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Monday, January 6, 2014

Recipe for Savory Pancakes

January obviously speaks of another beginning.  A chance to do something new, or probably a new way of going about old things.  Having lived in Antipolo for a few number of years, January for me also brings in cool, crisp weather that carries well into February, or even March,if we are lucky.  For someone who may be interested in creating a few morsels from the kitchen, I am not so talented in the garden, but here, I manage to grow a few herbs. And the more resilient of them happens to be chives.

Thus, on a new year, thoughts toward being able to use this perennial herb come dancing in my mind setting aside ideas of pairing it with the usual potatoes.  Ah, but I did promise myself to make use of my crepe pan - a hand-me-down from my sister.  And so in the spirit of making use of items readily at hand, here went the wheels in motion for a simple, light, and flavorful meal that befits the season.

Pancakes with Cheese Filling

115 gms (less than 1/2 cup) flour
big pinch salt
2 eggs
300 ml (1 1/2 cups) milk
30 ml (2 Tbsp) chopped fresh chives*
         butter for frying


45 gms. (less than 1/4 cup) butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
225 gms. (1 cup) ricotta cheese
115 gms. (less than 1/2 cup) mozzarella cheese, chopped
25 gms. (1/8 cup) parmesan cheese

For the pancakes/crepes: put the flour, salt, eggs and milk in a blender or if using a hand mixer, put it in a bowl and blend until smooth.  

Add the chives, and mix it in.  

Melt a small knob of butter in an 8-inch heavy-based frying pan, or crepe pan (if you have one).  Pour in enough batter to cover the base of the pan. 

Cook the pancake over medium-high heat until set and golden, then turn and cook the other side until golden.  Transfer on a plate and repeat with remaining batter.  This mixture yields 8-10 pancakes.

For the filling:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 deg. C or gas mark 4).

In a bowl, mix ricotta and mozzarella cheeses together and set aside.

Melt butter 25 gms. (1/8 cup of butter) in a small pan, add the shallots and cook gently for 3 minutes, then add the garlic and continue cooking for a minute.

Stir into the ricotta and mozzarella mixture.

Place 1 Tbsp. of the filling at one end of the pancake, fold over the sides, then roll up (like making lumpia).

Place in an oven-proof dish.  Repeat with the remaining pancakes and filling.

Melt the remaining butter and brush the pancakes with it.  Sprinkle top with parmesan cheese and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden and hot.  Garnish with fricassee or other salad greens and a bundle of extra chives.

Serves 4. Good as a light meal or appetizer.

*Note:  You can substitute fresh parsley with the chives, if unavailable.


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