[instagrammed] – Pea & spelt pancakes

I’ve got a confession: I’m a lazy blogger. There, I said it.

Considering how much I cook (I cook most days), I should be blogging a lot more often than I do – but I don’t. Mainly because it takes time to set up a “proper” photograph for the blog.. and I am usually hungry. This is coming from someone who doesn’t even set up a proper backdrop with props like a lot of the other amazing bloggers out there.

Which is why instagram is brilliant for someone like me – I snap a quick photo of the dish (ok, sometimes two or three photos), and voila, time to eat! A few people have said that I should do recipe ‘mini posts’ based on my instagram photos… and after thinking about it, I think it makes a lot of sense. So here goes! Photo is taken straight from instagram, with no further editing done. Simples. ( If you want to see more instagram photos, do follow me @breadetbutterย – and if you see something you like, give me a shout and I’ll try to post a recipe here on the blog if possible. )

p.s. These were inspired by this recipe on Aran’s blog.

Pea & spelt pancakes
Makes 8 pancakes (approximately 3.5 inches wide)

For the pancakes:

  • 250g peas
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 5 tbsp spelt flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • Pepper and salt, to taste (I use just under 1/2 teaspoon of each)
  • 3 eggwhites

To serve:

  • Smoked salmon
  • Greek yogurt (I usually add a squeeze of lemon juice to the yogurt)
  • Chives, cut finely (alternatively, use dill)

1. Cook peas in salted, boiling water for 2-3 minutes, or until they are tender. Take care to not overcook them/let them turn mushy. Remove the peas from the pot and place in a medium sized bowl.
2. Add milk to the peas, then roughly mash the peas. You can use a potato masher, fork, handheld blender, or even a food processor. I like having bits of peas to bite into, so I don’t mash it finely.
3. Add the flour, baking soda, pepper, and salt to the bowl containing the mashed peas. Stir with a spatula/spoon until the mixture is well combined. Set aside.
4. In a clean bowl, whisk the eggwhites until stiff peaks form.
5. Fold the eggwhites into the pea mixture in two batches. It’s alright to have a few small lumps of eggwhites running through the batter, it’s better than overmixing!
6. Heat a lightly oiled non-stick pan over medium heat. Pour 1/3 cup of pancake batter into the pan. Flip the pancake when you start to see bubbles on the surface, or when the edges start to dry up.
7. Repeat with remaining pancake batter, until all batter is used up.
8. Serve with smoked salmon, greek yogurt and chives.

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Ham and cheese pancakes

There’s nothing more irresistible than a stack of freshly cooked pancakes. Maybe its the novelty of it being a “weekend” breakfast, or maybe its the excuse to overindulge in maple syrup – who knows?

Some of you probably know that my favourite pancakes are Bill Granger’s ricotta hotcakes. Truth be told, I’ve not made any other types of pancakes since I discovered those little morsels of goodness… (I don’t make pancakes very often – I’m usually too hungry and therefore lack the patience to make them). But since Pancake Tuesday was coming up, I figured that it was time to try something new.

Whilst I’ve got a massive sweet tooth, I do still love a good savoury dish. So I thought to myself “I should try to make a savoury pancake”. And so I did.

I adapted Bill Granger’s (yes Bill again) buttermilk pancake recipe to make these – I left out the sugar, and added some salt and pepper in its place. I also separated the egg whites and yolks, and beat the whites separately before folding them into the pancake mixture. This is because I have found that this results in a lighter, fluffier pancake.

I served the pancakes with some honey roasted ham and gouda cheese, and topped the pancake stack with some salad leaves and a drizzle of truffle infused oil. And you know what, it was a brilliant combination. A refreshing change from sweet pancakes, especially if you’re not a fan of sweet breakfast/brunch dishes. Definitely something I will be making again. ๐Ÿ™‚ I might even experiment with adding the ham and cheese into the actual pancake batter…

Do try this if you’re in the mood for something a little different!

Happy Pancake Day, everyone!

Ham & cheese pancake stack
Adapted from a recipe in Bill’s Food

For the pancakes:

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 3 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3 cups buttermilk*
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, separated

To serve:

  • Ham
  • Cheese of your choice
  • Salad leaves (optional)
  • Truffle infused oil (optional)

1. Place the flour, baking powder, baking powder, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Mix well.
2. Add the egg yolks, melted butter and buttermilk to the flour mixture, and mix until just combined. Don’t worry if there are still some lumps in the mixture – don’t be tempted to overmix as it will result in a dense and stodgy pancake.
3. Whip the egg whites (in a stand mixer or with a handheld whisk) until they form soft peaks.
4. Fold the egg whites into the pancake batter mixture, until just combined.
5. Spoon 1/2 cup of batter into a oiled non-stick pan over medium high heat. Flip the pancake when bubbles start to appear on the surface of the pancake, and when the edges are starting to dry out. Once flipped, cook for a further minute. Remove and keep warm.
6. Repeat with remaining pancake batter, until all the batter is used up.
7. Serve with ham, cheese, salad leaves and a drizzle of truffle infused oil.

*No buttermilk? Make your own – add 1 tablespoon lemon juice to 1 cup milk. Leave to stand for 5 minutes. Voila, homemade buttermilk!

Roti jala (Malaysian net crepes)

Sometimes I wonder if I would have been so enthusiastic about cooking if I hadn’t come to the UK when I was 17. It was definitely a whole new experience, and I still remember how I was a mixed bag of feelings – excited yet slightly apprehensive. I must say I was lucky, as I went to an A level college which pretty much looked after us in every way possible – all our meals were catered for, we had our laundry done for us once a week, and even our rooms cleaned every so often! It also helped that at least three quarters of the year was from South East Asia, and it felt like a home away from home.

And then there was university, where after a year in halls, I had to start looking for a place to stay. Slowly, the true reality of life started to sink in – rent, household chores, living with people you barely knew, and of course dealing with bills.

Anyway, I digress. I was saying how I probably wouldn’t be such a cooking nut if I had stayed on in Malaysia – primarily because I would have lots of food available to me, pretty much 24/7. I mean, anyone who’s been to Malaysia will know that eating is truly a national hobby, and that we will go to great lengths to eat the “best char koay teow” (or insert appropriate dish here).

The fact that I often crave for various Malaysian dishes that are hard to come by in London is therefore a good thing, as it forces me to learn how to cook them. Now I’m not saying I do it well, but beggars can’t be choosers. When you’re desperate, anything is better than nothing. ๐Ÿ˜›

Roti jala (directly translated as “net bread”) is a popular Malaysian dish that is often served at parties (or “kenduri” as we call it back home). They are essentially savoury crepes which have a net like design, and are eaten with curries – my favourite way to eat them is with chicken and potato curry. And if you asked me what my favourite carb accompaniment to curry was –ย  this would be it. I would not dare to speak of how many of these I can eat in one sitting…

These are made with a special mould, which has five mini “funnels” in it. I didn’t take a photo of it, but type “roti jala mould” into google images and you’ll find lots of photos. If you don’t own such a mould, you can poke 5 holes in a can/bottle and use that as a makeshift mould (I have never done this myself so cannot vouch for how well this will work).

Although time consuming (as you have to make one at a time), these are actually quite easy to whip up. I was actually surprised at how fuss free they were, and how good they tasted! If you haven’t had these before, do try them, and I promise you won’t be dissapointed!

Roti Jala (Malaysian net crepes)
Based on this recipe by Seasaltwithfood

  • 300g plain flour
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp corn oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground tumeric
  • 300ml water
  • 300ml semi-skimmed milk (you can also use coconut milk)

1. Combine all the ingredients, and whisk until the batter is smooth and free of lumps. Strain the batter.
2. Heat a non-stick pan over medium high heat.
3. Fill the mould with some batter, and make a few mini-swirls in the pan until it forms a large “net” pancake. (It’s hard to explain this process with words, and in retrospect, I should have taken photos of the cooking process to make it easier to understand. This video from youtube shows this process.) *
4. When the batter is set (takes about 1 minute), flip it over and cook the other side for approximately 30 seconds.
5. Remove pancake/crepe from the pan, and fold them into triangles/roll them up as I did.
6. Repeat the above until you have used up all the batter. I keep the cooked roti jala in a low heat oven to keep them warm.
7. Serve warm with a curry of your choice.

*When making the mini-swirls, keep the mould as close to the pan as possible as it helps to create a prettier net like design. On my first few attempts, I had the mould too far away from the pan (i.e. too high), which meant that by the time the batter got close to the pan, the flow of the batter was nearing a “drip drip” flow (as opposed to a continuous flow of batter which is what you want). Errr, does that make sense?

Pancake Tuesday!

I’ve been home for more than a week now, and I can’t believe how quickly time has flown by. This time next week, I’ll be getting ready to head back to London, eep.

Being in UK for the last 7 years has meant I’ve forgotten about how busy it gets during Chinese New Year. It’s been rather hectic over the last few days, with all the home visits and family gatherings – but rest assured that this has not stopped me from taking lots of photos! And for once I think I may just have more photos of people than I do of food in my camera. It’s been great fun though, and things should get slightly less busy now as it usually does around the 3rd day of Chinese New Year (for those of you who don’t know, we Chinese go all out, and the celebration lasts for a full 15 days).

Although I’ve been surrounded by lots of red & gold decorations, as well as lots of Chinese/Malaysian food, I didn’t want to miss the chance to post something on Pancake Day (even though it’s not in line with my plan to have Chinese New Year related posts). I’m a massive fan of pancakes, and try to make them whenever I can. I still remember the first time I made pancakes – they were upsettingly thin and dare I even say.. not fluffy in the very least! But practice always helps, and after many many experiments, I have found my favourite pancake recipe: none other than the lovely Bill Granger’s ricotta hotcakes.

I have previously blogged about these little babies, but as it IS my favourite pancake recipe, I hope that you will forgive me for blogging about the same thing. What I can say is that I now am able to make them fluffier than I could previously – I used to flatten the pancakes with my spatula as I thought this would make it brown more evenly, but I then realised that this meant my pancakes would flatten out and be less ‘fluffy’. So the best way to do this is definitely to just pour the batter onto the pan, and resist the urge to mess around with it! ๐Ÿ˜›

Bill’s original recipe calls for these hotcakes/pancakes to be served with bananas and honeycomb butter, but as I have never been one for following recipes to the T, I’ve always served it with the fruits I have on hand. I previously served them with a mix of summer berries (which I buy frozen from Waitrose – they come in really handy I must say!), and this time, I went for blueberries instead. And of course, lots and lots of maple syrup.

You can find the recipe for these lovely ricotta hotcakes here. A special mention goes out to the lovely Mowie, who introduced me to these in the first place – for which I am very thankful!

I hope you do try these, even if it’s not today. I promise it’ll be worth it. (And if ricotta pancakes are not your thing, maybe you’ll prefer these chocolate chip pancakes.)

Happy Pancake Day, everyone!