Savory Crispy Pancakes

March 8, 2015

 

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So I’ve got a bad feeling right about now. Not one of those “oh no, disaster is imminent” kinds of feelings, but more like a “I totally missed out on that” deprived kind of feeling. As it turns out, kids in  Sweden, the UK, Ireland, Italy and Iceland (and possibly even more countries) have been happily enjoying a childhood staple known as the Findus Crispy Pancake for years. Apparently if you talk to any person who was a child from the 1970’s on in these countries they will become oh so nostalgic and wax poetic about these crispy pancakes, the most wonderful comfort food they remember. From the many blogs I’ve read, it seems that children really wanted these mass-produced , deep-fried, frozen savoury pancakes which were filled with apparently suspect meat (more on that later…) and gloopy sauces, but their wise Moms (lesson here…always listen to your mom…) wouldn’t let them have them. Now that they’re grown, they’ve found that if they are feeling a bit retro and can’t find these little blasts from the past in their local market, (you can possibly blame the great UK Findus Factory fire from a few years back…) they can just make them at home. Even Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall from the River Cottage has tried his hand at reproducing the classic treat. (Take a look at the video link of him doing just that noted below). But for those of us here in the U. S. of A….not a crispy pancake in sight. In fact, I had never heard of them until I read about them on Warm & Snug & Fat (great blog! ). That was the moment that I figured out that I had been cheated!

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But what is a Crispy Pancake? Well apparently it is a pancake which has been filled with various mixtures of meats and or cheese, folded over, breaded and deep-fried. Findus sold many varieties of these frozen delicacies, such as Cheddar Cheese, Chicken Sweetcorn & Bacon, Chicken Curry, Minced Beef & Onion, Ham & Cheese, Tomato & Mozzarella. They even tried to get a bit posh and sell a Lobster Thermidor one a few years back. But alas, Findus was recently hit with quite a scandal back in 2013 when it was revealed that the “beef” in their beef lasagne was actually mostly horse meat. And that was not true only of the lasagne beef, turns out that the beef in the Minced Beef Crispy Pancake was also quite suspect. Yikes! (As I said…always listen to your Mom).

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Hmmm…I’m thinking that these Findus Pancakes sound a bit like Hot Pockets, but not really. And horse meat scandal aside, I was really curious about these little devils. As I’m sure those of you who have been following along with me know, the husband and I love meat pies, and this is basically a meat pie in a deep-fried kind of pancake way. So, there was nothing to be done but to go ahead a make a bunch up. I did the Chicken, Sweetcorn & Bacon recipe as did Amee at Warm & Snug & Fat. I must say, Savory Crispy Pancakes are delicious! I don’t know if these are anything like those original Findus ones from everyone’s (but mine) childhood, but wow, they are pretty yummy! Crispy and crunchy on the outside, with a warm rich and gooey bacon-y filling. These are great for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner…Oh and then there is Pancake Tuesday (Pancake Day). You know the day that some folks call Fat Tuesday? The Tuesday before Lent. These would be just the thing to serve then. Whew! I’m so glad I’m in the know now…make up a batch today so that you will be too! And if you grew up privy to this pancake secret, you should really do a Findus Pancake brunch, complete with fancy champagne drinks and all, just for old times sake…

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Savory Crispy Pancakes

  • Servings: Eight 5
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe slightly adapted from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall from River Cottage (watch him actually cook them here) via Warm & Snug & Fat

Ingredients:

For the Pancakes:

  • 165 grams all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 small egg
  • About 300ml whole milk
  • Oil for frying

For the Chicken/Sweet corn filling:

  • 25 grams butter
  • 25 grams all-purpose flour
  • 250 ml hot chicken stock
  • Kernels sliced from 1 cob of corn (3/4 cup corn)
  • 2 chicken breasts, thinly sliced (about 4 ounces)
  • 6 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp chopped rosemary
  • 1 tsp chopped thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For Final Assembly:

  • 6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 200 grams Panko or fine white bread crumbs
  • A little paprika (optional)
  • A little turmeric (optional) -Apparently these pancakes a la Findus had a pronounced nuclear orange coloring and the tumeric will help you achieve this fake tan look.
  • Oil, for frying

Directions:

For the Pancakes:

Place the flour and salt in a bowl. Break the egg into the centre, then start whisking it into the flour, gradually incorporating the milk. Keep adding milk and whisking until you have a smooth batter the consistency of single cream. Rest the batter in the fridge for 30 minutes.

For the Filling:

Melt the butter in a small pan over a medium heat. Stir in the flour to make a roux, then cook this gently for two minutes. Remove from the heat, add a good splash of the hot stock and beat until you have a smooth paste. Repeat with a little more stock, then a little more. Add the remaining stock in two or three lots, beating well with each addition to get rid of any lumps. Return the pan to the heat. Bring slowly to a simmer, and cook gently for a couple of minutes, stirring often, until thickened. Add the chicken, bacon, corn kernels, garlic and herbs and simmer for another five minutes or so, until the chicken is completely cooked. Season with salt and pepper. Leave to cool.

To Cook the Pancakes:

Heat a little oil in a small frying pan (about 6″ or 15cm in diameter) over a high heat. Pour in 1/3 cup of the pancake batter, immediately swirling the batter around to form a pancake (don’t make it too thin – these need to be a little more robust than your standard crepe). Cook for a minute or two, until bubbles appear on the surface of the  pancake and it is golden-brown underneath. Flip it and cook the other side for another 30 seconds or so. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Final Assembly:

To assemble, take one pancake and spoon some of your chosen filling on to one half of it. You only need a tablespoonful or so – don’t overfill the pancakes. Brush some beaten egg around the edge of the pancake and sprinkle on a little flour to form a natural glue. Fold the pancake over to make a half-moon shape, and press the edges to seal.

Put the flour in a deep dish and season well with salt and pepper. Put the beaten eggs in a second dish, then the Panko or breadcrumbs in a third. Season the breadcrumbs, if you like, with paprika and turmeric – not essential but it gives the pancakes their fake tan orange colour, which is large part of their charm. Dip the stuffed pancakes into each of the three dishes until completely breaded.

Heat a 1mm layer of oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the breaded pancakes a few at a time, for about 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and piping hot in the middle. Drain briefly on kitchen paper. Serve straight away.

Enjoy!

Savory Crispy Pancakes brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

 

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Traditional Irish Pancakes for Pancake Tuesday

March 3, 2014

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Hey…wait a second! Pancakes? Weren’t you expecting Pancakes yesterday with that Flapjack post? Well here they are today. But again, they are not the pancakes you may be used to in the States. These are Traditional Irish Pancakes and tomorrow, March 4th is Pancake Tuesday! Also know as Pancake Day, Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday depending on where you might be standing at the time, this is the last day before Lent begins. So what does that have to do with a Pancake? Well, during Lent folks were supposed to abstain from eating any luxurious or decadent foods which included milk, butter and eggs. Making pancakes along with all of their traditional toppings was a good way to use up all of these forbidden ingredients before the period of fasting began. Traditional Irish Pancakes are thinner, more like a French crêpe, than those big, fluffy, cake-like buttermilk versions so often found in America. Traditionally, you will find these pancakes topped with lemon juice and a sprinkling of superfine sugar. However I’ve also heard of folks eating them with Lyle’s Golden syrup, jellies, jams, honey or Nutella, all of which seem more decadent to me than lemon juice and sugar.

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What did I get up to with mine? Well, I just happened to have a jar of Green Apron’s award-winning Chocolate Raspberry Preserves which I had squirreled away after my last visit to Ireland. The Green Apron is a small artisan preserve company located Derryclough, Ballingarry, County Limerick, Ireland, owned and operated by my friend Theresa Storey. All of the preserves they produce are shamefully delicious, but the Chocolate & Raspberry is my particular favourite. Last year, I made some Chocolate & Raspberry Buttermilk Doughnuts with them to kick off my St. Patrick’s Day countdown. I still drool a bit when I think back to them. If you are in Ireland and would like to get ahold of a jar, you can find the Green Apron in the Limerick Milk Market every Saturday. They also do some other markets and fairs from time to time, so check their Facebook page for updates. I’m afraid The Green Apron Preserves are not being sold in the States at this time, but if you visit Ireland, make sure to pay them a visit while there. So back to my pancakes. Those Chocolate & Raspberry Preserves seemed pretty decadent to me, so I broke out the jar that I had been hoarding away and schmeared  that jammy goodness all over a pancake or two. Yum!

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Guess you could say that I’m all set now for 40 days of deprivation…or not! (just wait until you see all the decadent creations I will be blogging about for the next 14 days…you’ll know there is no abstaining going on around here!) But I’m sure you all will be behaving quite virtuously, so I’m glad you’ll be able to have your last big hurrah for a while tomorrow with these indulgent Traditional Irish Pancakes.

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Traditional Irish Pancakes

recipe from: Irish American Mom

Yield: 12 – 15 pancakes

Ingredients:

for the batter:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 oz. ( 1/2 stick) butter, melted
  • 2 oz. (1/2 stick) butter, melted  (for frying)

toppings:

  • freshly squeezed lemon juice ( 2-3 lemons)
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar (superfine sugar)
  • jams, Nutella, Lyle’s Golden syrup, honey

Directions:

Whisk flour and salt together in large bowl. Make a well in the center.

Mix eggs and milk together until fully incorporated.

Slowly pour milk mixture into well in dry ingredients bowl, whisking all the while. Continue mixing until you have a smooth batter.

Add melted butter and continue whisking until smooth.

Heat 8″ skillet over medium high heat. Brush pan with melted butter.

Pour approximately 1/4 cup of batter into the pan. Tilt from side to side until a thin layer of batter is achieved.

Cook until bubbles appear in batter and the top starts to look a bit dry – approximately 1 minute.

Flip pancake and continue to cook for an additional minutes.

Transfer cooked pancakes to plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

When ready to assemble, pour 1 teaspoon lemon juice on each pancake and sprinkle with caster sugar. Or alternatively cover pancake with toppings of your choice. Roll each pancake up and devour!

Enjoy!


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