Posts Tagged ‘shrove tuesday’

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Pancake Day aka Shrove Tuesday aka Mardi Gras

Shrove Tuesday is once again upon us and everyone will be stocking up on flour, eggs, milk to make their runny batter and have a gluttonous sugary feast before being shriven of these excesses in diet as well as in life.

As a child, I was brought up with the tradition of cr√™pes scattered with sugar and a squeeze of lemon. I never really went in for the jam, chocolate spread, ice cream concoctions which many favour now but I dare say if you’re going in for one full on Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras) kind of blowout, the lemon-sugar variety does seem somewhat austere.

For me it wasn’t necessarily about the pancake eating, even though I had more than my fair share of them, but more about the sheer fun of the evening spent watching everyone have a go at tossing the pancake and then regaling everyone at school about how high we managed to successfully toss the pancake into the air; or alternatively any hilarious anecdotes.

Normally I have supper followed by a pancake tossing session for dessert but recently I have tried to make the pancake my evening meal.¬† Hence why I’ve been trying to find alternatives to the standard runny batter cr√™pe to enjoy on Shrove Tuesday.¬† In the past I’ve made American style pancakes, savoury courgette and cheese ones and last year enjoyed an avocado and banana pancake. This year, I’ve attempted making banana pancakes with only 2 ingredients. Yes. Only 2 ingredients. Eggs and bananas.

Literally blitz 2 eggs and 2 bananas in a blender to create the batter and then fry the pancake dollops on a lightly buttered skillet. They have a foam-banana sweet taste and smell. If you don’t like bananas give these a go with a splash of vanilla extract or cinnamon. The eggs souffl√© the banana mixture making these incredibly light and fluffy. Take care as you flip them as they have a tendency to break as you turn them. Seriously given these a go. Please, just try them.

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Drizzle them with maple syrup, sprinkle cinnamon or icing sugar and sliced bananas.

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Considering the amount of people that had pre-made pancake mix or pancake making ingredients in their shopping trolleys and have been asking questions about ‚Äėthe best pancake pan‚Äô on social media, I know that everyone is going to be piling them high on Shrove Tuesday.

So when it comes to pancakes what is your favourite filling?¬† Are you a lemon and sugar traditionalist or do you satisfy your sweet tooth with Nutella/Golden Syrup?¬† Or do you buck the trend and go for often overlooked savoury cr√™pes…controversial…?

Why not kick your evening off with this courgette, red pepper and feta cheese savoury pancake before moving onto your usual lemon and sugar crêpe for a night of batter-based feasting?

Courgette, red pepper and feta savoury pancake

1st: Grate a courgette and wrap in a dishcloth to extract the water.  Leave for approx 30mins.

2nd: Chop a large red bell pepper into small dice and sauté until soft.  Chop a couple of spring onions and soften in the same pan.  Remove from the heat and crumble in 100g of feta cheese.

3rd: Whisk together 3 eggs, 5 tablespoons of plain flour, the drained courgette shards, and a handful of chopped mint and chopped parsley.  Season with pepper.

4th: Pour oil into a hot pan and pour the batter mixture to create the best flat, round disk you can make using this thick batter.  Cook on both sides for a few minutes a side.

5th: Serve the red pepper and feta filling on top and roll in half.  Sprinkle over some fresh herbs and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

This recipe makes enough for two as a light lunch or dinner served with a rocket salad or some steamed vegetables on the side.

Dare you break with tradition and give this a go?¬† You can always have your lemon and sugar cr√™pe for dessert ‚Äď

I know I am!

Click here for my Shrove Tuesday blog 2013.

The pagans knew how to party! ¬†They marked every festival with mirth and merriment but above all food. ¬†Food playing a central part to their festivities. ¬†So it isn’t really surprising that the Christians adopted this ethos before embarking upon a period of abstinence and denial.

Throughout the 40 days of Lent, people are called to fasting and prayer.  However, the week preceding Lent has become a time of merrymaking, culminating on Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras) referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday.

One way to use up the eggs, milk and fats in the house is to add flour to make pancakes.

How to make the perfect pancakescrepes

  • 120g¬†plain flour
  • pinch¬†salt
  • 2 free-range¬†eggs
  • 210ml¬†milk
  • 90ml water
  • 1 tbsp¬†vegetable oil
  • butter/oil for frying

1st: Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and create a well in the centre.  In a jug mix the milk and water.

2nd: Crack the eggs into the centre and beat into the flour.  Gradually pour the milk and water mixture until you get a smooth liquid.

3rd: Stir in the oil and allow to stand for approx 30mins.

4th: Heat a non-stick frying pan until very hot and then add the butter or oil until the pan is slicked in the butter/oil.  I tend to drain the excess and then wipe nearly clean with a paper towel.  Lower the heat.  Keep checking the heat as you go as you need the batter to cook before you toss/flip it.

Through experience I normally have to sacrifice my first one to the pancake gods before my batch is to prove bountiful

By the time bubbles are forming and popping on top, and the edges look slightly dry the underside should be golden brown.  Only once golden will it be easy to slide the pancake around in the pan.

photoTo toss or not to toss?

All I can say at this stage is to give it a go. ¬†Flipping a pancake is fun. ¬†And that is what being in the kitchen should be about. ¬†Don’t be afraid. ¬†Tip the frying pan away from you and in one quick movement with a flick of the wrist, toss your pancake into the air towards you – always remembering that you need to try and catch it!!

If you are not going to toss it into the air Рonce the underside is golden brown you are going to need to flip the pancake over.  Slide a metal spatula quickly under the centre of the pancake and flip over quickly and purposefully.

 

 

Toppingscrepes1

  • Caster sugar and lemon juice
  • Nutella, bananas and hazelnuts
  • Jam (with an extra sprinkle of sugar!)
  • Golden syrup
  • Ice cream
  • Greek Yoghurt and honey

As these are more¬†French¬†cr√™pes than American hotcakes I wouldn’t go for maple syrup nor crispy bacon as it really does not work here. ¬†Think sugary,¬†chocolaty, rich, decadent¬†and fattening, and you’re on the right track.

At the end of the day, if you’re going to give up sweets and/or chocolate for 40 days why not gorge on them until you’re ready to burst?!

Flipping marvellous!