Recipe: Savoury Dutch pancakes
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Pancakes are one of the best fast foods for dinner. Try making ours, filled with mushrooms, leeks, onions, ham and cheese.
Last week my family and I took a little R and R at Center Parcs in the Netherlands. In this case 'R' and 'R' stand for running about and rapids. There's no rest on those kinds of holidays. We must have spent 20 hours in the pool alone! The one area I did get a break from though was cooking. I have to say, I wasn't massively impressed by the food offerings on site, but jut a mile up the road was a proper, down-home, really friendly pancake house. 'How good really can pancakes be?' I said to my hubby as I scrolled through the menu. Very, was the answer. Our waitress recommended the traditional Dutch pancake and not only did it sate my huge appetite, but it was honestly one of the best lunches I've ever had - all melty and savoury and gorgeous. A key to replicating it is to put a thin layer of batter on the bottom of the pan before laying in whole slices of ham, which makes the whole thing easier to turn. It's a nice, quick rushing-in-the-door dinner. If you can't get hold of Speck ham, pick a really good strong smoked ham instead.
(makes 2-3 large pancakes)
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Handful button mushrooms, finely sliced
1 medium leek finely sliced
1/2 small onion, finely sliced
220g plain flour
2 large eggs
Fresh ground black pepper
6 slices Speck ham
Handful grated Gouda cheese per pancake
Oil for frying
Fry the mushrooms, leek and onion with a splash of oil on a medium heat until nice and soft but not coloured. Remove to a bowl to cool. Whisk together the flour, eggs and milk with a pinch of salt and generous dose of fresh black pepper. Add the softened vegetables.
Heat a 23cm frying pan, brush with oil and pour over an even layer of batter thinly. Lay a couple of slices of ham on top then cover with more batter to about 1/2cm thick. Cook on a high heat until you can see the edges are set and going crispy. Top with a handful of cheese and pop under a hot grill to cook the other side and melt the cheese. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Delicious.