When we hear the term ‘Pancake Day’ the toppings ‘chocolate’, ‘lemon and sugar’, ‘honey’ and ‘syrup’ spring to mind. We thought we’d give our pancakes a bit of a savoury twist for dinner rather than having them as a sweet snack. Here’s a recipe on how to make asparagus and ham pancakes which make a great alternative and we’d definitely recommend giving them a go.
32-40 long, thin asparagus
8 large, thin slices of ham
30g grated parmesan
For the pancakes:
110g sifted plain flour
¼ tsp salt
1 medium free-range egg + 1 egg yolk
275ml whole milk
50g melted butter
For the sauce:
1 small onion
½ tsp cracked black peppercorns
3 bay leaves
35g plain flour
50ml double cream
How to make the pancakes:
Step 1 – Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the egg, egg yolk, milk and the melted butter and blend these ingredients together until a smooth batter has been formed. Leave the batter to rest for around 30 minutes.
How to make the sauce:
Step 2 – Quarter the onion and stud each piece with 1 clove. Put them into a pan with the milk, peppercorns and bay leaves. Bring the ingredients to the boil and then remove the pan from the heat. Set the pan aside for 30 minutes, along with the pancake batter.
Continuing with the pancake mix:
Step 3 – After 30 minutes, put a frying pan over a medium-high heat and brush a small amount of oil over the pan. Pour a small ladleful of batter (approx 3 tbsp) into the pan and ensure that it covers the bottom of the pan (only a thin layer). Cook the pancake for 1 minute until it looks lightly golden underneath and turn the pancake over for another 30 seconds. Slide the pancake onto a plate and continue with the remainder of the batter mix.
Preparing the asparagus:
Step 4 – Now it’s time to prepare the asparagus. Chop off the woody ends and drop the asparagus into a pan of boiling salted water. Cook for around 3 minutes, then drain and cool the asparagus under cold water. Dry the asparagus well on kitchen paper.
Continuing with the sauce:
Step 5 – Bring the milk back to the boil and then strain it into a jug. Get rid of what’s left over in the sieve as this is not required. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and stir in the flour for a minute or two. Gradually add the milk whilst continuing to stir the mixture, bring to the boil and leave to gently simmer over a low heat for around 10 minutes. Keep an eye on the mixture during this time and give it a stir every now and again until it has slightly reduced and thickened. Then, stir in the cream and season to taste with the nutmeg, salt & pepper. Keep the mixture warm and continue to stir every now and again.
Step 6 – Preheat the oven to 190 degrees/170 degrees for fan ovens.
Now to put it all together:
Step 7 – Lay one of the pancakes on a work surface and top with a ham slice (or you can leave the ham out and place it on the side of the plate if you would prefer). Lay around 4-5 asparagus on top and roll the pancake up like a wrap. You can then lay the rolled up pancakes next to each other on a lightly buttered ovenproof dish and place them in the oven for around 15 minutes until they are golden brown. Whilst your pancakes are in the oven, preheat the grill to a high temperature.
Step 8 – Remove the pancakes from the oven and pour the sauce over the top of them, making sure they are covered, otherwise they will burn. Leave the ends of the asparagus uncovered. Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the pancakes and place the dish under the grill for 2 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and golden brown. Bon appetite!