Recently I've fallen back in love with Haggis. Admittedly, our relationship had only been on a brief break, and it certainly made our reunion all the sweeter. Before we split, things between us had gotten a bit stale. You couldn't separate it from its old pals, neeps and tatties, and it was all too often doused with whisky, reeking of booze and disappointingly, inevitably limp.
But now, Haggis has changed its ways. I see it in a whole new way and can't keep my hands off it! I'm loving spicing it up and every day I can't wait to come home and try new things with it.
Jokes aside, all the above is true. Haggis is so much more than something you eat once a year at Burns night, boiled in a stomach and served with a whisky cream sauce. I had my eyes opened recently at a Haggis and Indian tasting where they took this very Scottish ingredient to the East and most successfully! Since then I've been experimenting at home. From sandwiches to the below recipe, the results have been both tasty and surprising. Be brave, give it a whirl; it won't bite and it probably won't even 'baa'.
Ingredients (Serves 4):
260g Macsween's Haggis (For this recipe I used their AMAZING venison one, but you can use their normal or vegetarian one as you like)
1 egg, beaten
Vegetable oil for frying. Enough to fill a saucepan at least 2 inches.
For the sauce:
1 bunch fresh coriander
1 bunch fresh mint
1 red chili (more or less to taste)
2 cloves garlic
Juice of half a lemon
1.5 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1. Begin heating up the oil gently over a low heat. It will take a while to heat and you don't want to bring it up too fast, so put it on a low heat and let it warm while you prepare the rest. It is hot enough when you drop a breadcrumb into it and it sizzles fairly vigorously.
2. Remove the Haggis from its skin and break it into chunks. Microwave it on high for about 2 minutes until it is cooked.
3. Season the beaten egg with salt and pepper generously.
4. Take a handful of Haggis and roll it into a ball about one inch across, or whatever size you'd like it to be. Dip it in the beaten egg, and then roll it in the breadcrumbs until it is evenly coated.
5. Carefully lower it into the hot oil and deep fry for about two minutes, until it is golden brown and crisp all over. Remove and place on kitchen paper (to soak up the oil). Repeat until all the Haggis is used.
6. To make the sauce: simply blend all the sauce ingredients in a processor/ blender/ pestle and mortar until it forms a paste with about the same consistency as a loose pesto (or a ketchup!). This can be made in advance and kept in the fridge until ready for serving.
7. Serve the crisp Haggis balls immediately with the spicy coriander dip. Enjoy.
Borek are traditional Turkish pastries, cigar shaped and filled with cheese and herbs. The pastry around the outside is crisp and the inside is salty, fresh with herb and soft. I love them served with Tzatziki, a yoghurt dip with cucumber and mint, or just with plain unsweetened yoghurt. Although you can buy them ready made in Middle Eastern supermarkets, and most restaurants in Turkey serve them as standard, they are really easy to make yourself at home. Give it a go.
Ingredients (Serves 4):
Yufka pastry sheets (1 pack is more than enough) or filo pastry sheets
300g feta cheese
1 egg, beaten and divided in 2 portions
1 handful of mint, chopped (no stalks)
½ handful of coriander, chopped (you can use the stalks)
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper
Water (for sealing the borek)
1. Preheat an oven to 220 Celsius
2. Place the cheese, herbs and half the egg in a bowl and mix together thoroughly. Add the lemon juice and season with a little salt and plenty of pepper.
3. Cut the pastry into triangles by slicing into 2 long rectangles and then slicing each rectangle diagonally repeatedly to get many even thin triangles – like slices of pizza in shape and about 2 inches wide (at the base of the triangle).
4. If you’re using filo, use three layers as it is very thin. Lay one triangle (or 3 stacked on top of each other if filo) in front of you, with the base of the triangle away from you and the pointy end closest to you. Place 1 tablespoon of the filling at the base end and roll the base end up and over it, then roll it up to the pointy end, flattening it a bit as you go and rolling it into a thin cigar shape.
5. Seal by wetting the pointy tip and pressing it onto the cigar. Place onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Repeat.
6. Brush each cigar with the other half of the beaten egg completely. Then brush with olive oil.
7. Bake for around 15 minutes or until they are golden brown and crisp. Keep an eye on it for this after about 12 minutes. Serve warm, with tzatziki or a plain unsweetened natural yoghurt dip.
This chilled pea and mint soup, served with goat's cheese and garnished with garlic cress and almonds, is a great, fresh starter or lunch.
Even better, you can make it way in advance and simply assemble at the point of serving.
Ingredients (Serves 4):
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
800g frozen peas
700ml good quality chicken stock
100g natural yoghurt
Good olive oil
Juice of one lemon
100g soft goats cheese or curd
salt & pepper
blanched, shelled almonds
optional: garlic cress (try your local supermarket)
1. Heat some oil in a pan over medium heat and saute the onions for about 8 minutes until they are soft and translucent, though not browned. Add the garlic and saute for a further 3 minutes.
2. Add the frozen peas and stock and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the peas are soft.
3. Remove from the heat, add the mint leaves and blend in a food processor, or with a hand blender.
4. Pass the mixture through a sieve to remove the pea skins and to make sure the soup is beautifully smooth.
5. Place into the fridge and leave until chilled (about an hour).
6. Stir in the natural yoghurt, season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Taste to check if it needs more seasoning or acid, adjust if required.
7. Pour into bowls, and crumble some of the goats cheese on the top. Garnish with the almonds and garlic cress. Finish with a drizzle of good quality olive oil.
Passing the peas....the only hard part of this recipe!
Plated and beauteous
Recently I published a review of Dabbous
, the hot new eatery by Ollie Dabbous that has taken London by storm in the last 2 years. Only three weeks after opening Fay Maschler gave it a groundbreaking 5/5 stars and then within 8 months it had won its first Michelin star. I won't duplicate my review here but, let's just say that I loved it. Read the full spiel here. Their signature dish is a beautiful 'coddled hen's egg with woodland mushroom and smoked butter'.
Coddling is an old method of cooking eggs, seldom seen nowadays. Essentially it means barely cooking the eggs, either by steaming them or placing them in a special egg coddling pot. In a bid to
keep reliving the wonderful evening I spent in Dabbous
, I have recreated the recipe.The results, I must say, are pretty good. Texturally, mine is a little different to Dabbous', but I think the taste is pretty bang on. Eggs are one of my favourite ingredients. As is, now I think about it, butter.
Barely cooked, luxurious silky eggs stirred through with an absolutely filthy amount of butter, together with deep, earthy mushroom and a warm edge of smoke. Texturally...almost obscene. Served with some toasted farmhouse bread (please, no more butter), this is just the best brunch, lunch, dinner, breakfast, etcetera
etcetera, dish. Seriously though - you can eat this whenever - as a brunch or as a dinner starter. If you want to listen to this recipe too you can do - it features in the weekly food radio show I present for! See the link at the bottom of this page.
Ingredients (Serves 3):
300g mushrooms, mixed types if you can - e.g. chestnut, trompette, chanterelles, etc. - finely diced
4 eggs (AND their shells)
Lemon juice, a squeeze of
Smoked salt (optional)
Bread, to accompany, if desired
1. To prep the egg shells (for serving); the easiest way of doing this is with an egg cutter. One of these devices will perfectly remove the top of the egg without breaking the rest. If you don't have one, no problem. Take a sharp knife and gently tap around the top of the egg about 1cm below the summit, to remove the top of the egg. Collect the egg yolk and white in a separate bowl. Gently snap off any jagged bits, to leave as smooth an edge as possible. Wash out the inside of the egg shells with some water and keep until needed later. Do this for all the eggs needed - one per person.
2. Next prep the mushrooms. Melt about 60g of the butter in a pan and then saute the mushrooms on medium heat for about 6 minutes until they are cooked through. They'll release a load of water as they cook and then soak it back up. Season the mushrooms with a pinch of normal salt and with a squeeze of lemon. Leave until later and reheat just before, if required.
3. Now for the eggs. Gently break up all your eggs in a bowl with a fork - don't over whisk them. Then melt all the rest of your butter (yes, all the rest) in a frying pan. Turn the heat all the way down low. Tip in the eggs and stir them into the butter. Now, cook the eggs and butter on the very lowest heat possible, gently moving the eggs about with a spoon occasionally. Try to make this stage take as long as possible. When the eggs are barely set, and still runny, immediately take them off the heat. They should be on the very edge of being undercooked - and remember, they will continue to cook even when you take them off the heat. Season with a little of the smoked salt and stir through a heaped tablespoon of the mushroom.
4. Spoon a little bit of the mushrooms into the bottom of the empty egg shells. Next the coddled egg, then some more mushroom, and then more coddled egg. Serve with toasted bread, or by itself.
You'll have absolutely loads left over that won't fit in the egg shells, but have that on the side to top up!
As sunsets on beachy shore, blood red drops in orange jus
, the sunrise in the tequila, so are the shades of beetroot cured salmon. Stunning, stunning and that again. Plated on white and with baby yellow, mustard dill sauce, meals turn into studies of colour and taste. For nor is this recipe style over substance. The beetroot adds a pleasant earthiness to the classic gravlax flavours of salt and citrus. The horseradish, just a hint of the harsh. The gin? Well, I just fancied a tipple. No, not really. I felt the botanicals and juniper would combine well with the lime and dill and, indeed, they do. I hope you enjoy it - everyone I've served it to has! Serve with nice dense brown bread and a mustard & dill sauce (click here for the recipe)
, or even just alone or with a bit of lemon.
Ingredients (makes 2 salmon fillets worth - half quantities for one fillet):
1 salmon (Ask your fishmonger to gut it for you and take its two fillets off. I'll tell you how to fillet it though below, in case you buy it whole like I did or get it from a generous fishing friend. It doesn't matter if it is scaled or descaled for gravlax). Use just one fillet too if you want to make less.
60g fresh dill, big stalks discarded and leaves chopped finely
7 tablespoons salt, sea salt best and finely ground
2.5 tablespoons of sugar
3/4 of a lime, diced
300g raw beetroot, grated
2 tablespoons gin
3 tablespoons grated horseradish
1. Fillet your salmon (skip ahead if you have done this): with a very sharp knife, carefully slice the salmon from tail to the head end about parallel with the gills. BE CAREFUL NOT TO PUT YOUR KNIFE IN TOO DEEP AND PUNCTURE THE GUTS. A sharp knife is key. Reach in and draw out the guts with a tug, discard. Take a teaspoon and scrape along the spine to remove the blood sac. Rinse out with a bit of water.
Chop the head off, just behind the gills. Place the fish with the spine side facing you and slice down the spine of the fish, cutting the top fillet off by sliding the knife in and along the top of the spine bones, following the natural line of them and making the cut in smooth, slices. Cut along like this to the tail and remove the top fillet. Turn the fish upside down and repeat with the other fillet. Done.
If making just one fillet's worth, cut the fillet in half (so you have two fat short pieces, NOT two long skinny pieces).
2. Take a plate large enough to hold the fillets and lay clingfilm over it. Mix the salt and sugar together. Mix the beetroot with the gin and horseradish. Lay the fillets side by side on the dish.
3. Scatter the salt, sugar mix down the middle of each fillet. Don't scatter it out to the edges - keep it in the middle fat bit, it will spread out to the thinner edges while it cures and if you place it on the edges it will over cure them.
4. Take half of the dill and scatter it all over one of the fillets so that all of the flesh is covered. On top of that place half the grated beetroot. Then scatter the diced lime over it. Make sure the lime doesn't touch the flesh of the fish or it will make it go white as the acid 'burns' it. Keep it on top of the dill and beetroot. Then cover it with the rest of the beetroot, then the dill.
5. Place the 'undilled' fillet on top of the other one, flesh to flesh (skin on the outside) like a salmon fillet sandwich! Wrap the clingfilm up and around the fillets, forming a tight parcel and trying not to get any air in there. Take more clingfilm and wrap it even tighter. Put a second plate on top of the parcel and weigh it down with something.
6. Refrigerate this for 2 days. Expect leakage and drain this off about twice a day and turn it occasionally, twice a day to make sure the brine (formed by the salt and lime) cures the salmon evenly.
7. After 2 days remove the wrapping, separate the fillets and scrape off the beetroot, dill and lime. Slice diagonally in thin slices. Serve!!!
48 hours later...
Sliced and beautiful
Scallops and black pudding- a classic combination. Almost as classic (and commonplace) as the classic scallops, peas, bacon combo that so often graces tables, TV screens and Come Dine With Me/Amateur MasterChef shows across the nation, if not world. Not to disparage it- pea, scallop and bacon go perfectly and are delicious, but I am just bored stiff now by it. The culinary equivalent of sitting next to Uncle Jeff at the Christmas dinner table, hearing about his job in IT.
I have tried to bring a little bit of life to this combination by mixing it up and bringing in the big risotto guns. It's a good dinner party starter - you can even make the risotto for dinner the night before, reheat it and use it with this. Although of course, that is definitely not how this most carefully composed and thought out recipe came about.....
Only joking - it's great. People will like it. Classic cooking, tasting good, happy days.
Ingredients (serves 4):
For the risotto:
2 handfuls Arborio risotto
1 white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 black pudding sausage, roughly chopped
800ml approx. chicken stock
glug white wine, optional
12 hand dived scallops (3 each for a starter, 4 each or more for a lunch/main)
Optional: chopped/minced basil, olive oil, lemon juice
1. For the risotto: Heat some oil in a large pan and saute the onion until soft over medium heat, approx. 2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for a further minute. Add the risotto rice and a knob of butter and saute for approx. 2 minutes until the risotto rice has gone a little translucent. Make sure to keep it moist with the butter and moving constantly in the pan.
2. Add the white wine (optional) and leave to bubble for 3o seconds or so. Add a glug of the stock and stir continuously until it has all been absorbed. Add another glug of stock and repeat. Repeat this step, continuously stirring to make sure it is creamy, until the risotto rice is soft and cooked through - you might not even need all the stock, judge by the rice.
3. While this is going on, fry off your black pudding in a separate pan until soft and cooked through.
4. When your risotto is finished add your black pudding and stir through. Season with plenty of fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper and stir a big knob of butter through. Put to one side and leave until later. As I say - you can make this earlier and just serve up when you need it with the scallops.
5. For the scallops: put a non-stick frying pan on to heat over high heat. Add a very small knob of butter to grease the pan a little, but otherwise leave it dry, no oil. The pan should be smoking hot. Pat your scallops dry, season with a little salt and place into the pan carefully. Don't cook 16 of them in one pan - you don't want to overcrowd the pan so it loses its heat. If required do in batches or have several pans going. Leave to cook on one side for about 1 minute. Don't be moving it around loads, just leave them alone to cook so that they can get a good crust on. You can occasionally use your fingers to just move it slightly to make sure that it isn't sticking, but don't be stirring them around the pan with a spoon.
After about a minute, when the first side has a nice golden crust on it, turn it onto the other side. You can add a spoonful of butter at this point if you want to baste them with. Fry on this side for about another 40 seconds. Season with a little salt and pepper. At this point remove from the pan and place to one side.
6. Plate by spooning 4 little islands of risotto onto the plate and by placing a scallop on top of each.
7. Optional: mix some chopped up basil, a squeeze of lemon juice and some olive oil together and drizzle around the plate - it looks pretty and adds a little zing!
This week I had an old friend over for dinner. This is someone I grew up with, someone whom I explored the trappings of village adolescence with; smoking in the village park, deceiving our parents with stories of sleepovers whilst tearing up the midnight streets of Leeds, more than a little experimentation. We've both now grown up in different ways and it's funny how many changes the years can bring, while at the same time so few. And although they might have snatched our mutual loves of 'wobbly, jackin' house music' (indeed, nowadays all that wobbles with me are my jellies and ever growing lumbars), still our love of blue cheese remains, transcendent of the summers & winters apart.
That evening I cooked this dish: a risotto of pea, bacon & blue cheese with a poached egg. Creamy Gorgonzola with its acidic bite, sweet pea, salty bacon, rich egg. Healthy sprinklings of Parmesan. For me, risotto in hand, wine glass in the other and old childhood friend gabbing away on the sofa, life doesn't get much sweeter.
Ingredients (Serves 2):
2 handfuls Arborio risotto rice (approx. 1 per person)
6 rashers unsmoked bacon, chopped roughly
2 handfuls of peas, frozen are fine
glug of white wine
approx. 800ml chicken stock
125g Gorgonzola, chopped into chunks
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small white onion, diced
Required: cling film
1. Heat some oil in a large saucepan on medium heat and gently saute the onion for 3-4 minutes, until soft, not coloured. Add the garlic and saute for another minute. Then add in the risotto rice, a knob of butter and saute, continuously stirring until the risotto rice is lightly fried and translucent, about 2 minutes. Make sure it is always kept wet by the butter and oil and always keep moving it. You don't want it to get any colour or burn.
2. Add in a good glug of white wine and leave to bubble so that the alcohol burns off. Stir. Add in a glug of the chicken stock and stir continuously for a minute or so, until the stock has all been absorbed. Add another glug of stock and repeat. Repeat this continuously, always stirring - it is this that gives risotto its desired creaminess. Do this until the risotto rice is soft, cooked through but still with a tiny bit of bite. At this point stop adding the stock - you don't want it to be too liquidy. You might not need to use all the stock -you might even need more - it isn't an exact art, judge when it is done by the rice.
3. While you are doing this, fry off your bacon in a separate pan until crispy. Set a pan of water on to boil.
4. For the poached eggs: Take a large square of cling film and lay over a teacup. Poke the clingfilm a little bit inside the cup so there is a bit of a dip, where you can crack an egg into. Oil the clingfilm with some vegetable oil. Crack an egg into it. Gather the sides of the cling film up, squeezing out any air and twist to make a little egg parcel!! Do this for all your eggs. 3 minutes before your risotto is ready, place into boiling water and poach like that for 3 minutes. By doing it this way you can cook all your eggs at the same time, they are a consistent shape and cook the same way every time. It is foolproof.
5. When the risotto rice is nearly done, tip in the bacon and peas and stir in to combine. Scrape in all the bacon oil and scraps & swirl the pan with stock to wash out all that lovely pork, salty flavour and tip in.
6. Once the rice is cooked, turn the heat off, stir in a large knob of butter to add final richness and shine, gently fold in your Gorgonzola and season with salt (you won't need much - the bacon and cheese are salty enough), pepper and fresh lemon juice. Plate. Remove your eggs from the clingfilm. Place on top of your risotto, season with a little bit of salt. Grate Parmesan over the whole thing. Serve.
Every year I am in charge of the Christmas starter. Main course, be it Goose or (God, forbid) Turkey, is still very firmly in the domain of Mother. Indeed it will be a significant and poignant day when I take over the realms of the Christmas Day Lunch - a sort of coming of age moment.
Anyway - in my parents retirement we have moved to Kent and are a bare 20 miles from France! The potential for many booze and food runs to France is there and realised. This year we went over and got a giant slab of yummy duck foie gras and it was my lucky job to turn it into a delicious dish!
I love the texture of foie gras when it is seared - molten, oozing, achingly soft on the inside, texture and seared bite on the outside. Salt, fat, mmm. I wanted something acidic to cut through the fat of it to go with it too and something fruity for a bit of balancing sweetness - hence the pickled fruits. I took the inspiration for the pickled blackberries from the St John restaurant in Chinatown where I had eaten them the week before - I think it works in this context fabulously. Delicious.
The fruits are all individually pickled in complimentary brines. You can do these the day before and then just dish them up on the day.
Ingredients (serves 4):
600g whole lobe of fresh foie gras
2 cups white wine vinegar
6 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons salt
1 cup balsamic vinegar
zest of one lime
1 cinnamon stick
1. For the pickled radishes: Put a cup of white wine vinegar, a cup of water, 2 tablespoons of sugar and a tablespoon of salt into a pan and bring to the boiling point. Take off the heat and pour over the radishes. Leave to infuse for 4+ hours.
2. For the pickled cherries: Put a cup of balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons of sugar and a tablespoon of salt into a pan and bring to the boiling point. Take off the heat and pour over the cherries and add the cinnamon. Leave to infuse for 4+ hours.
3. For the pickled blackberries: Put a cup of white wine vinegar, a cup of water, 2 tablespoons of sugar and a tablespoon of salt into a pan and bring to the boiling point. Take off the heat, add the lime zest and pour over the blackberries. Leave to infuse for 4+ hours.
4. For the foie gras: keep refrigerated until just before ready. Remove and slice into 3/4 inch slices. Heat a frying pan over medium/high heat for 1 minute or so until nice and hot. Don't add any oil - as soon as the foie gras goes in it will start to melt (it essentially is just pure fat) - oil is an unnecessary addition. When the pan is hot add a slice of the foie gras carefully to the pan using a pallet knife - be carefully, it falls apart easily. Saute on each side for about 2 minutes. It should be browned on each side with a nice crust, but still rare on the inside. Once seared on both sides put onto kitchen paper to soak up the salt. Season with a little salt.
5. Serve with triangles of toast and the pickled fruit and vegetables. Enjoy.
Sliced and into the pickle
Pickling brine for the cherries
Bit of lime for the brine
For a recent radio show, I was asked to cook a dish in homage to the colossus that is cheese. Cheese is one of my favourite foods. Scrap that - it is more than one of my favourite foods; it is one of my favourite things in general, period.
Souffles on the other hand - nah. I'm sure that sounds somewhat plebish, but I'm not afraid of admitting it. I do not like souffles. In my view, they are pointless. In order to reach their lofty, impressive heights, they need to trap oodles of air inside. And guess what - air tastes pretty, damn bland. And such is my experience always with souffles - bland, bland, bland. Spongy, inconsistent, insubstantial, style over substance.
However, this is where the Twice Baked Cheese Souffle dives in and saves the day. Composed of strong, pungent cheese, dense and rich, smothered in a sharp cheese sauce and fragrant with chives. Ideal! Nor does it's name have to strike fear into the hearts of cooks - because it's twice baked it doesn't even have to be towering! You bake it once, deliberately let it sink, drown it in dairy and gulp it down. Beyond ideal.
Anyway - give this a try. Totally achievable and you'll give pretentious people a thrill if you cook it for dinner.
See below the recipe to be linked to the episode too - why not cook along to me cooking this!
Ingredients (makes 6 souffles):
1 tablespoon chives, chopped
3 eggs, separated
40g butter, plus extra to grease
100g strong, mature cheddar, grated
1 onion, peeled and cut into wedges
275ml whole milk
1 bay leaf
40g plain flour
1 tsp mustard
salt and pepper
For the second baking:
6 tbsp double cream
50g strong cheddar, grated
1. Heat the oven to 200 Celsius. Butter 6 ramekins and line the bases with baking paper.
2. Pour the milk into a saucepan and add the bay leaf and onion. Simmer over a low heat for 5 minutes, making sure it doesn't boil over. Remove from the heat and set to one side to cool for a few minutes.
3. Melt the butter in a saucepan, remove from the heat and stir in the flour with a wooden spoon. When smooth return to the heat and cook for a minute until it begins to bubble, stirring. Then remove from the heat.
4. Strain the milk through a sieve and discard the onion and bay leaf - they are just used to flavour the milk! Make sure you have around 250mls of milk - if you need more or less, just pour some away or add some fresh milk. Stir the milk gradually into the roux (flour and butter mix). Return to the heat and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes until it comes to a boil and thickens.
5. Once it has thickened add the cheddar, mustard, salt and pepper and cook until the cheese has melted and you have a thick, smooth mixture. Stir in the chives and leave to stand for 5 minutes.
6. Once cooled beat in the egg yolks gradually.
7. Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until they form stiff peaks. Now add a large spoonful of the white mix into the cheese mixture and very gently fold in. This first spoonful prepares the thick cheese mix to receive the rest of the egg whites. Then gradually fold in the rest. You want to keep as much air inside the mix as possible so it rises and is light, so be very gentle.
8. Spoon the mix into the ramekins and bake in the centre of the hot oven for 15-20 minutes until it is well risen and golden brown on top. Do not open the oven, especially during the first 12 minutes of cooking or your souffles will collapse. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
9. When they are cool, slide a knife around the edge of your souffles and spoon out. Place into a baking dish upside down.
10. 2nd baking: Preheat your oven to 200 Celsius.
11. Sprinkle your souffles with grated cheese and spoon over the double cream. Bake for 10 minutes until the cheese has melted into the double cream and it is golden brown on top. Serve immediately.
Good with a simple side salad and garnished with some chopped chives.
onions and milk infusing
folding in the egg whites - gently does it
rise baby rise
ready to be cheesed up
Happy Pancake Day from the FoodGoblin kitchen!
Try this for a change. Sweet crepes are beautiful, fabulous things, but so are savoury. Mint, pea, bacon, parmesan - the most erotic of foursomes. Uber quick too - make the batter in advance and you can whip this up in about 5 minutes.
I took my pancake recipe from Gizzy Erskine and it's actually very very good. I think it's the extra egg yolk - it makes it richer and have a good eggy flavour.
Good for a lunch or light dinner!
Ingredients (makes about 8 small pancakes):
For the pancakes:
110g plain flour
1 egg yolk
butter for frying
6 rashers bacon, cut into lardons
handful of mushrooms, chopped
handful of parmesan, grated
300g frozen baby peas
6 fresh mint leaves
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper
1. For the pancakes: place the dry ingredients into a bowl. Gradually whisk in the milk, egg and yolk and whisk until smooth, with no lumps. Adding in the liquids gradually helps minimise lumps too. Place covered in the fridge and leave to sit for 30 minutes.
2. Fry the bacon in some oil until crispy. Add the mushroom in and saute for 3-4 minutes until cooked through. Set to one side.
3. Plunge the peas into boiling water and leave for 2 minutes to soften. Sieve and blend the peas with the milk until smooth. Add the mint leaves and sieve again until smooth. Taste - add more mint if needed.
4. Add your pea puree to a saucepan and put over low, medium heat, stirring, to warm through. Add the lemon juice and season - taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.
5. For the pancakes: take a crepe pan or non-stick frying pan and put over medium heat. Add a knob of butter and leave to melt and sizzle. Then add a ladle of the pancake mix and tip the pan to spread it thinly over the surface of the hot pan. Leave on this side for around 2 minutes, shaking the pan every now and then to keep the pancake loose and stop it sticking to the pan. Flip the pancake onto its other side (use a spatula if you're not confident tossing it) and cook for another 30 seconds. Each side should be lightly golden and soft. You can make these in advance and then reheat later.
6. Make sure your pea and bacon mixes are hot and ready. Return your crepe to the pan over low heat to rewarm. Scatter the Parmesan over it and warm for 30 seconds. Remove from the pan, scatter some bacon and mushroom and roll up. Repeat with the other crepes, keeping them warm in an oven until all are ready (or serving in batches). Drizzle with the pea and mint puree and serve!
What a colour
Pancake flipping time