Skillet #8 - Jenn's Savoury Pancakes

 Jenn and the standing over a big bowl of pancake mix discussing how to get the perfect consistency. 

Jenn and the standing over a big bowl of pancake mix discussing how to get the perfect consistency. 

We were delighted to have Melbourne University’s Jenn come in and demonstrate her recipe for savoury pancakes for the group. Jenn is a PhD researcher examining the soft drink industry, corporate power and obesity. Due to her immersion in anti-sugar media and research, she apparently takes great/perverse pleasure in enjoying her sugary treats, and she is currently trying to navigate her distaste for pretentious foodies with an innate liking for fancy foodie things. It was a pleasure having Jenn come in and incite some interesting conversations while teaching the group such a lovely recipe.

Jenn - "Pancakes are my go to comfort food. My dad used to make them on weekends for us when we were kids in the shape of weird animals--octopus pancake anyone? I love pancakes because they are so versatile and you don't have EVERY ingredient. No milk? Use yoghurt and water. No eggs? A mashed banana can work (but they won't be as fluffy). About half the time I make them I'm missing one of the ingredients and can't be bothered to go to the shops. They can be breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert (yum). Did I mention you can freeze them and heat them in a toaster? (just watch out if you use cheese...it can catch on fire)." 

 Several chopping boards with the group carefully processing spring onions, mushrooms, zucchini, pumpkin, spinach leaves, fresh corn and tomatoes. 

Several chopping boards with the group carefully processing spring onions, mushrooms, zucchini, pumpkin, spinach leaves, fresh corn and tomatoes. 

Savoury Pancakes

Serves: 2 - 4 people

Prep time: 20 mins

Cook time: 20 mins

 

 A bowl of "stiff" egg whites after ten minutes of vigorous whisking.

A bowl of "stiff" egg whites after ten minutes of vigorous whisking.

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg, with the yolk separated from the white
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp mixed herbs
  • butter or oil for cooking (dependent on preference).
 Combining the wet and dry ingredients for the pancake mix in a big mixing bowl. 

Combining the wet and dry ingredients for the pancake mix in a big mixing bowl. 

 Filling (at least three of the following):

  • 1 cup tasty cheese/feta/any cheese
  • 1 cup bacon/chorizo/whatever meat
  • 1 onion or spring onion
  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup sauteed mushroom
  • 1 cup diced pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup fresh corn
  • 1 cup zucchini (grated)
  • 1 cup diced avocado
  • 2 Tbsp herbs (e.g. coriander, parsley, basil)
 A bowl full of pancake mix with spinach, mushrooms and herbs being mixed.

A bowl full of pancake mix with spinach, mushrooms and herbs being mixed.

 Method:

  1. If using pumpkin or mushrooms in your pancakes then pre-cook these by:
    1. slicing mushrooms and frying in 2 Tbsp of oil in a non-stick pan for 4 - 5 minutes over a medium heat.
    2. dicing desired amount of pumpkin and combining in a pot of boiling water for approximately 5 minutes or until soft.
  2. Prepare the rest of the ingredients that you've chosen by finely dicing the onions, tomatoes and avocado or grating the zucchini and cheeses. Pick and wash the herbs and finely chop them together as well.
  3. Prepare your batter buy separating your egg yolks and vigorously whisking the whites in bowl until they consistency changes and becomes white, foamy and generally "stiff" (this can take upwards of 5 - 10 minutes depending on how vigorously you are able to whisk).
  4.  Add in the egg yolks, sugar, milk and yoghurt in increments and continue to whisk. 
  5. Sift in the flour, baking powder and baking soda and whisk until they have just combined.
  6. Add in your desired fillings with a ration of 1 part filling to 3 parts batter (1:3) and mix through.
  7. Heat a non-stick fry pan over medium heat and coat with either a Tbsp of oil or butter depending on preference. 
  8. Once hot spoon pancake batter onto pan in desired portions.
  9. Cook for approximately 2 - 3 minutes on either side, or until golden brown on the bottom. 
  10. Serve immediately.
 Frying the first batch of pancakes in a well-oiled pan. 

Frying the first batch of pancakes in a well-oiled pan. 

Hints:

  • The aim is for everything to be about 1cm in size so that it stays inside the pancake. ingredients that cook quickly, like cheese or spinach or that are good raw (like tomato or onions) can be added directly to the batter.
  • if you want to add ingredients that take longer to cook than 3 minutes (the time it takes to cook a pancake) they should be pre-cooked.
  • Be mindful not to over-mix the batter as this can affect how the pancakes rise.

  • pick 3-4 fillings for a pancake: more than that and it gets hard to separate the flavours! Some classic combinations are:
    • bacon, tasty cheese and avo--brekkie

    • pumpkin, feta and spinach
    • zucchini, mushrooms and feta
    • fresh corn, green onions and tomato
  • You can also make dessert pancakes by substituting fruit for the veg! Bananas are great, as are apple or pear (but I recommend slicing them very thin and pre-cooking them before adding them to the batter).
  • When frying your pancakes note when the batter begins to bubble on top: this is a good indicator of whether your pancake is cooking properly and ready to be flipped or if you need to turn the heat down and slow the process. 
 A batch of golden brown pancakes ready to serve.

A batch of golden brown pancakes ready to serve.