Corn pancakes of roasted pepper, red onion and goats’ cheese with a fennel-chilli salsa

banner

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

Appears in

The Café Paradiso Cookbook

The Café Paradiso Cookbook

By Denis Cotter

Published 1999

  • About

These little pancake parcels are packed with a very familiar taste combination - corn, peppers and goats’ cheese. They are great as starters, main courses, snacks and anything you fancy, and are simple to make, except for one thing -sometimes the batter sticks to the pan for no obvious reason. Honestly, it just happens, sometimes halfway through frying what seems like a perfectly well-behaved batch. You curse a little, try again, then throw the lot out. So make a double amount of the batter, and please send any thoughts you have on the matter to the editor. Anyway, I’ve just checked the recipe below and it worked like a dream. The saffron and paprika are in there purely to boost the colour of the cornmeal. We always serve these with the fennel-chilli salsa, but pestos, simple tomato sauces or even cream-herb sauces would be fine too. During the long leek season, I always replace the red onions with leeks - one average-sized leek would do here.

Ingredients

To Make Four to Five Pancakes, 20cm in Diameter

  • a few strands of saffron
  • 25 g plain flour
  • 50 g fine cornmeal
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • 1 egg
  • 150 mls milk

For the Filling

Twelve Parcels

  • 3 red peppers
  • 2 red onions
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • a little olive oil
  • 160 g goats’ cheese, crumbly log type
  • 80 g breadcrumbs
  • seasoning
  • fennel-chilli salsa

Method

SOAK THE SAFFRON in a small amount of boiling water for 5-10 minutes. Sift the flour and cornmeal, salt and peppers. Beat the egg and milk together briefly, then whisk this into the flour and cornmeal, to get a smooth batter. Add the saffron and check that the batter has a fairly thin pouring consistency. Leave to sit while you warm a 20 cm crepe pan, then fry the pancakes in olive oil. Stir the batter well before each pouring, as the corn tends to sink in the batter. This should make four pancakes, about half as thick again as delicate crepes, out of which you can make twelve parcels, enough for six starters or four main courses. Nevertheless, I would still make a double batter.

ROAST AND PEEL THE PEPPERS. Chop into small dice. Chop the onion and garlic and cook them in a little olive oil for a few minutes. Add the peppers and cook for a minute, then transfer the lot to a bowl. Wait for it to cool before adding the rest of the ingredients, crumbling the cheese to pieces roughly similar in size to the pepper dice.

To fill the pancakes, first cut the pancakes into three parts (large pie-wedge style). Place a generous amount of filling down the centre of each piece, then fold over, first, one side, then the other, manipulating the filling to get an evenly filled triangular package. Place the parcels seam side down on baking parchment on an oven tray, brush with olive oil and bake at a moderate heat, 350-375°F (Gas Mark 4-5) for about ten minutes, until warmed through and lightly crisped. Serve two per person with a generous dollop of the fennel-chilli salsa.