Now I do appreciate that the concept of leftover pancakes is a rather strange one, and that blogging about pancakes at all, a good 2 weeks after Shrove Tuesday, is a little odd, but each to her own, as they say. And the IDEA for this was born around Shrove Tuesday, when, as it always does, the act of making pancakes brought to mind the possibility for savoury stuffed pancakes - if only there were enough left over.
The idea hung about this year - I've made pancakes ('French' pancakes, as Pink likes to call them, to distinguish them from the American ones they've hitherto enjoyed as weekend breakfast fodder) a few times, so the stuffed pancake idea has been fixed firmly in my mind.
On Shrove Tuesday, we had a pancake-fest at tea time, but a strictly sweet affair: lemon & sugar, syrup, that kind of thing. I wasn't expecting to have any leftovers, and I was right. Then a few days later I made a big batch of batter up expecting the gannets to eat a few but to leave me enough to use another time.
Wrong again. They kept on eating them, and as I hadn't made it clear that I had an ulterior motive, they expressed a certain amount of outrage when I tried to limit consumption. I was left with 3 which I put in the fridge rather hopefully thinking that I'd knock up some more batter to make enough for what I had planned, but I didn't. As a slight digression, I did use them to make a rather great, if improvised pudding, making the most of some leftover tinned caramel (I've been making flapjacks again) and some pineapple. I put a large non-stick frying pan on a medium heat, spread the caramel over one side of one of the pancakes, and put it caramel side up, into the pan, covered it with pineapple pieces, then continued with the caramel spreading/pancake layering. I let it all heat through, managed, rather precariously, to turn the whole confection over, heated for a couple more minutes then gave the kids half each on the promise that I could have a mouthful. If was rather delicious, and has a number of possibilities - I'm definitely thinking banana would work...
But, as I already said, I digress. I had the last bits of chicken from a roast, some cooked ham and some chorizo in the fridge all needing to be eaten up, so this morning, I cooked the kids pancakes but on the strict understanding that they could have 3 each and I needed the rest. Once they'd satisfactorily established that I wasn't going to stand there and eat all the rest of them myself in some kind of pancake frenzy, they were happy.
Stuffed pancakes is something I remember very much from my childhood. I'm not great at eating up leftover meat if it's been reheated, but somehow, chopped up finely with other goodies in a sauce, and rolled into pancakes, it's OK. And this is very much a guide - you can put anything in. Cooked spinach is a great addition, for example, especially if you've got some bacon you can add in. Chicken and mushroom is also good. Tonight, for us, it was an eclectic mix of the meat in the fridge, some leeks and a load of parsely and chives that needed eating.
2 leeks, trimmed, washed and finely chopped
1 heaped dessert spoon plain flour
250g cold cooked meat (chicken, chorizo and ham worked well) chopped into quite small pieces
a big handful of appropriate herbs, finely chopped
In a medium sized pan, melt the butter over a gentle heat, then add the leeks and cook gently for 10 minutes or so till softened.
Stir in the flour, cook for a minute or so, then slowly stir in the milk a little at a time till you have a smooth sauce (well, smooth apart from the leeks). Cook for a few minutes, till thickened and add fresh ground salt and pepper if necessary, then set aside to cool down a little.
Pre-heat the oven to 180-200C.
Once the sauce is cooled, stir in the cold meat and the finely chopped herbs. You want the sauce to be quite thick, but if you think it needs it, do thin it down a little with some more milk.
Place a heaped dessert spoon on one side of the first pancake (or in the middle - as you like) and spread it lengthwise into a sausage shape, then roll the pancake up around the filling and place in an appropriate oven proof dish.
Repeat with all the pancakes, and cover the dish with foil, then cook for 20 -30 minutes till hot.