Cooking with Cream for Dairy Goodness 100% Canadian Milk: Crispy Pancakes

Crispy Seafood Pancakes Crispy Seafood Pancakes
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Apologies to our loyal readers, we have been less than diligent about putting together posts of late. This week, leading to the Victoria Day weekend in Ontario, the team has had to shift gears to address other priorities. Some deal with our day jobs. foodiePrints has never been and likely will never be revenue-generating. Others involve our wine blogger Claire, getting married.

That’s right folks. She who pens foodiePrints’ wine reviews on Wednesdays and a handful other forays into fine food will give up her bachelorette status on Sunday. Please join me in wishing she and her beau much love and happiness as they move onto the next stage in their relationship.

That said, we have not been sitting still, keeping much of our social media foot print active. Some of our past projects, however, have come to fruition.

One of which involves our again partnering with the Dairy Farmers of Canada to promote cooking with Canadian milk and milk products. We are again competing in their Anyday Magic – Dairy Goodness campaign that pits food bloggers, professional food stylists, and the odd chef against one another.

This month, the challenge was “creamy seafood.”

We came up with crispy seafood pancakes. [And yes, we will be asking you to vote for our entry, but more on that later…]

Crispy Seafood Pancakes

Crispy Seafood Pancakes

What are essentially panko-breaded and stuffed crepe pockets were inspired by something Chef Marc Lepine of award winning Atelier Restaurant (540 Rochester Street) prepared for one of the Knives Out dinners. Knives Out is a group of Ottawa chefs, coming together to prepare themed multi-course dinners at various local restaurants. For the #Escoffierdinner, Lepine prepared and served a take on classic lobster thermidor.

Chef Marc Lepine's Scallop Thermador from #Escoffierdinner

Chef Marc Lepine’s Scallop Thermador from #Escoffierdinner

[with Qualicum scallops, mushrooms, Parmesan, pickled chanterelles, dehydrated fennel, lardons, and smoked paprika]

Rich and savoury we wanted to replicate some of his scallop thermidor’s flavours and textures, so looked to what may well be a comfort food for British expats, the crispy pancake. Mass produced even today by Findus in the UK, we stuffed ours with something reminiscent of chowder and shallow fried them.

Click here for the recipe. [And vote…]

For the Filling:
2 tbsp butter
1/2 medium onion diced (approximately 4 tbsp)
1/2 carrot diced (approximately 4 tbsp)
2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup 10% cream
1 medium potato diced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tin smoked mussels (85g)
pre-cooked fish (salmon, cod, haddock, or halibut broken into pieces)
3-4 tbsp green peas (defrosted or canned)
3-4 tbsp corn nibblets (defrosted or canned)
egg wash (2 tbsp water per one large egg)
6-8 crêpes (store-bought or from scratch)*
panko bread crumbs, regular bread crumbs, or finely crushed corn flakes to coat the pancakes
high smoke point oil for frying (vegetable, canola, or sunflower)

For the Crêpes:
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups milk
2-3 tbsp of butter for frying the crêpes
2 large eggs
3 tbsp melted (and cooled) butter

For the filling:
Place a sauce pan that can hold the milk and cream onto medium heat. Melt the butter in the pan. Once the butter has liquefied, add the onion and carrot. Add a pinch of salt and cook the vegetables until slightly harder than “fork tender.” If anything turns brown, turn the heat down.

Add the flour to the pan. Cook everything until the mixture smells “nutty.” The flour will colour.

Take the pan off the heat and add the dairy, both milk and cream. Stir. The mixture will be lumpy.

Turn the heat back up to medium if it had been lowered. Place the pan back on the heat. Add the potato and seasonings (red pepper flake, thyme, and bay leaf). Stir the mixture until it smooths out. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Simmer the mixture for 5 minutes or until the potato is fork tender.

Take the mixture off the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Fold the mussels, fish, green peas, and corn nibblets into the mixture.

Place 3-4 tbsp of the mixture onto an open crêpe. Fold the crêpe in half, creating a half moon shape and sealing the edge with egg wash. Brush egg wash over the outside of the pocket and coat it in the crumbs.

Place a fry pan onto medium heat with approximately an inch of oil. Heat the oil to 350 F. Shallow fry the crêpe pocket until the coating turns golden, approximately 90 seconds on each side.

Place on a cake rack set over newsprint to drain.

Repeat with remaining crêpes and mixture. Make more egg wash as necessary. Serve hot.

*For the crêpes:
Combine flour and salt in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, butter, and eggs. Slowly add the flour mixture, whisking conservatively until there are no more lumps. If needed, add a little more milk to get a thin consistency. Let the batter rest in the fridge for at least an hour.

Place a non-stick pan over medium heat. Melt butter in the pan. Carefully add batter to the centre of the pan and swirl outwards to coat thinly. How much batter depends on the size of pan. A ladle helps. Cook the crêpe for 30 seconds on one side. As the crêpe sets, loosen the edge with a spatula and flip it over. Cook for another 10-20 more seconds.

Slide the crêpe out of the pan and onto a plate or cutting board. Lay them out flat so they can cool.

Repeat with remaining batter.

More of a seafood stew, the filling could actually be covered in bread or cracker crumbs and broiled to prepare something more familiar to North American palates.

Thickened ChowderRamekined with PankoBroiled

Crepes are readily available at the mega-mart, so this dish can be made easily.

Separated by pieces of parchment paper, freshly-made crepes freeze well.

Crispy Seafood Pancakes Make a Convenient Meal

Crispy Seafood Pancakes Make a Convenient Meal

Crispy pancakes make great solutions for leftovers, as well.

Care to vote for ours? Click here.

Wish us luck!

Have a great Victoria Day weekend!

Mild-mannered IT professional by day and food blogger by night, I founded foodiePrints with a single intention, to share my love of all things food. My first post shared a recipe. Many followed. Eventually, I learned Ottawa prepares and serves great food. Thereafter, I started meeting restaurateurs, chefs, cooks, farmers, and other local producers, all good people. Ideas for food-related content swirled in my head. foodiePrints grew into a place to put them. From exploring foreign and domestic cuisines to shopping for exotic ingredients and cobbling together my takes on dishes in my meager kitchen, there are stories to tell. Welcome to foodiePrints. Here, you will find stories about food and drink, cooking, and eating in Canada’s capital. Be it food-related or just food-for-thought, I hope you find something tasty here.