This year, my husband and I spent Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Just in case you’ve never made the connection, Mardi Gras is French for ‘Fat Tuesday’, aka Shrove Tuesday, aka the Tuesday before the start of Lent, aka Pancake Day!
In the UK, near enough everyone makes pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, even non-religious people like myself. They’re traditionally eaten with just a sprinkle of sugar and a squeeze of lemon, but they’re also often enjoyed with jam, chocolate spread, etc. This was the first year in ages and ages that I haven’t made pancakes on Pancake Day (I was too busy partying it up in the Louisiana sunshine, boohoo). So, since I always vow to make them more than just once a year anyway, I thought it was about time to make some pancakes. Savoury pancakes, to be exact! Since it’s always nice to mix things up a bit.
I based my savoury pancakes on my usual pancake recipe, and kept the veggie stuffing nice and straightforward – after making both pancakes and sauce from scratch, I didn’t particularly want to spend ages chopping veggies. The simple mixture of asparagus, sweetcorn and cherry tomatoes is quick to prepare and tastes nice and summery, with a small dollop of pesto to add heaps of flavour.
And finally, to top it all off, the star of the show: the creamy feta cheese sauce. I dare you to make these savoury pancakes without nabbing spoonfuls of this sauce straight out of the saucepan. It’s so incredibly good. The feta is crumbled roughly into the sauce, giving little pockets of that salty flavour in amongst the velvety sauce. It will definitely take me a while to get over this sauce.
Have you ever made savoury pancakes? I feel like it’s something I should do more often, because they make a great dinner that’s a bit different from my usual meal rotation. Let me know your favourite savoury pancake fillings in the comments!
Veggie-stuffed savoury pancakes with feta cheese sauce
For the savoury pancakes:
- 100 g plain flour (~ 2/3 cup)
- 1 egg
- 150 ml milk (~ 2/3 cup)
- Black pepper
- Spray oil
For the vegetable filling:
- 1/2 tbsp butter or oil
- ~ 10 spears asparagus, sliced
- ~ 10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 75 g sweetcorn kernels (~ 1/3 cup) - I used tinned
- 1/2 tbsp basil pesto
For the feta cheese sauce:
- 15 g butter (~ 1 tbsp)
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 150 ml milk (~ 2/3 cup)
- 50 g cheddar cheese, grated (~ 2/3 cup when grated)
- 80 g feta cheese, roughly crumbled (~ 2/3 cup when crumbled)
- Black pepper
- First, make the pancakes. Add the flour to a large bowl, and crack in the egg. Beat the egg into the flour (don't worry if it doesn't combine fully), then add the milk a little at a time, whisking thoroughly. When fully mixed, the batter should be fairly thin, and smooth. Season with a good pinch of salt and pepper.
- Spray a small frying pan with a little oil or lightly grease with butter, and add a small amount of the pancake batter. Gently swirl the pan to spread the mixture out to give your preferred size of pancake. Depending on how large you make your pancakes, you might end up with 4 or 6 pancakes (2 or 3 pancakes each).
- Cook the pancake over a low heat for a few minutes, until lightly golden brown underneath. Using a wide, flat spatula, carefully turn the pancake over, and repeat with the other side. Place the cooked pancake on a plate while you repeat with the remaining pancake batter (you may need to re-grease the pan between pancakes).
- While the pancakes are cooking, prepare the vegetable filling. Heat a little oil in a frying pan, and add the chopped asparagus. Cook for a few minutes over a medium heat, stirring regularly, until slightly soft. Add the quartered cherry tomatoes and sweetcorn kernels, and cook for a couple more minutes. Add the pesto, and mix well to combine. Set aside.
- To make the feta cheese sauce, melt 1 tbsp butter in a small saucepan, and add the flour. Mix well to form a paste, and cook over a fairly low heat, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the milk a little at a time, mixing well until smooth each time before adding more. When all of the milk has been added, allow the sauce to thicken up a little, then add the grated cheddar cheese, and continue to cook until the cheese has melted. You should have a fairly thick and creamy sauce - if it's too thin, just cook it for a few more minutes, and if it's too thick, add a dash more milk.
- Add the crumbled feta cheese to the sauce, along with a generous pinch of black pepper. Mix well.
- When the savoury pancakes are all cooked, serve them with the vegetable filling, topped with the feta cheese sauce.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose.