Tuesday 5 February 2013

Spinach, ricotta and lardon stuffed pancakes with a roasted red pepper sauce

It’s pancake day soon, and continuing from the ham and mushroom ones I made last year, here are some delicious spinach, ricotta and lardon pancakes.

There are a few steps in this recipe, and it can be quite time consuming, so if you have someone to help you, now is the time to get them aproned-up.

Spinach, ricotta and lardon stuffed pancakes
For the pancakes:
100g flour
A pinch of salt 
2 eggs
200ml milk (or 100ml milk and 100ml of beer)
50g melted butter

You should get about 7 pancakes from this.

Mix the flour and salt in a bowl with the eggs using a whisk. Then dribble in the milk (or the milk and beer) a little at a time, making sure that you mix everything together well before adding the next bit. Your batter should be the consistency of thick pouring cream.
Leave this to rest for about 30 minutes. Just before you’re ready to use it, add in the melted butter and stir it through until the butter is fully combined.

In the meantime, roast two red peppers in a hot oven (190 degrees Celsius) with some garlic cloves and a quartered onion for about 30 minutes. Then blitz these in a food processor with some salt and pepper and a stock cube until you get a smooth paste. If you like, you can add some chilli powder.
The roasted red pepper sauce 
In a separate bowl make the pancake stuffing. You will need:
A fried, finely chopped onion
A packet of lardons, also fried (you can cook the onion and the lardons together)
A tub of ricotta
About 400-450g of spinach (fresh, frozen, whatever you have, just make sure it’s well drained)
A good grating of nutmeg if you have it
100ml cream
Salt and pepper

Mix everything together until they are well combined.
The spinach, ricotta and lardon stuffing
Right, to cooking… For the pancakes, heat a frying pan until it’s very hot. Grease the bottom of it with a little butter and pour in a ladleful of batter, swirling the pan to evenly coat the bottom. Return the pan to the heat and cook for about one minute. Take a peak underneath: if it’s brown, flip the pancake over and cook the other side for about a minute. The first pancake is usually a test – quite often it is not right, so don’t worry if this one gets chucked in the bin. Once your pancakes are cooked, pile them up on a plate next to you, covering them with tinfoil to prevent them from drying out. Keep going until you’ve used all the batter. You don’t need to butter the pan for the rest of the pancakes.

When you’re ready to complete the dish, get an oven-proof dish ready beside you. Lay out a pancake and pile on the ricotta and spinach stuffing in the centre, roll it up and put it in the dish. Keep going until you’ve used up all the filling – I got 5 well-stuffed pancakes out of the mixture. 

Three of the five stuffed pancakes

Cover the whole lot with the red pepper sauce and little grated cheese if you have some, and cook it all in a hot oven (190 degrees) for about 30 minutes, or until the dish is hot through and the cheese browns.  

Pancakes stuffed with ricotta, spinach and lardons in a roasted red pepper sauce

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