This weekend I’ve been busy submitting pitches for April & May articles in the freelance writing I do. I’m slowly getting used to editorial calendars. For one of the months I’ve concentrated on retro dishes with a modern twist. Big thanks to all of you on twitter and Facebook who submitted your favourite retro dishes. There was a definite liking for Battenberg Cake, Prawn Cocktail and Black Forest Gateaux.
I’m very glad I never did submit this particular recipe to my editor because frankly it’s impossible to make it not have that unappetising 70s cookbook mustard hue in photographs. All it’s missing is an orange tartan table cloth and retro Pyrex dish.
I can’t remember being fed Crispy Pancakes as a child but Hubs certainly liked them, especially ones filled with minced beef. Come to think of it we may have been served them occasionally in our catered uni halls alongside frozen omelettes, curly fries and unidentified fried objects. Oh the Student Stone was alive and well there.
So this dish is essentially the components of a crispy pancake but with nicer, fresher ingredients, no horse, and no frying in sight. It can even be made in advance. The yellow breadcrumbs in this dish are thanks to turmeric and paprika mixed in with some panko breadcrumbs. I buy panko breadcrumbs at one of the big Chinese supermarkets in Birmingham but have begun to spot them in supermarkets too. They work so well in many dishes and give a great crunchy coating in dishes. Normal dried breadcrumbs will work just as well.
Confession: I used ready made pancakes. They were giving them away for cheaper than it would be for me to make them in Morrisons. Never again. They don’t taste or have the texture anything like pancakes, more like Staffordshire Oatcakes. No, that’s an insult to Staffordshire Oatcakes.
I promise this dish is far tastier than the photos will suggest.
Crispy Pancake Bake
Meat sauce based on Jamie Oliver’s Pregnant Jools Pasta recipe.
- 115g plain flour
- 300ml milk
- pinch of salt
- 1 egg
- 4 spring onions
- 1 carrot
- 1 stick of celery
- 1 red pepper
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 x 6-pack of good-quality sausages (approx. 400g)
- 1 heaped tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 125g button mushrooms
- 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 390g passata
- 150g creme fraiche
- 30g panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
1) Sift the flour for the pancakes and salt into a bowl. Crack egg into well then gradually whisk in pancake milk. Beat until smooth. Refrigerate batter for 1 hour (optional).
2) Heat non-stick frying pan to med-hot. Pour a ladle of batter into the frying pan, enough to cover the bottom of the pan. As bubbles begin to appear under the batter flip the pancake over. Once cooked pile on a plate with a piece of greaseproof paper between each pancake. They can be made in advance.
3) In a blender finely chop the spring onions, carrot, celery, garlic and red pepper. Skin the sausages and add the sausage meat along with the fennel and oregano to the blender and briefly pulse to bring the ingredients together.
4) Heat the rapeseed oil in a saucepan or deep frying pan. Fry the sausage meat mixture until it has begun to cook then pour the balsamic vinegar and passata in to the pan. Simmer for 10 minutes.
5) While the meat sauce is cooking preheat the oven to 200°c.
6) Take one of your pancakes, place 4 tablespoons of the meat sauce in the middle then roll up. Place the pancake in an oven proof dish. Repeat with the remaining pancakes.
7) It’s likely you’ll have a bit of sauce left. Pour this over the pancakes then dot spoonfuls of the creme fraiche over the top.
8) Mix together the breadcrumbs, turmeric and paprika then sprinkle over the filled pancakes. Bake for 25min until the crispy pancake bake is browned and bubbling.