Well it is Pancake day and in honor of that I decided to do something special for dinner. While pancakes in the States are traditionally made from a thick batter in England the batter is thinner, more like a crepe. I went for a savory meal tonight and am pleased to share my adventure of making my first ever English pancake meal
Spicy Lamb-Filled Pancakes
3/4 c. plain flour
3/4 cup of milk
5 tbps cold water
3 tbps butter, melted
olive oil for frying
2 tbsp olive oil
half a pound of lamb mince
1 onion, peeled, chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled, chopped
2 jalapenos, chopped
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp tomato purée
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup of polenta
1 eggs, beaten, for egg wash
For the filling, heat two tablespoons of the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the lamb mince and fry, turning regularly, for 4-5 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside on a warm plate.
Add the onion, garlic and chillies to the pan the lamb mince was cooked in and fry for 5-8 minutes, or until softened.
Return the lamb to the pan, then add the paprika and tomato purée and stir well. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Continue to cook the filling mixture over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 20-25 minutes, then set aside to cool.
For the pancakes: sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Using your finger, make a hole in the center of the flour mixture and break the eggs into it. Fold the eggs into the flour until well combined. Gradually fold in the milk and water, a few tablespoons at a time, stirring continuously, until the mixture is completely smooth and all of the liquid has been incorporated. Add the melted butter and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Remember the batter not meant to be thick.
Add about 4 tbsp of the pancake batter to a hot, oiled pan, swirling the mixture till the batter coats the bottom of the pan evenly. Fry for 30-40 seconds, then turn over and continue to cook the pancake for a further 20-30 seconds, or until pale golden-brown. Place the cooked pancake onto a warm plate and cover with a sheet of greaseproof paper. Repeat the process with the remaining oil and the remaining batter mixture, until all of the batter has been used up and you have a stack of pancakes. Keep warm.
Place one of the pancakes onto a clean work surface. Take the beaten egg and lightly coat one side of the pancake, then turn it over. Spoon a line of the filling mixture down the middle of the pancake, leaving the edges free. Roll the pancake up using your hands, folding it in at the edges to form a parcel. Repeat the process with the remaining pancakes and the remaining filling mixture.
Dip the parcels into the polenta and then transfer them to a an oil filled frying pan. Make sure you place the parcel gently with the folded ends first so the frying process seals it shut. Fry for about 5-6 minutes until crispy and golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside to drain on kitchen paper. Repeat the process with the remaining oil and the remaining filled pancakes.
My recipe for Mediterranean Couscous is an adaptation from a recipe on wonderful blog called MediterrAsian Cooking
2 tbps olive oil
3 tbps tahini paste
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon tomato purée
1 1/2 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup couscous
1/2 cup minced onion
1/2 cup diced tomato
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
1/4 cup roasted pine nuts
Make a dressing by whisking together the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, tahini paste, tomato purée and parsley; season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Combine the water with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoons olive oil in a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir the couscous into the water; cover for 10 minutes.
Take diced peppers, tomatoes and pine nuts and place on a lightly oiled roasting pan and roast veggies until tender. I put them in the oven at 400° F for about 10 minutes. Place the couscous in a large bowl; add chickpeas, roasted vegetables and pine nuts into the couscous. While stirring, slowly pour the dressing into the mixture.
While it took some effort it was all worth it, a delicious treat for a delicious holiday.