Tuesday, 17 February 2015


Mushroom n Spinach Savoury Pancakes

Time taken: Quarter of an hour… then an unlimited break… then maybe half an hour
Ingredients: 125g plain flour, a pinch of salt, an egg, 150ml milk, 150ml water, a tablespoon of butter, a small onion, a handful of mushrooms, 120g spinach leaves, a tablespoon of crème fraiche, oil, salt & pepper.

Hi readers,
IT’S PANCAKE DAY!!! Happy Pancake Day, everyone! You can’t help but smile on Pancake Day. :) All Christianity aside, I feel like this is just a very nice, very jolly and British tradition. It brightens up the post-winter stretch to Easter quite nicely, I feel.
For those of us that haven’t aged yet in 2015 and who didn’t have a Significant Other to share Valentine’s with… this is the most excitement we’ve had since Christmas! It really is!
This morning, readers, and this feels like something terrible to admit… I didn’t really fancy pancakes. Honestly, I couldn’t say I was in the mood. My enthusiasm for pancakes was low. Then lower. And the more people talked about them the more disgruntled I got that I wasn’t in the mood. But peer pressure mounted.
And I thought, stuff it, I’m going to have to eat some. I would be a shame not to! It is THE DAY OF PANCAKES. And so I pulled myself together, threw my bodily instincts aside, and devised a cunning plan for how to get excited about Pancake Day.
My plan: savoury pancakes! Literally, this is something I don’t remember ever having tried. My Brother Bear has historically eaten his pancakes savoury with gravy on them, and to me this sounds just awful. Truly poor. Horrifying.
So I did some research, googling away, and in the end I decided upon a recipe by Chef James Martin from the Saturday Kitchen TV show (which I love) for pancakes served with spinach and mushrooms. My thoughts: Mmm. Double mmm. So I hit the shops for ingredients and this was on!
To whisk together a savoury pancake feast like mine, follow these fifteen easy steps:
1. Measure your flour into a mixing bowl, then use your fingers to swirl a well in the middle of the flour and crack an egg into this.
2. In a measuring jug, pour 150ml of milk and 150ml of warm water.
3. Spoon a tablespoon of butter into a mug and pop this in the microwave to melt for 30 seconds.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: Today I was using skimmed milk and light sunflower spread. These were all I had in and, yes, they probably do make a slightly different tasting pancake to if you use whole milk and real butter. But I’m no pancake connoisseur and these worked fine for me, so I say just use whatever’s in the fridge!
4. Pour the contents of your jug and your mug into the bowl and mix everything together!
ChefBeHere Top Tip: If you have a whisk, get this out and do some whisking. You’re aiming to make a smooth and airy batter. So this requires some elbow grease! Crack on! No lumps like you see above.
5. When your batter’s looking fine, you can cover your bowl with clingfilm and take a break.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: The batter should stand for half an hour or so. So just come back whenever you’re free and feeling hungry!
6. Upon your return to the kitchen, prep your veg! Using a sharp knife, peel and chop up a small onion, and slice a handful of mushrooms. Try not to injure yourself.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: As a vegetable snob I advocate getting yourself a red onion and chestnut mushrooms. They are far superior. So true!
7. Let’s make your pancakes. Get your game face on. So, first, heat your oven to a low temperature and heat a little oil in a frying pan, which should also not be too hot. Arm yourself with a spatula.
8. Pour a ladleful of pancake batter into the pan and swirl this around until it covers the base of the pan. Fry for a minute or so until the underside of the pancake has set and is beginning to turn golden.
9. Then (however you can) flip your pancake over so that the other side can fry. When this side also looks golden, slide your pancake onto a plate and cover with foil. Pop this in the oven to keep warm.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: If (like me) you’re an absolute scaredy cat when it comes to pancake flipping, then it’s ok to fold your pancake in half instead of flipping it over onto its other side. This is a little sad, admittedly, but not the end of the world.
10. Add a little more oil to your frying pan and then repeat the process twice more. You should end up with three pancakes warming in the oven under a foil cover.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: Don’t panic if you burn one pancake and have to chuck it away. This is ok. Two will do… stay calm.
11. Next, heat a little more oil in your frying pan. Take your spinach and crème fraiche out of the fridge. Add your onion and mushroom to your frying pan and fry them until they soften.
12. Season your veg with a little salt and pepper, and then add your spinach leaves into the pan. Cook for just a few minutes until your spinach wilts, stirring frequently.
13. Remove your pan from the heat and take your pancake plate out of the oven. You’re almost done!
14. Tip your pancakes over so that they’re sat on their foil and you free up the plate that they were on. Hoist one pancake over to the warmed plate. Spread it with a little crème fraiche. Then spoon half of your mushroom-spinach mix onto the pancake, and fold it over.
15. Repeat with a second pancake, so that you have a pair of savoury pancakes ready to eat! You’ve done it! Hurrayyyyyyyyyyyy.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: If you were a pro with the pan and you’re fortunate enough to have a third pancake left over, which you didn’t set off the smoke alarm with, then keep this pancake warm while you eat your meal, and then top it with something sweet for dessert! I suggest: Lemon and sugar … OR … strawberry and banana … OR … ice cream and chocolate spread. Enjoy :)
Your savoury pancakes might look something like these!

Readers, my pancakes, they tasted GOOD. They were reeeeally rich and it was a big filling plateful of food. But so, so worth the effort. And it was worth severely injuring my thumb chopping mushrooms – which was appalling. There was a lot of running around and some tearful plaster application this evening in the kitchen, but all in aid of a very decent plate of food.
Mushrooms and spinach on pancakes CERTAINLY works and tastes cracking in my opinion, too. This is a recipe that I would recommend to all, and I’ll definitely be trying it again. Hopefully, before next Pancake Day! Because we should all eat pancakes more often, people!
And I managed to make 3 pancakes from this mix without burning any (result!) so I snaffled a jam pancake after my tea today, too, and that helped make my thumb feel a little better. Just a little. Here’s wishing everyone good luck today with your pancakes! And, if you’re too busy today or you’re saving yourself for later on in the week, then there’s still time! Good luck for pancakes sometime soon, readers.

Chop safely,


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