So, I was watching ‘Let’s Do Lunch’ last week and Gino D’Accampo made some savoury crêpes and I thought it was a great idea, only what he put in it looked really filling and rich. So, I wondered to myself what I would put in it, and I thought back to an amazing sandwich my Mum had while we were away in Jersey: Cheese, rocket and caramelised onion. There was also some bacon around, so I thought that’d be really nice, too. The saltiness of the bacon and the savoury quality of the cheese works so well with the sweetness of the onion, and the rocket adds some fresh pepperiness to it.
For any of you guys who want to have a technical argument with me- no, these are not “Galettes,” another type of French pancake used for savoury fillings, as these use egg and plain flour as opposed to buckwheat flour.
Ingredients (makes about four pancakes, so long as you get them thin enough!):
- 125g plain flour
- 1 egg
- 300ml skimmed milk
- Pinch of salt
- 2 medium onions
- Brown sugar
- Balsamic vinegar
- Grated cheese
- Bacon/ lardons/ parma ham
(With these ingredients, have enough to fill the number of crêpes you’re making. You can double up the crêpe recipe if you’re catering for more.
Oven temperature (if using): 180C
Start by making the crêpe batter. Sieve the flour into a bowl. Make a well in the centre, than add the egg and the milk. Beat with a whisk until thoroughly combined, with no lumps of flour. Cover with cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Chop the onions into thin, long strips and fry off in some butter until soft. They will caramelise on their own if left for long enough, but adding some brown sugar and balsamic vinegar to taste adds a deeper flavour from the former and a tang from the latter. Cook down until really soft, sticky and dark brown in colour, stirring only occasionally. Add some salt to them to taste.
If using bacon or lardons, cook them until crispy.
Once the crêpe batter has rested, it’s ready to be made into pancakes. Transfer it into a jug that makes it easy to pour Heat a frying pan before melting a small amount of butter in them. Carefully use some kitchen towel to spread the butter evenly over the surface of the pan, and to wipe away any excess. To make a perfect pancake, pour a small amount of batter into the centre, then tilt the pan so that it spreads out to the sides evenly. If it’s too thin, top it up and repeat. Fry one side until golden, then flip. At this point, if you want to serve them one by one, place the cheese, bacon, onions and rocket on top and let them warm through and the cheese melt while the other side of the crêpe fries. Then serve. If not, finish frying off the crêpe, then set it aside while you repeat until you’ve used up all your batter.
If you’re serving them all together, fill each crêpe, roll it up, and place it into a dish suitable for using in the oven. Sprinkle cheese over the whole lot once you’re done, then put them into the preheated oven (180C, remember?) for 15 minutes. Then serve.
The crêpes are amazing for all kinds of fillings. You could try crispy fried potatoes, eggs, tomatoes… Enjoy!
I usually just use tomato purée out of the tube, but I’m telling you- there is no comparison. As usual with my Italian cooking, my unconventional necessities in the form of tomato ketchup and sweet chilli sauce make an appearance. They make all the difference!
When we’re feeling lazy at home, we also use ready to bake Naan breads as bases instead of making a dough. They’re quick, easy and delicious- in fact, they often have a better flavour!
So, here’s a vague pizza recipe for you all- vague, because it’s all about trusting your senses to work out what tastes right. That’s how I end up making and improving my recipes all the time.
3 or 4 large tomatoes (or the equivalent in small ones!)
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
Sweet Chilli Sauce
Individual naan breads (2 small ones or 1 large one is enough for one person)
Good quality mozzarella
Toppings of your choice: peppers, ham, pineapple…. Anything you like!
To make the sauce, start by cutting a small shallow cross into each of your tomatoes. This will help when removing the skin and squeezing out the insides. Place them in a pot of boiling water and simmer for a couple of minutes. Run them under the cold tap after removing them from the water with a slotted spoon.
Peel the skins from the tomatoes and discard. Then, squeeze them (forcefully, but carefully so they don’t squirt everywhere!) so that the juice and seeds run out into a bowl. Then also take out the core so that you’re just left with the flesh. Chop them up finely, into a coarse paste.
Chop the onion and the garlic very finely, then fry them in olive oil (or alternatively vegetable oil, if you don’t have any).
If you’re using fresh herbs, chop them finely. Put the tomatoes, onion, garlic, salt, pepper and herbs into a pot with about two tablespoons of each of the condiments- ketchup, chilli sauce and purée- into a saucepan. Sweat it down on a low heat for fifteen minutes until it is a thick, deep red paste. Keep tasting the sauce. If it’s too bitter, add a little ketchup and/or a little sweet chilli. If it’s too sweet, add some salt and some tomato purée. This sauce is also fantastic with pasta.
Spread the tomato sauce onto the naan breads, and add on the mozzarella and your own toppings. Bake according to the instructions on the naan bread packet.
Serve with a nice salad (a rocket salad is amazing with it) and garlic bread.
The best iced coffee ever. Pretty sure it had ice cream in it.
Anyway, you may be sitting there, looking at this picture, judging the background and where in the world it must’ve been taken and you’re thinking, “Wow, that’s a long way to travel for an iced coffee!” but it’s actually at an authentic Thai-themed garden café in Guernsey in the Channel Islands. It’s amazing; you sit in one of these little carts and you feel transported to Thailand- which is fantastic, because it’s somewhere I’d really love to visit!