A Really Good Pancake Recipe

Shrove Tuesday is the feast day before Ash Wednesday and the start of the Christian festival of Lent. To many it is celebrated as Pancake Day or in New Orleans and across Latin America, Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday. It is the last blow out in the modern vernacular or celebration before the forty-six days fasting ahead in Lent*. Modern medicine has shown that limited fasting can indeed “cleanse” and detoxify the body. Some traditional non- religious reasons for the Lenten Fast are economic and relate to animal husbandry. For example, Lent fasting allows for the making of cheese, the hatching of chicks and the growth of baby animals.

Across the world as families used up excessive food, local traditions developed such as a feast of salted meat and peas in Iceland, Marzipan filled pastries in Scandinavia and doughnuts in eastern Europe. Many American cities including Chicago celebrate their Polish heritage as Pączki Day. A festival of music, polish specialities and, in particular, Pączki, a type of deep-fried brioche bun filled with plum or rose-hip jam.

Historically Shrove Tuesday was a ‘half-holiday’ in England. It started at 11:00 am with the signalling of a church bell. In England street or mob football matches were played, often involving whole communities. Dating back to the 12th century, towns such as Ashbourne, Sedgefield and Alnwick still maintain the tradition. The pancake race is held in many towns and villages, participants with frying pans race through the streets tossing pancakes into the air, catching them in the pan whilst running. The most famous pancake race, at Olney in Buckinghamshire, has been held since 1445. In Scarborough, the town beach front is roped off for racing.

*How to work out the start date for Lent

Really Good Pancakes

I am a purist. Ice cream is for sundaes. Maple syrup for drop scones or griddle cakes ( an American style pancake ) with perhaps a side of very crisp bacon or blueberries. Cream a travesty. Fruit you can leave alone, a pancake requires simply sugar and freshly squeezed orange or lemon juice.

for 8 pancakes

1 Egg and one Egg Yolk
About 250 ml Milk
100 gr Plain Flour
2 tablespoons melted Butter
a small pinch of Salt
clarified Butter for cooking

Place a large mixing bowl on a damp cloth to stop it slipping and moving. Sift in the flour and salt into the bowl. Whisk in the egg and egg yolk and mix in the milk, pouring it in a slow, constant stream.

 

Eggs, Flour and Milk

When it has achieved the consistency of thin cream, stop adding any more milk and whisk in the butter.

 

Batter Mix

Brush a hot non-stick frying pan with clarified butter. Using a ladle add a little batter to the pan whilst gently twisting the pan to swirl the batter in a thin coating across the pan surface. Cook for about two minutes then flip over. Cook for a further minute until crisp and golden brown, transfer to a warm plate and serve.

Pancake

 

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How do you like your Eggs in the Morning?

So how do you like your eggs in the morning? Coddled, buttered, scrambled ( with smoked salmon oh yes please! ), poached, as the classic Eggs Benedict, an omelet or fried? Well here is something a little different. The classic Mexican breakfast egg dish is Huevos rancheros or fried corn chips topped with eggs and salsa. For the breakfast menu at Hugo’s Bar, Eatry & Store, Jersey, I wanted to do something as tasty but not with the corn chips, a nice gluten free option. So I adapted the classic recipe and developed my Baked Eggs and Bean Chilli.

Mexican Baked EggsSo crank up the brilliant tune, squeeze some fresh orange juice and dig in to this wonderful breakfast treat. To save time make the chilli in advance and just heat up before baking with the eggs. Left over bean chilli makes a great vegetarian nachos.

Mexican Style Eggs                          serves 4

For the Easy Chilli Bean Stew

50 ml quality Olive Oil

1 large Onion, peeled and finely sliced

3 Garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

1 x 400 gr tin Chopped Tomatoes

2- 4 medium-hot smoky Red Chillies

400 gr Mixed Beans – Pinto, Red Kidney, Haricot, rinsed and drained

1 x 400 gr tin of Chickpeas, rinsed and drained

100 ml Vegetable Stock

2 tablespoons Tomato Purée

1 tablespoon Dried Oregano

1 teaspoon Caster Sugar

Juice of 1 Lime

1 teaspoon Ground Cumin

1 Bay Leaf

A small handful of fresh Coriander, roughly chopped

Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper

8 large free range Eggs

A handful of freshly chopped Coriander to garnish

For the Chilli

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium-low heat, add the onions and sauté for about ten minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cumin and cook for a further couple of minutes stirring constantly to prevent burning. Add the stock, tomatoes, chickpeas, beans, oregano and sugar. Season with salt and pepper, bring to the boil and simmer gently for twenty to twenty-five minutes. Remove from the heat and add the lime juice and coriander. Correct the seasoning as required.

Preheat your oven to 350 F / 180 C / Gas mark 4 . Spoon some of the chilli into four shallow heat proof dishes and make two small wells in each. Crack in an egg into each hollow and place in the oven. Bake until eggs are cooked and the yolks are still just liquid. Top with chopped coriander and serve.