Pancakes are one of my favourite breakfast recipes, probably because I normally skip it as a meal time so my food knowledge is less than extensive for any time before say 11 o’clock. When I do indulge though, I have to do it properley. Start with the standard mix, 135g of plain flour, 1tsp of baking powder, a healthy pinch of salt, 2 tbsp of caster sugar, 130ml of milk (I use full fat for pancakes, if you’ve got it), and the largest egg you can find.
Nice high oven temperature and about 12 rashes of bacon coated on top with lashings of Maple syrup (golden is more than sufficient), when they’re cooked on top (don’t worry if they start turning a little black it’s just the sugar) flip them over and coat the other side as well. Bellisimo! It also leaves the kitchen smelling more like you’ve been baking cakes, rather than a greasy fry up. Whilst i’m waiting for it to finish cooking, I whip my ingredients together get the frying pan on a mid-high temp and make sure I coat the bottom of the pan with lots of butter. **After each pancake it is essential to add more butter!** The actual process of cooking pancakes I find a little stressy, because like in true American diners I want them piled high on my plate, but this has it’s obvious flaws in an average sized kitchen where I can only cook one at a time. A great tip is to turn the oven off but leave the bacon in the bottom of it, and put your already cooked pancakes on your plate on one of the shelves inside, ensuring all your food will be ready at the same time.
The recipe is supposed to serve 4-6 people, which is ridiculous because it serves about 2-3 in my family, the 12 rashes of bacon is split between our individual mountains of pancakes and then a hearty glug of syrup finishes it off nicely.
Any left over pancakes? Time to bring in the chocolate sauce!
Those two weeks off have really flown by, admittedly I could have spent more time in the kitchen but day time television was just too good for that. Of what precious time I did spend cooking, I made one of my favourite meals, Beef Stew. But before I get on to that I must mention that A) apologies for the photos I couldn’t find my camera and B) I am bestowing on to you my secret ingredient, one which I treasure and rarely share.. the power is with you now.
I normally begin with butter, quartered onions and 200g of pancetta and brown off my hunk of meat which is about 800 grams of stewing steak, but i’ll admit that in my household it’s sometimes better to go with the big KG. I normally chuck in a few sage leaves because I like to make full use of my herb plants, and season well! About half a bottle of red wine is needed next along with half a tube of tomato puree and some half cherry tomatoes. I next used mixed herbs and one of the great things about this recipe is that you can add as many things as you want to it, later on in winter I make make it with the vegetables such as carrots, parsnips and squash inside the stew with some barley to make it into a ‘one pan’ dish. At this point just double check the meat is almost cooked, add two handfuls of sliced mushrooms and a small amount of garlic puree and reduce it down. The stew’s tasting alright by now but without it’s special ingredient of, wait for it, wait for it, Balsamic glaze it is simply not at it’s best. Now, when I say a generous squeeze, I mean a goddam generous squeeze and probably some more aswell. Keep testing it, until it’s at the perfect balance of sweet and savoury. It may not sound brilliant but trust me it tastes it. Plate up with Jackson’s classic mashed potatoes and a substantial heap of smashed carrot and swede and this beauty can finally.. Get In My Gob.
After a very crappy day, and a very crappy cup of coffee from the greasy spoon down the road I knew I had to take action on the afternoon. Fish and chips are fantastic, but a fish and chip sandwich is better, lashings of tomato ketchup and an ice cold glass of milk, however instantly satisfying this was to me it just was not enough to lift my spirits. So I did what all Brit’s do I put the kettle, made a builders brew and rummaged around for some chocolate. Expect my chocolate had a twist, I was no longer feeling like such a nationalist and instead caved to my biggest fall down in life, American candy. I’m unstoppable, raiding the cupboards like a madman tossing the galaxy’s, crunchie’s and mars bar’s out of the way until I reach them, the 1 and Only. No literally, that’s what it’s called, the 1 and only. The best that America has to offer, although the Take 5 bar comes pretty close, i’m suprised it lasted long enough for me to take a photo..
I’m a culture vulture, i’ll admit it and I’ll warn others about joining me. It’s an expensive habit, I think my last order was about £60′s worth, unashamedly so. But if you do, please god please, will someone order the mystery flavour of Laffy Taffy and tell me what it is. Last I heard it was bacon..
LT departing. x