What pancakes (dishes) are you going to make for the upcoming pancake day on March 4th 2014? and what fillings, savoury or sweet, are you stuffing them with? Are you going to use up the leftover rich food in your cupboard / fridge before giving up all the goodies (for lent)? or use some exotic ingredients? We are not religious but personally think, during lent, giving up certain "bad" food ( we also try to give up bad habits) during a set period is a good idea and good annual practice!
Anyway, we recently made some raw courgette and fennel salad (pretty much the same recipe, but without the garlic and rosemary) one weekend. We sautéed the leftovers with garlic and rosemary and used them as a pancake fillings and it did not disappoint! Fennel and courgette are great complements – the sweet and anise flavours of fennel works very well with the delicate flavour of courgette. We pair this with ricotta (and creme fraiche works equally well). The recipe below makes 6 – 8 pancakes, depending on the size of your pancake!
We have also included a crepe recipe below. We always prefer using full fat milk in our crepes, but if prefer, semi-skim milk would work too! Recipe makes 6 - 8 pancakes depending on the size of your pan.
Sauteed fennel and courgette with ricotta (filling)
½ lemon, juice only
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp olive oil
large garlic clove, minced
2 sprigs of rosemary
200 - 250g ricotta
80g grated Parmesan
1. Using a vegetable peeler, thinly shave the courgette. Thinly cut or shave the fennel (similar thickness to the shaved courgette slices). Place them in a bowl with juice of half a lemon and a pinch of salt. Toss and mix well. Set aside and let rest for 15 minutes.
2. Drain the courgette and fennel slices and gently squeeze out any excess liquid / water.
3. There are two ways of assembling the pancakes:
3a. (as shown in picture) Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over high heat in a frying pan. When hot, add garlic and rosemary. Cook until fragrant but not burnt, about 2 minutes. Add courgette and fennel slices to the pan and toss with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper, to taste. Saute for 2 - 3 minutes. Transfer filling to a bowl and set aside until needed. Remove and discard the rosemary stalks (pick some of the rosemary leaves and add to the filling, if desire). Prepare a crepe as you would usually do. After flipping the crepe, add 1/8 – 1/6 of the courgette & fennel filling to the middle of the crepe. Add dollops of ricotta (about 30g) onto the filling, and top this with grated Parmesan (about 10 – 15g). Cover the crepe on both sides and allow the cheese to melt slightly, about 1 minute. Transfer this to a plate and serve. Repeat with the remaining pancakes.
3b. Heat a small dollop of butter at high heat in a large round pan (that you cook the pancakes in). When hot, throw in 1/8 - 1/6 of garlic and fennel courgette mixture. Spread the mixture evenly across the pan and cook for 30 - 45 seconds. Pour a portion of pancake batter over the filling and Let the pancake cook until it is ready to flip. Flip and cook for a further 1 - 2 minutes until pancake is cooked through. Serve with ricotta and grated Parmesan. Repeat with the remaining pancakes.
The recipe below is adapted from Nigella Lawson's basic crepe recipe available here. We like it a lot, but have replaced a small portion of the milk with water and reduced the amount of flour slightly as we find the batter slightly too thick to our liking.
30 g unsalted butter, plus more for frying
275 ml full fat milk
1 large egg, beaten
135g plain flour
A small pinch of salt
1. Melt 30g butter and let cool slightly.
2. Sieve flour into a bowl. Mix in salt.
2. In a seperate mixing bowl, mix milk, water and beaten egg.
3. Add 1/4 of the flour to the milk/egg mixture, mixing the batter until smooth.
4. Repeat step 3 until you have mix in all of the flour. Mixing small portion of flour into the batter until smooth before adding additional flour will help prevent lumps from forming in the batter.
5. Add the melted and slightly cooled butter into the batter and mix well.
6. In a crepe pan or large frying pan, melt a small dollop of butter at high heat. When melted, wipe it off with a kitchen towel ( you don't want a super greasy pancake). Pour in about 1/8 of the batter. Immediately swirl the pan so that the batter evenly cover the pan to form a thin pancake. Cook for about 1 minute (or until the base is lightly golden) then flip the pancake.
7. At this stage you can either:
7a. Once you have flip the pancake, add fillings as desire (such as sauteed fennel and courgette with ricotta as above), then cover from both sides so that the cheese within melt slightly before serving.
7b. cook the pancake for another minute then place on a plate lined with baking paper. Place another baking paper on top of the cooked pancake. Repeat with the remaining pancake batter. Serve all pancakes at once and let everyone fill their pancakes as desire.