Pancakes, there are so many different variations of pancakes, most counties have their own version and of course being Scottish I have grown up with Scotch Pancakes, delicious fluffy pancakes, ideal as a treat but they were also served up as part of our Sunday breakfast, along with sausages, bacon, eggs etc., like this they soak up some of the delicious pan juices and oh my, my mouth is watering at the moment.
Although these days I usually enjoy them with some softened butter and a spoonful of golden syrup, that helps my sweet tooth.
So Scotch pancakes, it is your basic store cupboard ingredients, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, sugar, eggs, milk and butter.
I use plain flour, but it is possible to use self-raising flour instead of the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. This keeps it simple.
Also, if you find it difficult to get buttermilk, then use normal milk and add a little white vinegar or lemon juice, this will ‘sour’ the milk and give you the acid that is needed to activate the bicarbonate of soda.
This is why you get a nice fluffy pancake, the rise.
I know there is a few different views regarding sifting flour or not, for me it depends on the humidity in the air, flour is affected by humidity and it can get a bit lumpy, so I sometimes sift the flour, other times not, use your own judgement.
The easy quick way measure and sift your flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda together, is, put your sieve over your bowl, place them both on to your scales and then zero your scales, weigh the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into the sieve and then sieve the dry mixture into your bowl, and voila there you have it, everything sieved together.
Then add the caster sugar and mix together so it is well combined.
In a jug measure the milk/buttermilk and then add the eggs and melted butter and mix together with a fork to make sure it is all combined.
Then with a hand whisk, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, you may not need all of the wet mixture, so add gradually until you have a good thick batter. You need the mixture to stay put when you add it to the frying pan, remember this is not a thin crepe like batter, it needs to puff up so you have lovely fluffy pancakes.
Melt a small amount of butter in a pan and add a good spoonful of batter, to the frying pan, I can usually get 4 or 5 cooked at the same time, just depends on the size I want to make, its entirely up to you.
Let your pancakes cook until you see bubbles forming on the top and then flip over, and cook for another couple of minutes until golden brown on the second side and then transfer to a plate.
Now it is time to enjoy, depending on how many I am making and for how many people, I find I am usually eating some and continuing to cook the next round.
Another one of those treats that there is usually not enough.
I love to top my pancakes with some softened butter, and then top with a good spoonful of golden syrup, I do use salted butter, so I enjoy the salty butter and the sweet of the syrup…… Delicious.
I have decided what I am having for lunch and the pictures here prove that I did.
I do hope you enjoy them too, they were a family favourite when I was growing up at home, there was many a night that we would be sitting watching tv and my Dad would disappear off into the kitchen and come out with a feast, and the best wast pancakes.
It possible to add dried fruit or chocolate chips to the mixture before cooking, for me I just go with plain pancakes so I can enjoy the sweet topping.
Delicious fluffy scotch pancakes, perfect at any time of the day.
Sift the plain flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl.
Measure the milk into a jug and add the eggs and melted butter and using a fork, whisk together to combine.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a hand whisk until it is all combined and a thick batter.
You many not need all of the wet ingredients or you may need a little more, it will depend on the size of your eggs as they can vary considerably.
Add a little butter to a frying pan and then spoon some of the batter into the pan, I can usually get 4 or 5 pancakes in each batch and of course it depends on the size of the pancakes.
I like my pancakes to be about 10 cm across.
Cook the pancakes on the first side, until you see bubble appearing on the top and then flip them over and cook the second side until golden brown, probably about 2 minutes on each side.
Remove the cooked pancakes to a plate and continue until all the batter is finished.
If you cant get butter milk, pour the required amount into a jug and add 1 tsp of lemon juice to the milk and leave for a couple of minutes before using as this will create the same results as butter milk.
You can use self-raising flour in place of the plain flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
We have all heard that it takes a lot of time and patience to make fresh Mayonnaise.
Well this is a quick method of making Mayonnaise and this recipe is mustard free and so it is gluten free.
If you have red any of my bio stuff you will know that I have a number of allergies so I am always looking for new recipes that are ‘safe’ to eat.
This recipe has 4 ingredients and comes together very quickly. (Egg yolks, salt, lemon juice or white wine vinegar and vegetable oil)
You will need a jam jar or taller (make sure the bottom of the jar is just big enough for the head of your hand blender) and a hand blender to make this mayonnaise. (Ideally use the jug that comes with the hand blender.)
Measure the oil into a jug ready to be added to the mixture. I prefer to use plain tasteless oil, you can use other oils, light olive oil, nut oils, it is your preference, but remember this will add a flavour to the finished mayonnaise.
I prefer to have a tea-towel under the jar, it helps to stop the jar moving around during the blending.
Crack the eggs and place the 2 egg yolks into the jar, and save the egg whites in a bowl for another recipe.
Add the salt and lemon juice/white wine vinegar to the jar and blend with the hand blender, this will warm up the egg yolks.
Continue whisking the mixture in the jar and slowly add the oil, keep blending until you have used all the oil.
If the mixture is too thin (like salad cream) add some more oil, the more oil the thicker the mayonnaise. The exact volume of oil depends on the size of the egg yolks.
If the mayonnaise is too thick, add a little hot water and blend again.
This will bring the mayonnaise to the thickness you want. The addition of the hot water will lighten the mayonnaise.
This recipe is the base for a few variations.
Alioi – Garlic Mayonnaise
Addition – 1 medium crushed garlic clove
Add the crushed garlic clove to the mixture (before the addition of the oil).
Blend the egg yolks with the lemon juice/white wine vinegar and salt add the crushed garlic clove and blend again, then with the blender running slowly add the oil and blend as above to the thickness you require.
Thousand Island Dressing
Addition – 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
Make the mayonnaise as per the main recipe, once you have the desired thickness add the 2 tbsp of tomato ketchup and mix together.
Addition – 1 small shallot, finely chopped, 3 tbsp capers and 3 tbsp gherkins, drained and chopped, squeeze of lemon juice and 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Add the chopped capers, gherkins and parsley to the mayonnaise, mix well together.
Check the tartare sauce and add the lemon juice and salt as to your taste.
With the weather changing and it getting a little colder, we are all looking for something to warm us up.
I find that I am always looking at recipes and new ingredients, its an occupational hazard, working in the cooking school, well I say ‘working’ but for me its not ‘working’ its my passion/obsession.
I remember when I was a little girl and still at home, my Dad, a wonderful man, he is missed everyday….. would disappear into the kitchen and come out with a plate of something fantastic, french toast, pancakes, big bowl of popcorn to mention but a few.
We all (there was 6 of us) loved it when he would ‘appear’ from the kitchen and we could all dive in.
French toast was a favourite in our house, there was never enough french toast to go around, it didn’t matter if Dad made 20 slices or 40 slices, there was never enough (ha ha).
We did enjoy french toast for our weekend breakfast, we didn’t need to jump up out of bed get ready and grab a quick breakfast before heading off to school. So the weekend was special, Saturday could be french toast and Sunday morning would be a fry-up, oh them were the days
French toast is so easy and so delicious it just sets you up for the day….
The main ingredient is the bread and oh I do long for Mothers Pride Plain Bread, a fantastic loaf of bread, a staple for us as we were growing up. Unfortunately it is a specialty that is only to be available in Scotland, and a few towns in the very north of England.
There are no real quantities as far as this recipe goes, its all about how hungry you are and how many slices of bread you want to use.
The french call this ‘Pain perdu’ – lost bread, as its a great way to use up old/stale bread, and lets be honest about it the bread in France goes hard/stale very quickly, so its a great way to use up the bread.
You don’t need to use old bread, fresh bread does just as well, its your choice.
French toast is an easy delicious meal to put together, I know you are probably thinking ‘meal…. this is not a meal’ well I guess it all depends on at what time of the day you decide you are going to make/eat it.
Anyway lets get on with the making of this delicious food.
Get some eggs, bread, milk, a bowl, a frying pan, some vegetable oil, a steaming up of tea, some salt and lets get started.
Crack the eggs into the bowl, I usually start with 2 eggs for just me, then add a little milk, give the mixture a good whisk with a fork, make sure you break up the eggs and add a little seasoning, I like just salt, but add pepper if you like.
Put the frying pan on the heat, add a little vegetable oil and bring it up to a medium heat.
Then dip a slice of bread into the egg mixture, make sure it is covered on both sides and then lay the slice in the frying pan, you want to make sure the egg starts to fry when it goes into the pan, you don’t want the bread to just sit in the oil as it will soak up some of the oil, making your bread soggy…..
Allow the bread to cook for a couple of minutes and flip over the slices, you are looking for a nice colour on each side of the eggy bread.
Remove the cooked bread to a plate and continue with all of the bread and egg mixture.
I often have a little egg mixture left, not enough to cover another slice, and it would be a shame to through it away, so when all my bread is cooked I just pour the left over mixture into the frying pan and cook a very thin omelet, mmm a nice little addition to the plate.
There are a few different ways to enjoy ‘French toast’ we always enjoyed it with a little salt added just as you are eating each slice. Others eat it with something sweet, maybe some syrup or honey, its all down to your taste, so experiment. I prefer salt.
Dig in, and enjoy…..
French Toast (Eggy Bread)
Delicious, simple breakfast/brunch dish that will satisfy that need for fast food.
I have been working with some clients on the various Mother Sauces and their variations, when I can a cross this little known variation.
It is not listed with the list of the other classics and I believe it is due to the reduced volume of butter, but I can assure you it really has all the flavour and texture of the Classic Hollandaise sauce.
I’m sure you will feel the same, so try it out and let me know.
This sauce is also great with eggs, vegetables and chicken.
Place the butter into a small pot and bring to the boil. Then remove from the heat.
Add the tarragon vinegar, lemon juice, shallots and peppercorns into another small pot and bring to the boil, allow to reduce by half.
Place the egg yolks into a tall jug and add the water, add the vinegar/lemon juice reduction and using a hand blender, whisk the egg yolks and water together for at least 1 minute, allowing the colour to lighten.
With the whisk still running slowly add the melted butter until it is all combined. Continue to whisk for a further seconds. Check the sauce for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
Add the chopped tarragon and mix to combine.
Place the jug into a heat proof container and fill with just boiled water, to keep your sauce warm until ready to use.
Well this is one of those dishes that I have been playing around with in my mind for a little while now.
Today was the ‘day’ that I pulled it all together and it just it the spot.
The weather is hot again today, the sun is blazing and it just feels like we are off on holiday somewhere.
My hubby went off shopping for me this morning and when he came back he was more than ready for his lunch, so I pulled this all together in about 30 minutes, and if you make the sauce ahead, then it really is a meal that can be made in 15 minutes.
I made a thick tomato sauce, starting with onions, mushrooms, garlic and diced chorizo sausage I fried them all of in a pot and then added some tomato puree, its what I had in the larder. Once it was all bubbling away, I removed a couple of ladles into a small Le Creuset frying pan, I made a couple of little dents in the mixture and cracked the eggs into the spaces, then I topped them with a little grated cheese, I used cheddar, but feel free to add your favourite cheese, Parmesan is also great in this dish.
I then popped a pot lid on top of the frying pan and left it there for approximately 5 minutes, but just long enough to firm up the egg white but leaving the yolk nice and soft**. These little frying pans are great to take to the table too, I placed a napkin on to the plate and then placed the pan on top. Be careful as the frying pan will be very hot.
** Remember the egg yolk will continue to cook when you remove it from the heat, so serve as soon as it is ready, if you prefer a soft yolk.
Eggs in Tomato sauce (Oeufs Cocotte)
Delicious 'baked eggs' in a rich tomato sauce, ideal for any breakfast or brunch. Add you favourite sausage or bacon or leave out for a vegetarian dish.
Add the chopped onion and cook for 5 minutes until softened, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add the sliced mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes.
Add the chorizo (if using) and cook for 5 minutes until they start to release the oils.
Add the tomato puree and continue cooking until the sauce is bubbling. (5 minutes)
Use a small frying pan for each serving, big enough to hold the sauce and 2 eggs. Ladle some of the sauce into a small frying pan and allow it to come back to the boil, make a dent in the sauce with the back of a spoon and crack an egg into the well. Continue with the other egg.
Season the eggs with a little salt and pepper.
Sprinkle the top with a little grated cheese.
Cover the pan with a lid and cook until the eggs are cooked to your liking.
(I prefer a soft yolk, I cooked for 3-4 minutes, until the egg white was cooked and the yolk still soft.)
Remove the frying pan from the heat and transfer to a plate.
Cut some crusty bread and use to soak up the to sauce and egg yolk.
The egg yolk will continue cooking, serve right away if you like a soft yolk.
Leave out the chorizo and you have a vegetarian dish.
Change the chorizo sausage for your favourite sausage.