Roll up! Roll up!

As anyone who has been following this blog knows, I started it to encourage people back in the kitchen when they find themselves having to cook for one, for whatever reason. It’s particularly difficult if they have been used to preparing meals for many and I really hope that over the last few months, you will have found these recipes to inspire you!  However – come the summer and the infrequent sunny days we can have, even I want to be out in it and not inside!  So, today, we are going to look at pancakes – which can be made in advance, frozen between sheets of greaseproof paper so you can just take out as you fancy, and can be savoury or sweet. And there will always be some sitting there if you have a friend come round or you have been out all day and want something quick – you can even freeze the following 2 recipes as they are!

Basic Pancake Recipe

  • 110g plain flour                   pinch of salt                   2 large eggs
  • 200 mls milk mixed the 75ml water                         50g butter

Sieve the flour into a bowl with the salt.  Beat the eggs into the milk and then into the flour.  Take a small frying pan and melt half of the butter, then tip into the pancake mix and beat altogether.  Pour enough mix into the bottom of the pan to cover and cook for a few minutes before flipping over and repeat. Empty on to a plate, stacking as you go.  Use a little of the remaining butter each time to grease the pan when making the rest of the pancakes.

Chicken and Bacon Pancakes

  • 1 tablespoon olive or rapeseed oil
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 100g smoked bacon, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 100g chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ tbsp flour
  • 200ml milk
  • handful parsley, chopped
  • 1 beaten egg
  • Handful of breadcrumbs

Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in a large frying pan. Cook the chicken breast for 5-8 mins each side until golden brown and cooked through, then transfer to a plate. Tip the bacon into the pan and sizzle for a few mins until crispy, then tip out onto the plate with the chicken. If the pan looks dry, add the remaining oil, then the onion. Cook for 5 mins until softened and translucent, then stir in the mushrooms and some seasoning. Cook for 5-10 mins until the mushrooms are soft and most of the liquid in the pan has cooked. Stir in the flour, mixing it into the mushrooms to make a chunky paste, then pour in the milk, a little at a time, whisking continuously until you have a smooth sauce. Bubble for 2-3 mins until thick. Chop the chicken into small chunks and add back to the pan along with the bacon and any juices from the plate. Check the seasoning, stir in the parsley, then leave to cool and chill until you’re ready to fill the pancakes. Heat oven to 200C and line a baking tray with baking parchment. Take one pancake and brush a circle of beaten egg around the edge. Pile a quarter of the chicken mixture into the centre of the pancake (the sauce should have thickened while chilling), then fold the pancake over and press the edges together to make a pasty shape. Transfer to a baking tray and continue assembling however many pancakes you want. Brush the top of each one with more egg and scatter over the breadcrumbs, then bake for 20-25 mins. Leave to cool for 5 mins before serving.

Everyone has a favourite sweet pancake (mine is nutella chocolate spread and crème fraiche!) from simple lemon and sugar, to syrup to stewed fruit so below is just another option you might like to try.  Make the whole amount and either freeze what you don’t use or have it as part of breakfast with yogurt and/or cereal.

Apple Compote

Knob of butter              4 – 5 apples, peeled and sliced                1 cinnamon stick                    3 cloves                           1 star anise                                                 1/2 teasp ginger                       a drizzle of maple syrup (optional)

Melt the butter in a pan, add the apples, cinnamon, cloves, star anise and a good splash of water.  Cover and cook for 5 minutes over a medium heat, then drain any excess liquid (put it in a glass and drink later!) .  Fill as many pancakes as you want  with a spoonful of the compote and a drizzle of maple syrup.






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