Friday, 13 August 2010

Wholemeal Pancakes with Ratatouille

Another from Entertaining with Cranks. The illustrations show food on artisanal pottery plates with brown specks (like the wholemeal flour). Such crockery was very fashionable, and made a horrible grating noise when you put a soup bowl on a plate, or a cup on a saucer. The glasses are cylindrical and Swedish, with heavy bottoms and look quite 2010.

8 oz 100% wholemeal flour
pinch salt
2 eggs
3/4 pint milk

Put the flour and salt into a basin, beat together the eggs and a little of the milk and add. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps. Gradually add the rest of the milk to make a smooth batter - add more milk if it it seems too thick. Let stand for 30 mins. Pour into a jub. Heat a pancake pan and grease it well. Pour about 3 tbsps of the batter into the pan, swirling it around evenly. Cook over medium heat until light golden brown. Turn and cook the other side. Repeat.

Ratatouille stuffing
1 aubergine
2 tbsps oil
1 sliced onion
1 deseeded and diced red pepper
3 sliced courgettes
2 fl oz water
1 veg stock cube
2 tbsps tomato puree
2 crushed garlic cloves
1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs
5 sliced tomatoes
8-10 wholemeal pancakes
2 oz grated cheddar cheese

Cut the aubergine into cubes and put in salted water for 30 mins. Drain, rinse and dry on kitchen paper. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the sliced onion and cook gently until transparent. Place the remaining veg on top of the onion in layers. First the aubergine, then the peppers, then the courgettes. Mix the water, stock cube, tomato puree, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper and pour over the veg. Cover with the sliced tomatoes. Cover the pan tightly and simmer gently for 15-20 mins. Drain off the liquid and keep for soups and sauces. Divide the mixture between the pancakes. Roll up. Place in an oven proof dish, sprinkle with grated cheese and bake in the over at 180C/350F for 20-30 mins. Serve with watercress.

Ratatouille was big in the 70s and 80s, as was tomato paste/puree. I'm not sure you need to go through that rigmarole with the aubergine. The trick with red peppers is to dice them small and cook them thoroughly - they should subtly flavour, not dominate.

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