Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Crispy Pancakes

There was a time before this blog.  It seams like an aeon ago.  In reality it's only 4 months past that I started a daily update on the food that we eat.  We have always* eaten well.  On the odd occasion, when we were feeling particularly proud of our creations, we would even photograph the meals.

Tonight I am recreating a meal that I made a year ago on this very night.  In fact, it is a recreation of childhood memories.  The crispy pancake.  To me this falls into the same category of food as Campbell's Meatballs and Bernard Matthews Golden Drummers.  These were the midweek meals that we ate in front of the telly watching Knightmare or Jossy's Giants.

Now that I'm all grown up, I look back on those innocent meals with a mix of emotions.  The kid in me still longs for things wrapped in breadcrumbs and served with a dollop of tomato ketchup.  The food-bore in me, who knows all about the campaign to ban the Turkey Twizzler, would rather I'd had different favourites as a child.

Last year, in a peak of nostalgia, I decided that I wanted more than lemon juice and sugar on my pancakes.  I wanted to recreate the meals of my youth.  We made the pancakes in the standard fashion and filled them with a basic beef and tomato sauce.  That is where things became interesting.  I knew before I had even started that I was going to dip the folded, stuffed, pancakes, in beaten egg and breadcrumbs, before shallow frying them.  I'd done this before with chicken goujons and fillets of fish, what could go wrong?

Until you have handled a 12" diameter pancake stuffed with mince and tried to pané it you won't understand. To say that it was difficult to handle is an understatement. The pancake was so delicate that a wrong turn would end up with the filling all over the floor, or worse, in the egg mix.  It took some doing but I managed it.

Tonight I have learned from my previous effort and amended the technique.  Knowing how late we tend to eat these days, we got ahead of ourselves on Sunday.  Z, the master of eggs in these parts, knocked up a batch of pancakes using a much smaller frying pan than last year.  I made a chicken and mushroom filling and we froze the lot.

All that was left to do today (after defrosting) was to build the pancakes and cook.  The smaller pancakes made all the difference.  Now that I'm a grown, up I have substituted boiled new potatoes and broccoli for the chips and baked beans of my childhood.  As midweek meals go this is a bit of a faff but for one day a year it's fun to encourage the inner-child and pull some food-wheelies in the process.

*Certainly for the last eight years or so.

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