Pancakes: Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeazy

Our resident, chef Nick Gilmartin gives you a quick pancake recipe. You will need:

  • One very thick based frying pan (very important, that)
  • 130 grams of good quality plain flour
  • One teaspoon of Bicarbonate of Soda
  • Half a tablespoon of salt
  • Two tablespoons of caster sugar
  • 100 ml of whole milk (or slightly thinned single cream)
  • One tablespoon of natural yoghurt (I only use Total Greek Yoghurt)
  • One whole egg
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • A pinch of ginger
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • Raisins or blueberries and raspberries.
  • Lemon juice
  • Golden syrup

What we are making today is the American style pancakes, not the thin crispy versions from France. They are crepes, which are a different type of pancake, and not really my favourite.

We start by taking a pan and allowing it to heat slowly.  Remember, this will take a while as it has a thick base.

Take a mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda, salt and spices and mix together.  In a mixing jug, break and scramble the egg. Add the milk and yoghurt or cream, and whisk well. Add the mixed liquid to the powdered ingredients and whisk well.

Take one large knob of butter and add to the pan. Allow it to melt, but not burn. Add a small drizzle of butter to the mix, and stir in. Keep whisking until the mix is nice and smooth.

Pour in a saucer sized drop of mix to the pan and allow it to sizzle away. Add a handful or raisins or blueberries and raspberries to the mix.

By now you will notice a raising in the edges of the pancake mix. Take a spatula and flip the pancake over very quickly. It should look nice and brown on one side by then. Allow to brown on the other side and place on a plate.

Drizzle with Lemon juice and Golden Syrup.

There should be enough mix to make four pancakes of reasonable size.

Enjoy!

By chef Nick Gilmartin who can be contacted on @Nick1975 or find out more here.

Recipe: Corned Beef Cottage Pie

This is a good recipe for those of us on a tight budget as we pay off the excesses of the festive season.
In the cold desperate months we need something warming, stodgy and full of calories.  Here is an old favourite of mine.

You need the following:

  • One onion, roughly chopped.
  • One large or two small leeks, roughly chopped.  (If not leeks, try celery)
  • A handful and a half of mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • One tin of corned beef.
  • One large or two small carrots, peeled and chopped
  • Six medium sized potatoes, peeled and diced
  • Three dice sized butter knobs
  • Tomato paste
  • Good quality dark beer, approximately one cup
  • A handful and a half of grated cheddar cheese
  • Crushed good quality ready salted crisps
  • Whatever herbs and spices you like, and seasoning
  • Beef gravy (Use powdered or granules)

Equipment:

One large wok, one vegetable chopping board and knife, two sauce pans, one large oven dish, the usual spatulas

Method

  1. Add some sunflower oil to a pre-heated wok and fry the onion and leeks.  While they are ‘sweating’, add water to a large and a smaller sauce pan.  Boil the potatoes until soft, and the same with the diced carrots.
  2. Once the leeks and onions are soft and slightly brown, add the sliced mushrooms and continue to fry.  Open the can of corned beef and divide it into rough chunks with a knife.   Add it to the wok and continue to cook, hacking it down to smaller pieces with a spatula.  It will slowly melt and dissolve on it’s own.
  3. Add a cup of beer, a tablespoon of tomato paste and whatever herbs, spices and sauces you prefer.  This can largely depend on what you have in your larder.  I chose black pepper, oregano, brown sauce, salt and a little Cajun spice.  Don’t be afraid to add what you think will work.
  4. Once the carrots are soft, drain the water and add them to the wok.  Stir in slowly.  Then add a cup of beef gravy.
  5. When the potatoes are nice and soft, drain them off and add them to a large dish.  Add the butter, a teaspoon of salt and a good couple of twists of black pepper.  Mash it down good and proper until it is mixed well and nice and smooth.  If you have a potato ricer, even better.
  6. Remove the meat and vegetables from the wok and layer in the base of a good quality large oven dish.  Make sure it is even, and pushed right into the corners.
  7. Take two tablespoons and carefully add the mashed potato on top.  Don’t worry too much if it sinks a little.  Use a fork to carefully smooth it over until it covers the meat and vegetables completely, right up to the edges and corners.
  8. Sprinkle a good handful of grated cheese and another of crushed crisps over the top of the potato.
  9. Set your oven at 180 degrees centigrade.  After about five minutes place the pie in the middle of the oven and cook for 20 minutes, checking regularly.

Remove from the oven and allow to set for five more minutes. Serve in a dish, possibly with bread and enjoy!

 By chef Nick Gilmartin who can be contacted on @Nick1975 or find out more here.