Everyone loves Pancake Tuesday. It is a great time to get the kids involved in cooking too and can be brilliant fun. I’m going to share two recipes today that are variations of the traditional pancake. One is for a potato and Herb pancake and the other is a gorgeous crepe. The crepes are so light and gorgeous and appeared in my, ‘Nation’s Favourite Food FAST’. I hope you enjoy.
POTATO AND HERB PANCAKES
150 g plain flour
300 ml milk
75 g cooked mashed potato
1 tblsp chopped fresh mixed parsley, chives and spring onions
about 2 tbsp sunflower oil
50 g butter
100 g mixed mushrooms (sliced)
2 baby leeks (thinly sliced)
6 spring onions (finely sliced)
2 tblsp crème fraiche
1 tblsp pesto
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Sieve the flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Break the eggs into the well and gradually pour in the milk, stirring continuously. Add the cooked potato and herbs and season to taste. Mix well to form a smooth batter in consistency to lightly whipped cream.
To make the topping, heat the butter in a hot frying pan. Add the mushrooms, leeks and spring onions. Cook for 4-5 minutes on a low heat and season to taste.
To make each pancake, heat some oil in a hot ovenproof frying pan and drain off any excess. Pour a quarter of the potato pancake batter into the frying pan and cook over a medium heat for about 1 minute. Then put the frying pan into the oven for 6-8 minutes until the pancake has risen and set. If liked, turn upside down in the pan for the last minute or two for a more golden top. Keep warm. Repeat the process three times to make the rest of the pancakes.
To serve, place each pancake on to a warmed plate, herb side up and spread some mushroom mixture on top. Spoon a dollop of crème friache over each one and drizzle with some pesto.
HAM, CHEESE AND EGG CRÊPES WITH GRIDDLED ASPARAGUS
This is a perfect tea for lots of hungry children, but it would also be a good weekend late breakfast, depending on your mood. It’s the classic way that many crêpe stallholders cook crêpes to order late at night around the major tourist attractions in Paris. They are always very popular, often with long queues, and once you’ve tasted them it’s easy to understand why.
24 asparagus spears
450g (1lb) Swiss cheese, such as Gruyère or Emmental, thinly sliced
8 slices of cooked ham
1 tbsp olive oil
100g (4oz) plain flour
300ml (½ pint) milk
sunflower oil, for frying
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the egg and whisk well with a balloon whisk. Gradually beat in the milk, drawing in the flour from the sides to make a smooth batter. Leave to rest for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, trim the asparagus spears and blanch in a pan of boiling water for 1–2 minutes, until almost tender but still with a slight bite. Drain and refresh under cold running water to prevent them from cooking any further and set aside until needed.
Heat a little oil in an 18cm (7in) heavy-based pancake or frying pan. Pour in just enough batter to thinly coat the base of the pan. Cook over a moderately high heat for about 1 minute, until golden brown. Turn or toss the crêpe and break in an egg, then gently whisk to spread it evenly all over the crêpe. Season to taste.