Happy Pancake Day!
I love pancakes and have been very excited about the approach of today – perhaps more than appropriate. I have so many fond memories of pancakes as a kid. My granddad used to make damson or blackberry vinegar from his garden hedgerow and we would pour lashings over steamy fresh pancakes and sugar. My mum would scoop my hair back with elastic bands as I licked the remaining sauce right from the plate
I have always been a sweet girl when it comes to pancakes; Nutella, syrup, orange, lemon, sugar etc
My good friend Menelens a.k.a. Helen…
…first mentioned that she had savoury pancakes to me a couple of years ago and I remember looking at her like a mad woman. She recommended a spinach and ricotta filling which I soon shafted the idea of for my beloved sweet toppings but I thought that, this year, I’d see what the fuss was about and she wasn’t wrong. Here is my version of a savoury filled pancake.
For the batter:
- 1 egg
- 2 heaped Tbsp plain flour (not those rubbish measuring spoons, a proper tablespoon)
- 1 Tbsp rapeseed oil
For the filling:
- 6 chestnut mushrooms
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 100g spinach
- 40g garlic and herb soft cheese
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- A pinch of cayenne
- Parmesan, for topping
To make the pancake batter:
- Crack the egg into a mixing bowl, add the flour and a splash of milk then stir with a tablespoon until a really thick ‘gloop’ is formed. Add a little milk at a time and beat well between each addition to remove any lumps of flour. Once the lumps have gone, add enough milk to create a loose, pourable batter that is not too runny. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes.
- When ready to cook, heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add the oil and spread it around the pan. Pour half of the batter into the pan and turn the pan to spread the batter around the base surface.
- Let the batter cook for a couple of minutes until the top of the pancake appears opaque and the edges begin to curl slightly. Using a spatula, flip the pancake over to cook the other side for a couple of minutes.
- Remove the pancake to a plate and repeat the process with the remaining batter.
To make the filling:
- Roughly chop the mushrooms. Add them to the frying pan you just cooked the pancakes in and fry for a minute or two until beginning to brown and soften slightly.
- Add the chopped garlic and spinach to the pan and cover with a lid or baking tray so the steam can build up and wilt the spinach. Just before the spinach is completely wilted, crumble in the garlic and herb soft cheese (I used Boursin) and stir to incorporate. Season with cracked black pepper and cayenne and remove from the heat.
- Spoon half of the mushroom mix into the centre of a pancake. Fold the pancake up as if it were a burrito and place seam side down on a plate. Repeat with the remaining pancake and filling.
- Grate parmesan cheese over the top of the pancakes and grill under a moderate grill for a couple of minutes or until the cheese has melted. I think brie would be a great cheese to melt over the top here but I didn’t have any. Parmesan was very tasty though. Carefully remove the plate and tuck in! Serve with a fresh side salad if you like.