Happy New Year to all our lovely readers! Chef Gerald did not approve of his parents staying out past his bedtime on New Year’s Eve, but luckily all was forgiven thanks to the lovely sunshine he’s been enjoying over the past few days – and his growing balcony crop of strawberries and chillies :-) He has great plans for his Bistro in 2011 and is looking forward to a year filled with lots of fresh inspiration, fun in the kitchen and bossing his Mummy and Daddy around, of course. We hope you join us on the journey :-)
As our first recipe for the year, we’ve chosen something that’s quite indulgent – you can tell we’re still in holidays mode here – yet healthy, packed with fresh veggies and herbs, and of course using two of Chef Gerald’s favourite ingredients at the moment: zucchini and corn.
Unfortunately, savoury pancake territory is largely unexplored for us, but we’re working on addressing this problem :-) The inspiration in this case came from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Green pancakes with lime butter, which we have previously enjoyed on a rather chilly winter morning. This time we wanted to lighten the original recipe a little, and also make use of some of the best seasonal produce at the moment. These little pancakes are perfect for brunch, accompanied by a fresh salad – they’re full of flavour, so there’s no need for extra butter, cream of cheese here, but if you would like a more substantial meal, they’re wonderful with a little crumbled feta or goat’s cheese.
Zucchini and Corn Pancakes
1 large or 2 medium zucchini, coarsely grated
Kernels from 1 ear of corn
110 g wholemeal spelt flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
Finely chopped chives, coriander and dill (about 3 tbsp in total)
2 tbsp butter, melted
2 green chillies, seeded and finely sliced
½ tsp cumin
Grated zest and juice from one lime
1 tsp baking powder
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Olive oil, for frying the pancakes
Place the grated zucchini in a sieve or colander, sprinkle with a little salt and let it sit over a bowl or sink for at least 30 minutes (this will help drain some of the liquid), then squeeze out as much of the excess liquid as you can with your hands. Set aside.
Sift flour and baking powder in a bowl, then mix in the spices, lime zest, salt and pepper.
Add all other ingredients (remember to squeeze as much liquid as you can out of the grated zucchini first) and mix thoroughly to incorporate. There’s no need for a mixer here, using a fork is just fine. The resulting batter will be rather thick and chunky.
Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan, then drop heaped tablespoons of batter in and shape them into small 7 – 8 cm diameter pancakes. Cook over moderate heat for about 1 ½ – 2 minutes or until golden brown on each side – you will not see the usual bubbles forming on the surface here. Makes about 10 pancakes. These are best served warm and not hot.