“Fat” Tuesday





We all know it as Pancake Day in England but for the rest of the Christian world the day before the start of Lent is Mardi Gras, literally, Fat Tuesday. Traditionally, this was the day when devout practitioners of the faith whipped up a storm in the kitchen to use up all the goodies that they wouldn’t be able to eat during the 40 days of Lent.
 
These days most people don’t really do anything for Lent although some give up chocolate or cakes or booze but not necessarily for the most Christian reasons. Lent used to be a pretty severe time dietary-wise when meat was removed from the diet for the 40 days running up to Easter. Some still observe these traditions but at CellarVie we’re not sure whether we are going to give up anything this year and so we have dug out some of our favourite pancake recipes for those of you who are looking to have a flipping fantastic time next Tuesday.
 
To make the pancakes:
 
100g Plain Flour
 
2 Eggs
 
300ml semi-skimmed milk
 
1 tablespoon melted butter
 
Method
 
Sieve the flour into a large bowl, make a well in the centre and crack in the eggs then pour in a splash of the milk. Using a balloon whisk, start to stir from the centre of the bowl, drawing the flour into the eggs and milk. Keep beating the mix while slowly adding the rest of the milk until you have a smooth batter about the consistency of single cream. Stir in the melted butter.
 
Put a non-stick frying pan or crêpe pan (a 20-23cm base is ideal) on a medium heat. Add a tiny piece of butter to the warm pan and swirl it around. Pour in a ladleful of batter, tilting and swirling the pan until the bottom is covered with a thin, even layer of batter. Leave the pancake alone until it starts to colour around the edge. 
 
Use a fish slice or palette knife to ease the edge of the pancake away from the pan to check that the underside is golden, then turn it over in one quick movement or flip it. Cook for another 30 seconds before turning out onto a plate. Eat straight away.
 
Fillings and toppings
 
We all know the classics – lemon and sugar, chocolate sauce, golden syrup – but what about stuffing your crepes with lots of berries (blue and red) and whipped cream and a sprinkling of chopped hazelnuts to add texture? Try a sweet wine with it, like Brown Brother’s Orange Muscat (£6.99) – heavenly.
 
If you prefer a savoury dish we recommend sautéing some spinach and mushrooms together, then rolling the mix up in a pancake. Place the filled pancakes in a gratin dish, smother with a tub of ready-made Carbonara Sauce and a sprinkling of strong cheddar and whack it in the oven for 25 minutes. You could also think about filling the pancakes with Smoked Salmon and cream cheese and serving them slightly warm – perfect with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc or a good Rosé.

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