Want something different? Try Crepes D'Epinards or Pancakes with Spinach & Ham
Fancy a change from the usual 'lemon & sugar style' pancakes? Marguerite Patten has you covered with this recipe from 1972
With tomorrow being Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day, there will be some lovely recipes for pancakes available, which call for toppings of fruit, ice cream, lemon, sugar and anything sweet. But if you're like me, you might not appreciate slathering your pancakes with fruit, why not try some super healthy spinach instead? Sure fruit is nice, but I'm sweet enough already - groan.
I like to reach for one of my strange vintage recipe cards that I inherited from my mum (I think she wants them back?) for inspiration from the golden age of British Cuisine. Marguerite Patten does not disappoint with this recipe; this is the purest seventies high dining experience and pancakes are covered on card twenty five from the 'Traditional and Celebration' section.
HEALTH WARNING: This is a creative recipe from the 70's - it reflects the cuisine and tastes of that decade. Or lack of.
- For the batter:
- 6oz/175g flour, preferably plain
- Pinch of salt
- 2 eggs
- Half pint/ 275ml milk
- 6 tablespoons of water
- 1 tablespoons olive oil for fat or frying
- For filling and topping
- 12oz / 350g packet frozen chopping spinach
- 2 Onions
- 3oz / 75g butter or margarine
- 3 oz/ 75g flour
- Approx 3 quarters of a pint/ 425ml milk
- 8oz /225g cooked ham
- 2oz /50g Cheddar or Gruyere Cheese
- Sieve flour and salt, beat in the eggs, milk and water until a smooth batter.
- Add the oil and beat again just before cooking.
- Heat a little oil or fat in the pan and pour in sufficient batter to give a thin coating.
- Cook on one side until golden brown, turn (toss?) and cook on the second side.
- Keep the pancakes hot on a dish over very hot water or in a slow oven.
- Meanwhile cook the spinach in one pan as shown on the packet, season well; strain reserving the liquid.
- Chop the onions and fry in the hot butter or margarine until tender in the second pan, stir in the flour and cook for 2 - 3 minutes.
- Measure the spinach liquid, add enough milk to give 1 1/4 pints /scant 3 quarters of a litre. Stir gradually into the flour etc and continue cooking until a smooth sauce.
- Add cooked spinach and chopped ham.
- Sandwich the pancakes with the spinach mixture, top with cheese and melt this under a hot gril.
- TO SERVE: Cut into wedges
- TO VARY: Omit the ham and add the grated cheese.
Frozen spinach is on odd one. Fresh spinach could work but it might not have that sloppy, over cooked taste you might remember from school lunches. I would personally wilt fresh spinach, but each to their own.
Are you willing to give it a try? If you do, maybe there are some variations you found worked better than the original recipe? Let me know in the comment how it went!