Butternut squash and stilton pancakes

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Last week (it was Shrove Tuesday), I found 5 pancakes in the freezer, and I also had about half a tub of ricotta (left over from Spinach gnocchi), a piece of Stilton, some double cream and a small amount for fresh spinach. I decided to make these pancakes, so I bought a butternut squash.

Enough for 2:

  • 5 savoury pancakes
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 400g butternut squash (peeled and cut into 1cm cubes)
  • 1/2 onion (chopped)
  • 100g spinach
  • 125g ricotta
  • 80g Stilton (grated)
  • Black pepper
  • 50g double cream

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the butternut squash and cook slowly until it begins to change colour, mixing occasionally.  Add water to cover, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain.

Heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan and add the onion, cooking gently for 5 minutes. Turn up the heat, and add the spinach, stirring constantly until all the spinach has wilted. Turn off the heat, and add the butternut squash and mix well. Beat together the ricotta and 3/4 of the Stilton, and stir into the vegetable mixture. Season with black pepper to taste.

Take a pancake and spread it with 1/5 of the mixture . Roll up the pancake and place in a shallow ovenproof dish. Repeat this with the remaining four pancakes. Sprinkle the remaining Stilton over the rolled-up pancakes and pour over the double cream.

Place in the oven at 180C (Gas Mark 4) and cook for about 20 minutes (or until golden brown). Serve.

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Spinach and cheese pancakes

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This is vegetarian comfort food – serves 2, maybe 3, as a main course. I used some frozen pancakes I had made previously (I often make these if I have eggs which are about to go out of date):

  • 6 savoury pancakes (made from 300ml milk, 130g plain flour, 1 large egg, 1 tbsp oil (and more for cooking the pancakes))
  • 250g fresh spinach (you could use frozen chopped spinach instead)
  • 150g low fat cottage cheeese
  • 30g butter
  • 2 rounded tbsp plain flour
  • 300ml milk
  • 120g grated cheddar
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  • freshly ground black pepper

Wash the fresh spinach, drain (and if you have one, spin in a salad spinner, to remove additional water). Microwave the spinach in a covered bowl at 750W, for 2 mins (then stir and stand for a minute); then cook at 750W for a further minute. When cooled, squeeze any excess water from the spinach and roughly chop. Mix with the cottage cheese.

Make the cheese sauce with the butter, flour, milk, the black pepper and most of the grated cheese.

Mix a little of the cheese sauce with the spinach and cottage cheese mixture, stir in the grated nutmeg, and spread this mixture on one half of each of the six pancakes. Roll up the pancakes and place in an ovenproof dish. Pour over the cheese sauce so that it covers the top of the pancakes, and sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese.

Bake in the oven at 180C (Gas Mark 4) for about 25 minutes until the top starts to brown, and the whole dish is piping hot.

Serve.

 

Breakfast pancakes with maple butter

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I’ve created this recipe at the request of a family friend, currently living in LA (maybe she hasn’t been to enough ‘eat as much as you like’ breakfasts!). She asked me to blog about “some of those little pancakes with whipped butter and maple syrup”. If any more of you have requests please let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

I decided to combine the butter and the maple syrup into ‘whipped maple butter’.

This recipe will feed four at a pinch, but when I cooked them this morning, the two of us together ate about 2/3rds of the recipe (the rest will be frozen and revived in the microwave). I doubt that they will remain frozen very long, so I am just storing the remaining maple butter in the fridge.

  • 50g salted butter (cut into small cubes and slightly soften in the microwave (on ‘defrost’ for 45 seconds))
  • 100ml maple syrup
  • 150g plain flour
  • 2.5 tsp (generous) baking powder
  • 200g milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp oil (and I also used extra oil to grease my griddle – it’s non-stick, but it’s old)

To make the butter, beat it well using an electric whisk. Carry on beating and gradually add the maple syrup until it’s fully incorporated into the butter (this is a bit like making mayonnaise, but much easier as it is less inclined to curdle). Transfer the whipped maple butter to a small dish (eg a ramekin dish).

Heat the griddle (at the maximum heat setting).

Sieve the flour and baking powder together into a mixing bowl (make sure the baking powder is well distributed). Beat the milk, egg and oil in a measuring jug. Pour almost all of the jug contents into the flour and beat together with an electric whisk (or you can use a hand blender in the large beaker (usually supplied with the hand blender) in which case you put all the ingredients into the beaker and press the button). The finished product should be a thick batter (rather like whipped cream (at the smooth stage) before it starts forming peaks). Add the remaining jug contents if necessary. Cook the pancakes as soon as possible as the baking powder is activated as soon as the liquid ingredients are added.

Using a table spoon, place rounds of batter on the hot griddle. Bubbles will start to appear – this is the time to flip the pancakes (using a palate knife or egg slice). They will be ready when both sides are a light golden golden colour (if the first side to be cooked looks pale then just flip it over once more).

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Eat the hot pancakes (spread generously with the whipped maple butter) as soon as possible.