Monday, 8 August 2011

Finally a Batter success – Tuna, Olive and Vegetable pancakes

After my sharing of my batter nightmare some time back with you all, and abstinence from all batter related items for a considerable amount of time since, the fear of failure had finally diminished and after having several successful recipes of late, decided it was high time the scary world of batter was revisited!

Firstly, I will be honest in that I actually don’t like pancakes. There is just something to me that’s not quite right about them, this has stemmed from an early age, so you may now be wondering why I chose to make them…..well, many moons back D and I spent a sunny two weeks in Greece, and in one of our favourite lunch places they used to serve filled savoury crepes, baked in a cheese sauce. Now these were the exception to my no pancake rule – they were really delicious and if I recall correctly we had them a good five times or so during the fortnight! Also being of the mindset that anything is salvageable with a cheese sauce, I spotted this recipe on the good to know site a few weeks and pencilled them into our meal planner, D loves pancakes and my friend / sous chef was coming over, who equally likes them so in the back of my mind I thought if I didn’t like them, I could just eat something scraped together from the cupboards! D was actually out in the end, so we roughly halved the recipe, tweaked the sauce and filling a little……and... they were delicious! I will still avoid regular pancakes but baked in this manner, with the yummy filling it was a big hit with both of us!

They also actually work out very cheap to make, and served with a nice green salad make an ideal light dinner.

Whilst the original recipe served 4, as mentioned earlier I roughly halved it, and we ended up with 3 regular sized pancakes and one halfy! Additionally, I made a quick light sauce to pour over the pancakes, to moisten and also make them slightly more appealing to me! If you save the pancake pan to make it, its also one less pan to wash up!

There are a few stages to the dish but don't let this put you off, it is very easy, even better if you have another pair of hands to help you!

So roughly to serve 2, with our tweaks:

For the pancake filling:
150ml milk
15g butter and 15g plain flour
½ can tuna steak in spring water, drained
I didn’t weigh out but used a small handful each of frozen sweetcorn and peas (the original recipe suggests either frozen or leftover veggies)
8 green olives, roughly sliced
S&P to taste
½ tsp garlic puree
grated cheddar cheese – also didn’t weigh, a scant handful was used to fill AND to finish the dish with

For the pancake batter:
37g plain flour
Pinch of salt
1 large egg
75ml milk
A little oil for frying

For the sauce:

125ml freshly boiled water
125ml milk
1 heaped tsp cornflour
1 tsp marigold boullion powder


For the filling:
1. Place the milk, butter and flour in a medium pan, bring to the boil, whisking all the time until a smooth sauce forms. Simmer for 1 min. (I had never done all-in-one method and was dubious but am converted!)
2. Drain and flake tuna steak and stir into the sauce with the garlic, vegetables and olives. If using frozen vegetables steam for a couple of minutes in microwave/ boil in saucepan first.
3. Divide the filling between the pancakes and place in heatproof dishes

For the batter:
1. Place the flour, salt and eggs in a large bowl with half the milk. Whisk until the mixture is lump free. Add the remaining milk and whisk again until smooth.
2. Heat a 20cm/8in diameter non-stick frying pan until hot, drizzle a little oil over the centre and wipe it around with a piece of kitchen paper. Now pour a little of the batter into the pan and immediately tilt the pan to spread the batter thinly and evenly over the base. Cook for 2 mins or until the top is set and the base golden. Turn the pancake over with a spatula or if you are feeling brave, flip the pancake!
3. Cook for a further 1-2mins or until the base is golden. Transfer to a plate and interleave with greaseproof paper, keep warm. Use the batter and a little more oil to make a further 3 pancakes in the same way - it depends upon their thickness.

For the sauce:
1. Place the water, stock powder and milk in the frying pan, bring to boil, add the cornflour and whisk very quickly together, until thickened, remove from heat
2. Pour over the pancakes and sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese and pop under a hot grill until the top is crisp and golden.


  1. How sad that you are not a pancake fan. Reading your post makes me think I should make some. I have a lovely little pancake book that I bought in the 1980s. It has every kind of pancake and many different fillings. You are right about how cheap they are, cheap and filling!

  2. I am a big fan of savoury pancakes - and yes, they are definitely great with a cheese sauce.

  3. Janice - I really can't understand what it is but I just have never liked them! Your book sounds cute though, I love the old little random books, have a couple I've picked up from charity shops etc! And overall yes, very economical, important in these belt tightening times!

    Corina - yes the cheese sauce is the wonder glue in this!


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