Thursday, 10 November 2011

Beetroot Pancakes with a Mushroom, Spring Onion and Cashew Filling

After a very successful year for growing beetroot it's great to still be harvesting a good sized crop in early November. At this time of year the more mature beetroot is not as sweet as it was earlier in the season so I have stopped using the larger beets for salads and sandwiches, however it's still good for cooked dishes. The recipe below is a fun and inventive way to use beetroot. The pancake intentionally has a mild flavour to compliment the cheesy filling.

Makes 4
For the pancakes:
50g cooked beetroot finely grated
1 egg
150ml whole or semi skimmed milk
50g plain flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Sunflower or vegetable oil for frying

For the filling:
8 Spring onions
400g  mushrooms
100g cashews
4 tbs crème fraiche
50g butter or margarine
2 tsp plain flour
Salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper
50g mature cheddar cheese finely grated for garnish

Accompanying salad
Bag of prepared baby leaf salad, broad beans and cherry tomatoes with fresh herb dressing

For the dressing:
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp white wine vinegar
2 tbs olive oil
¼ tsp whole grain mustard
1 tsp clear honey
1 tbs of finely chopped fresh basil, oregano and parsley
1.   First make the batter. Sift the flour into a bowl and add the egg and milk.  Using an electric or hand whisk, whisk until batter is smooth.

2.   Stir in the finely grated beetroot and seasoning.  Cover and set aside.

3.   While batter is resting, clean and slice spring onions and mushrooms and chop cashews.

4.   Heat a very little oil in an 18cm/7 inch frying pan.  Remove from heat, pour 2 tablespoons of the batter into the pan and tilt pan until batter evenly covers base.

5.   Return pan to heat and cook until the top looks dry. Loosen edge gently with palette knife and shake pan, then toss or turn over and cook on the other side for a further 20-30 seconds.  Lift pancake out and place on plate in low oven to keep warm.

6.   Repeat process to make a further 3 pancakes.

7.   Next make the filling. Melt the butter or margarine in a medium sized frying pan and add the sliced spring onions.  Cook for approx. 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

8.   Add the mushrooms and cashews and continue to cook for 3-5 minutes.

9.   Stir 2 tsp plain flour into the crème fraiche, mixing thoroughly.  Stir into mushroom mixture and heat gently, stirring frequently until sauce thickens. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste.

10. Take pancakes out of the oven, divide the mushroom mixture evenly between the pancakes, placing filling in centre, and roll the pancakes around the filling.

11. Sprinkle finely grated cheese onto warm pancakes

12. Serve salad with herb dressing. To make the dressing: Put all ingredients into bowl or jug and whisk until thoroughly blended.

Another beetroot idea: For tonight's dinner I have layered potatoes and uncooked beetroot slices for a bake which also includes cheese and spring onions. It is cooked in a long slow oven with a little milk and butter.

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