Recipe: Flip it! Let's make pancakes!

Máirt na hInide, Lá na bPancóg, Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday...

It is the day someone we know puts their last store potato on a bare patch of ground as a test of their soil and spirit of place - if their birds and wildlife leave anything by St Patrick's Day, nature is ready. If not, "Wait! Share what you have until they tell you it is time to sow". It has many names and traditions.

But Pancake Tuesday is celebrated in Letterkenny and Donegal in much the same way as around the world. This year might be a bit different in a lot of ways, but Pancake Tuesday is still the perfect day to get into the kitchen, have some fun and get creative with toppings and flavours!



The taunting "Oh! Did you want to taste it? Too late! LOL" message pancake - A golden sugar, Chinese five spice pancake with caramelised pear and salted caramel.

Whether it is ritual, memory, belief or listening to nature; many of us enjoy a day of feasting around this time of year. Whatever inspired us to do it, we've been making pancakes...and it got us excited about a new season of local produce and our Spring menu for The Church.


We have to admit, we had some flipping fun making some of our favourites!

But, between us all in the kitchen we came up with our best measurements (everyone has "their" recipe) and tips for you to try at home.


Choc chip - when Chef Wendy says " blooming lovely and that sort of thing doesn't normally appeal to me!" you know it must be good! Not all of us got to taste it...



They are all easy to follow... but if they end up a flipping disaster, so what!


Just whisk up another batch and try again.

The Classic - Timeless, effortless and simply a classic. This recipe is as easy as it gets.

The American - Thick and fluffy just like in the movies.

The Savoury Dinner - A simple but sophisticated option for grownups and kids alike.

THE CLASSIC

Start to finish: 15 mins

Ingredients: 100g plain flour, 2 large eggs, 300ml milk, 1 tbsp melted butter. sunflower or vegetable oil, plus a small amount for frying and a pinch of salt



We'd sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl if we were to make them for you... but if you want to make it even easier there is no need.

Just make sure you shake the bag to break it up and so that it isn't too lumpy. Measuring it through a fork helps too.


Make a well in the centre of the flour like you are planning Volcanic lair for a James Bond Villain.


Crack the egg into the well; add the melted butter or oil and half the milk.


Gradually draw the flour into the core, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon until all the flour has been incorporated.


Keep going until you have smooth batter.


Stir in the remaining milk and if you have any lumps of flour break them up with the spoon and mix a bit more.

Alternatively, blitz all the ingredients together in a blender or food processor - it isn't as satisfying but it is faster!


Leave to stand for about 30 minutes, then stir again before frying.


Heat the pan you have until very hot and turn it down to medium. Grease it with the butter, oil or spray and ladle enough of the batter to coat the base - tilting the pan so the mixture spreads across the base as evenly as you can.


Cook over a moderate heat for 1-2 minutes - look for the bubbles in the middle and then wait a few a seconds before you try flip it.

If you don't want to risk it ending on the floor - wait until the batter looks dry on the top and begins to brown at the edges. Then use a palette knife or spatula to gently turn it and cook the other side. Serve with your favourite topping.



THE AMERICAN

Start to finish: 15 mins

200g self-raising flour, 3 large eggs, 200ml milk, 1 tbsp golden caster sugar, 1 and a half tbsp baking powder. 1 and half tbsp melted butter, sunflower or vegetable oil.

The ingredients are a little different from the classic but with a bit more effort to make them you'll quickly have the look and taste of a true American diner.


Sift the self raising flour (it makes a difference for this one) into a mixing bowl and add the baking powder.

Make a well in the centre of the flour like Slieve Gullion once to had.


Admire your Slieve League cliffs one last time before you say good bye to the Donegal and the North West of Ireland and imagine yourself in an American diner.


Crack the egg into the well; add the melted butter or oil, the golden caster sugar and half the milk.


Gradually draw the flour into the core by stirring all the time with a wooden spoon until all the flour has been incorporated.


Keep going until you have smooth batter.


Stir in the remaining milk and if you have any lumps of flour break them up with the spoon.

Alternatively, whizz in a food processor or blender - it isn't quite the same though.


Leave to stand for about 30 minutes, then stir again before frying.


Heat the pan you have until very hot and turn it down to medium. Grease it with the butter, oil or spray and ladle enough of the batter to coat the base thinly (we find about 12 tablespoons works well).


Cook over a moderate heat for 2 minutes or until firm. Turn with a spatula and cook for approx another minute and a half. Top with maple syrup.




THE SAVOURY DINNER

Cooking Time: 15 mins

Ingredients: 100g plain flour, 2 large eggs, 300ml milk, 1 tbsp melted butter. sunflower or vegetable oil, plus a small amount for frying. 8 rashers, 2 scallions, 40g cheddar cheese, a quarter teaspoon of baking powder


We all feel a bit scrambled lately but this is a great alternative to an omelette! The pancake batter base is the same as the traditional but without the salt. While you are letting the batter sit, fry finely cut rashers and add finely chopped scallions when the fat starts to melt. Drain the fat (you can make bird feed fat balls but that is a different recipe!) and let cool for a couple of minutes. Heat the pan you have until very hot and turn it down to medium.

Spoon the rashers and scallions into the batter. Lightly grease it with the butter, oil or spray.

Ladle about the same amount of batter as you would use to make an omelette into the pan. Sprinkle the cheese as it cooks over a moderate heat for about 2 minutes each side or until the cheese is melted in.


The "Does vanilla ice cream go with it or not" debate is for you.


Got your own special recipe? We'd love to try it. Don't forget to show us your creations in the comments or on Facebook.


We are back in our kitchen on the Rockhill Estate on Friday from 5pm - bringing you all your favourites from The Church Restaurant with contactless collection or contactless delivery in Letterkenny. Happy flipping!

The Church Team


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