Sunday, 23 September 2012

shopsin's pumpkin pancakes

These days I wake up very early and incredibly hungry. Instead of launching myself out of bed I take my trusty smart phone and flick through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to see what I missed out on while I slept.

This morning I discovered three exciting things from Facebook:
1) one of my favourite work colleagues got engaged yesterday afternoon
2) Jonas’ beautiful cousin Camilla (also a food blogger!) married her equally wonderful boyfriend in a surprise wedding in Stockholm!!!
3) These super delicious pancakes, posted by Saveur

Since I couldn’t do much to celebrate the first two items, I decided to get up and make pancakes to celebrate all the love and happiness some of my favourite people must be feeling right now, and to spread some of that love to my husband.

I wondered whether the pancakes would be a bit gimmicky, but they were amazing. Not too sweet, full of spicy oomph and subtle pumpkin flavour, and tiny flakes of salt that hit your tongue every now and then. They were hot, fluffy little pancakes and I will definitely make these again.

After reading over the Saveur website, and the reviews by people who had made these already at home, I decided to make a cranberry and maple sauce to go alongside it. They’d even go well with maple-sweetened mascarpone or cream cheese.

Shopsin's Pumpkin Pancakes w Cranberry-Maple Syrup

Recipe by Chef Kenny Shopsin from Shopsin’s in New York City’s Essex Street Market. Makes 12 pancakes.

Pumpkin Pancakes
1 cup plain flour
¾ cup wholemeal flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon salt flakes
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup canned pumpkin purée
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
6 tablespoons canola oil, for frying
Butter, for serving
Cranberry-Maple Syrup
¼ cup dried cranberries
1 cup maple syrup


1. In a bowl, sift together flours, cinnamon, baking powder, cloves, ginger, salt, and allspice.

2. In another bowl, whisk together the pumpkin purée, brown sugar, cream, milk, and eggs.

3. Combine with flour and spice and whisk until smooth.

4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.

5. Using a ¼ cup measuring cup, pour batter into skillet to make three 3" pancakes.

6. Cook until bubbles begin to form on the edges, 1–2 minutes. Flip and cook until done, 1–2 minutes more.

7. Repeat with remaining oil and pancake batter and keep cooked pancakes warm in the oven.

8. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring maple syrup and dried cranberries to the boil until foaming, then remove from heat. The dried cranberries should plump up in the warm syrup.

9. Serve pancakes hot with butter and cranberry syrup.

Note: the original recipe uses only plain flour, regular sugar and ½ cup milk.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

brussels sprouts, pancetta & lemon pasta

A few months ago, I met Tia Bicky for lunch and was lucky enough to get a plate of Luxe Bakery’s winter pasta special of shredded brussels sprouts and mandolin-thin slices of broccoli. They were tossed in buttery, lemon moisture and salted by a touch of crisped prosciutto. It was divine, meeting all my salty sour requirements.

I just had to make it at home.

The best part about this dish is that it uses fairly few and quite cheap ingredients, it’s perfect for a wintery lunch or dinner and it easily becomes vegetarian if required.

The brussels sprouts and lemon make a delightful flavour that made me think of a fresh sauerkraut and, if you have a mandolin, by all means add some wafer thin slices of just-blanched broccoli for texture and colour.

Brussels Sprouts, Pancetta & Lemon Pasta

Anna’s very own take on a Luxe special. Serves 4.


270g shredded brussels sprouts
70g pancetta, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
125ml chicken stock
1 knob of butter, for sauce
1 knob butter, for frying
1 dash olive oil, for frying
Pecorino, for serving
Salt and pepper
Pasta, for serving (I used troifie)


1. In a frying pan, fry pancetta until browned and just crispy. Set aside.

2. In the same frying pan, heat a little butter and olive oil for frying. When frothing, add shredded Brussels sprouts with salt and pepper. Sauté for 1 minute or so.

3. Add a dash of chicken stock and mix through. This will spread the heat and steam throughout the sprouts and help to soften them. Sauté the sprouts for another 5 minutes.

4. Now they might start to form browned edges and stick to the pan. Add another dash of chicken stock to deglaze and incorporate those browned bits. Cook until the sprouts are soft.

5. Once soft, add the lemon zest and reserved pancetta and heat through.

6. Next add the lemon juice, remaining chicken stock and the chopped up knob of butter, stirring through to create extra juices that will form a sauce around the pasta.

7. When the pasta is ready, toss the sprouts and juice through then topped with freshly ground pepper and grated pecorino cheese.

Note: if you want to make this vegetarian, use vegetable stock and instead of the pancetta consider tossing salty ricotta salata through the pasta before serving.

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