Next week is one of my favourite holidays, Shrove Tuesday, better known as pancake day. The day before the start of lent when everyone eats lots and lots of pancakes. I can always remember my excitement as a child as we would always eat pancakes for dinner on this momentous occasion. Despite their ease we didn’t really eat pancakes too often and they were always considered as a special treat. Plus there was the excitement of seeing if you could flip the pancake just like they did on Blue Peter. It was an exciting day to behold.
In England we like to make our pancakes more like the French crepes than the fluffy American ones, drizzled with just a little lemon and sugar and maybe some golden syrup for good measure. However this year I decided I wanted to bring you something different and bring back another nostalgic treat, the Findus Crispy pancake! Findus crispy pancakes are a frozen snack food that come in a variety of flavours. Popular in the 70s and 80s they have now gained notoriety for being the food of the Chavs but personally I will always look back on them with fondness.
Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall brought out his own recipe for homemade crispy pancakes which is what I present to you today with a few changes. I filled mine with a creamy cheesy chicken filling but you can do whatever you like. Even just grated cheese works well. Minced beef or cheese and ham are other good alternatives.
165g of all purpose flour
300ml of milk
A pinch of salt
1 chicken breast
1 green pepper
1/2 an onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of mixed herbs
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of flour
300ml of milk
100g of cheddar cheese
A plate of seasoned flour
2-3 eggs beaten in a large bowl
A bowl of breadcrumbs (빵가루)
To make the filling, finely chop the onion and garlic and fry off in a little olive oil for a few minutes. Chop the chicken, green pepper, and mushrooms into very small pieces and add to the pan. Add the mixed herbs and fry until the chicken has cooked through and the vegetables have softened.
To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan then add the flour. Stir together to form a roux then add the milk. Stir continuously over a low heat until the sauce thickens. This will happen very quickly so make sure you keep an eye on it. Once the sauce has thickened (you may need to add more milk if its too thick). Add the cheese and stir until melted. Pour over the chicken chicken and vegetables and mix together.
To make the pancakes put the flour and salt in a bowl and mix together. Beat the egg into the milk then add it to the flour and mix together until there are no lumps. Leave the batter to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. When the batter is ready, heat a spoon or two full of oil in a frying pan until it is nice and hot then add a ladle-full of the batter and move it all around the pan. You don’t want them to be too thin, but not too thick either, about 1-2mm. After about a minute or so the pancake should be nicely browned, flip it over and cook the other side for another 30 seconds or so. Put the pancake on a plate to cool while you cook the remaining pancakes.
When the pancakes are done put a 2 tablespoons on the mixture in the middle and top with a little grated cheese. You don’t want too much as it will splodge out the sides. Fold the pancake over to make sure the edges come together. Then unfold and brush beaten egg all around the edge to seal it together. Take your pancake then dip first into the flour, then into the egg, and finally into the breadcrumbs. Fry in a little oil for about 3 minutes on each site. To warm through the middle and give the breadcrumbs a nice golden brown colour. Voilà the perfect savoury pancake for Shrove Tuesday!