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fill it up and enjoy

  • Mar. 8th, 2011 at 12:49 PM
It is Fat Tuesday. As I come from the Catholic tradition it is about tearing into a steak and other lovely things before 40 days of reflection and tuna noodle casseroles on Fridays. As children our other option was fish sticks. Something about dreary cold windy friday nights and fish sticks would make me envy other religions. My husband being English associates Fat Tuesday with pancakes. So typically our meal on this day involves a nice steak and several pancakes for dessert.
Of course not everyone is a carnivore and some aren't drawn by sweet pancakes.
This is where stuffed savory pancakes can satisfy a slightly different palate.

You start off by making the pancakes. Whisk together 3/4 of a cup of flour, a pinch of salt, 2 eggs and 1 1/2 cups of milk and about 1 Tbs of melted butter. It should be a fairly thin batter and obviously you want to avoid lumps. You can make this in a blender. Let it sit for about an hour or two so that things will get good and comfortable with each other. You can make this a day ahead if you feel organized.
Cook up the pancakes in a frying pan over medium heat. (grease your pan before hand) Obviously it is a bit of a trick to quickly spread the batter across the pan. It helps to pour the batter to one side of the pan and quickly swish things about and maybe use a spatula to guide the batter along. The term dog pancake is appropriate for your first couple of tries. But you should get there. Let them cook a few seconds (and you will watch it as things firm up) and then flip them over and finish cooking. This isn't one of those things where you can wander off and read some Tolstoi. Make a nice neat stack of pancakes and cover them. Have a drink. Think about what you are giving up for Lent. Think about what it would mean for your family if you gave up tea or coffee.

Now to face the filling. Rummage through your freezer and look for that bag of spinach you have. You bought it one day when you were thinking, "yes I will use that." You haven't. Usually the ice cream sits on top of it. Get that out and thaw it. You can do this a couple of ways. Let it sit in the fridge for awhile or pour it all in a sieve and pour hot water on it and it should do the trick. You will do the latter since you weren't organized and you were looking at pictures of famous people making poor fashion choices. Squeeze out the excess water from the spinach and set that aside. Next you will thinly slice a couple of small-ish spring onions and saute those in a pan with a bit of olive oil and salt. You don't want them brown but they should be wilted. Add the spinach and cook it until the water (and you will be amazed by how much water spinach will hold onto.) evaporates. Remove from the heat and let it cool. Stir in some ricotta cheese. How much? Let's say one container's worth. (around 9 oz) Taste things and add seasoning as needed. Get out your pancakes and carefully spoon in some of the filling and roll up to the best of your ability. Place each filled pancake in an oven-proof dish. They should be nice and snug. Pour a bit of milk over everything and then sprinkle a healthy dose of parmesan cheese on top. If you want a slightly more gooey experience you can use fontina. But don't break your back trying to find some other cheese. Bake all of this in an oven at 475F for about 20 minutes or until things seem nice and golden. It should be creamy and rather lovely. I would suggest serving this with a salad of roasted peppers & bread crumbs.

Mr. Jenner who often finds vegetarian food unsatisfying found this to be quite filling. Go forth and meditate upon your sins...tomorrow.


queenthesixth wrote:
Mar. 8th, 2011 09:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you for clearing up what Fat Tuesday means. I saw a few mentions of it today about the internets but wasn't sure what it was.

Today is all about the Pancakes here in Ireland too. In our house, it is positively all my mother can talk about since the weekend. She is happy now that she got her pancakes topped with sugar and lemon juice. It's her favourite. I like strawberry jam on mine. Yum. Though I think we may be adding more savoury bits to some of them too now that I've read this post.
au_gout wrote:
Mar. 9th, 2011 12:50 am (UTC)
Glad I could help out.
Mmmm I am all about the jam on pancakes. Mr. Jenner is fond of lemon juice and sugar. I have some chocolate raspberry jam I might use.
nou wrote:
Mar. 9th, 2011 12:39 am (UTC)
Happy international women's pancake day! I made savoury ones too.
au_gout wrote:
Mar. 9th, 2011 12:50 am (UTC)
Hee. Those sound really really good.
upna wrote:
Mar. 9th, 2011 02:31 am (UTC)
Oh man, I love this post! And I'm making those pancakes!
au_gout wrote:
Mar. 9th, 2011 02:52 pm (UTC)
ms_pooka wrote:
Mar. 9th, 2011 03:25 am (UTC)
i had been meaning to google the meaning of oliver's school's annual shrove tuesday pancake dinners. i imagine it being along the lines of hang jesus on a cross and everyone have a pancake.

and seriously. how on earth do you know that i just noticed yesterday the box of frozen spinach i never used for my return to the spinach paneer recipes? you are just freaking me out now.
au_gout wrote:
Mar. 9th, 2011 02:53 pm (UTC)
I know what goes on in everyone's freezer.
Fat Tuesday/Shrove Tuesday is kind of nice. "everyone eat all the fun stuff because the next forty days are about to get real"



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