mix, but our recipe ratio of water to pancake mix works regardless of the brand you choose. We used Hillshire Farm Lit'l Smokies beef sausages. If you can't find mini-sausages, cut full-size cooked sausages into pieces about 1 inch long,1/4 inch wide.

• 11/4 c. "complete" buttermilk pancake mix (see Note)

• 1 1/3 c. water

• 16 miniature beef smoked sausages (see Note)

• 4 thin deli slices (4 oz.) mild cheese, such as Muenster or Monterey Jack

• Cooking-oil spray

• 1/2 c. maple syrup, or to taste, for serving

Directions

Turn the oven on to 200 degrees. Place four dinner plates on the counter.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the pancake mix and water. (The batter will be thin, but not as thin as a crêpe batter.)

Place the sausages on a microwave-safe plate, and microwave on high, covered by a paper towel, until warmed through, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Set aside. Cut the slices of cheese in half and set aside.

Spray a nonstick griddle or extra-deep, 12-inch nonstick skillet with cooking-oil spray and place over medium-high heat (or use vegetable oil as necessary if you do not have a nonstick pan). Sprinkle a few drops of water into the pan, and if it sizzles, the pan is hot enough. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter onto the hot pan, and rotate the pan to form a thin pancake. (If you have a large pan, you may be able to cook two pancakes at once.) Cook until the pancake is almost dry on top and the bottom is brown, about 45 seconds to 1 minute. (Lift an edge and peek under if you're not sure.) Reduce the heat as necessary to avoid overbrowning.

Turn the pancake and continue to cook until lightly browned on the second side, about 15 seconds more. Remove the pancake to a dinner plate and place a piece of the cut cheese in the center. Place two sausages, side by side lengthwise, about 2 inches from the edge, and roll the pancake up like a crêpe with the sausages and cheese in the middle. Place two rolled pancakes on a dinner plate, and place the plate in the oven to keep warm.

Repeat this until all of the pancakes are cooked. (Place the final plate in the oven for at least 1 minute to make sure the cheese melts.) To serve, pour maple syrup into small bowls. Remove the plates of pancakes from the oven, and serve. The pancakes can be eaten with fingers, if desired, dipping them into the maple syrup.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 460 Fat 20 g Sodium 1,000 mg

Carbohydrates 57 g Saturated fat 9 g Calcium 335 mg

Protein 14 g Cholesterol 51 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 bread/starch, 2 other carb, 1 medium-fat meat, 3 fat.