For Oma! This is her recipe (although she uses mortadella ham rather than bacon). She prepares it like no other and even at my best I cannot compare when cooking it! When Oma visits she knows what will be requested without asking!
Pancake day approaches with swift steps, yay, and this is a savoury way to include them in your Shrove Tuesday celebrations. Better yet, have the traditional crepes from my last post at breakfast time and these for dinner! 😉
Be prepared to spend a bit of time by your stove though – you need to make the bechamel sauce, spinach sauce,tomato sauce and of course the bacon has to be fried until crisp as well as the pancakes flipped! It is worth it though – and ever so child friendly. Reminds me a bit of a soft spinach lasagna and the sweet flavours of nutmeg and spinach really compliment the salty bacon… Soft and comforting food!
Spinach Pancake Layers
For the pancakes100g plain flour 50g rye flour 1 egg 375ml milk 2 tbsp vegetable oil Pinch of salt
For the Spinach Sauce500g frozen chopped spinach 150ml single cream (milk is also fine just makes it less creamy) 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg 1/2 tsp salt For the Tomato Sauce 2 tins of chopped tomatoes 1 clove of garlic – halved 1 tbsp olive oil 2 tsp sugar 1 tsp salt A few basil leaves Bechamel Sauce Big knob of butter – 80g or so 40g plain flour 900ml milk Salt to taste 1 pack of bacon lardons Grated Cheddar Cheese to top the dish with
- Put flours and salt in a bowl
- In a separate bowl beat together egg and milk until smooth; add the oil
- Whisk the egg mixture into the flour
- Pour the batter into a jug and let stand for 10 minutes to collect itself
- Grease a non stick frying pan with some oil (using a paper tissue works well) and heat
- While the pan is heating up give the batter a quick stir. If it feels dense add a little bit of milk
- When pan is hot and ready, pour on a small amount of batter – the first pancake always turns out dreadful – don’t worry about it! Flip the pancakes when the sides start to go golden and fry on the other side for a minute or two
- Keep flipping your pancakes and place them in a pile on a plate
- Defrost spinach by putting it over low heat in a saucepan with the cream (or milk). Stir frequently. When combined to a sauce season with nutmeg and salt and leave
- Open your tin of tomatoes and pour into a large, deep, frying pan
- Place the peeled and halved garlic clove into the tomatoes and simmer over medium heat – stirring frequently as it reduces and thickens
- Once thick, turn off the heat, add sugar and salt as well as the olive oil and basil leaves – allow to cool
- In a saucepan gently heat the milk
- In a separate saucepan melt the butter gently – don’t over-heat it or let it brown, as this will affect the colour and flavour of the sauce. As soon as the butter melts, add the flour and, over a medium heat and using a small wooden spoon, stir quite vigorously to make a paste
- Begin adding the warm milk a little at a time – again stirring vigorously. As the milk is incorporated, add the next amount and continue incorporating each bit of liquid before you add the next. When about half the milk is in, switch to a whisk and start adding large amounts of milk, always whisking briskly
- You will soon have a smooth, glossy, creamy sauce – if it is lumpy simply remove from heat and stir a lot – this removes the lumps
Fry the bacon lardons in a frying pan (no oil) and place on a piece of kitchen tissue using a slotted spoon once slightly crisp but not black! Let oils soak into tissue and then remove onto new plateLayering!
- Pre-heat oven to 225C
- In a deep oven proof dish, start with a layer of bechamel sauce, then spinach sauce, then pancakes – break them to fit into the dish
- On top of this you then continue layering – bechamel, spinach, tomatoes and a sprinkle of bacon lardons – finishing off with another layer of pancakes!
- Keep going until you run out of ingredients! The prettiest finish is with bechamel sauce as the last layer.
- Sprinkle some grated cheddar cheese on top and pop in oven for 25 minutes at 225C
- You can easily prepare the dish in the morning or even the evening before and simply put in the oven just before serving. Hope you enjoy it!