Pancake Day | Fillings for savoury pancakes

Looking for ideas for pancake fillings this Shrove Tuesday?

Here are some pancake day savoury filling suggestions

For the batter recipe and how to cook the pancakes (or crêpes), go to my previous post and the video recipe.

Here are three filling suggestions for Pancake Day 2014:

Pork in a red wine, cocoa and cream sauce


  • pork shoulder steaks, sliced very finely
  • cocoa powder (just a little for sprinkling)
  • cocoa nibs / cacao nibs (just a few for sprinkling)
  • fine sea salt (to taste)
  • a splash of red wine
  • a splash of double cream
  • a knob of butter
  • a splash of olive oil

Heat up the olive oil and butter.  When they start sizzling, add the sliced pork, season with salt and a sprinkling of cocoa powder.

As the meat starts browning, add a few cocoa nibs (not too many or your filling will end up bitter-tasting).  Continue to brown, then splash on some red wine.

As the wine bubbles, turn the heat down and add a little bit of cream.  Simmer for a few minutes until the cream has thickened a little.

Tip: If you make this in advance, before the pancakes are cooked, don’t add the cream until you re-heat the filling.


Goats’ cheese and caramelised onion


  • goats’ cheese, allowed to soften at room temperature
  • red onions
  • white sugar
  • a knob of butter
  • a splash of olive oil

Thinly slice the red onions.  Heat up the oil and butter and, when they’re sizzling, add the onions.

After a couple of minutes, add a light sprinkling of white sugar (approx. 1 tsp for 3 onions).

Turn down the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have caramelised to a sweet and slightly crunchy texture.

Meanwhile, cut the cheese into little squares – if you’ve let it soften enough, it will almost turn to a spread-like consistency as you’re cutting it.  This will be perfect for melting onto the pancakes.

When the pancakes are ready, place some onions and cheese in the middle of each pancake (make sure they’re still hot), then fold into a fan-like shape (see video).


Cream and smoked salmon

You can use smoked salmon trimmings for this recipe; this keeps the cost down and saves you on having to cut up the salmon yourself as the trimmings tend to be in very small pieces.


  • smoked salmon trimmings
  • double cream

Place smoked salmon and cream into a pan, heat and simmer until the cream thickens and tastes deliciously salmon-y.  If you do this in advance, re-heat gently before serving.


So, here you go, three more ways to enjoy your savoury pancakes / crêpes this pancake day 2014.

Pancake Day – Gloriously Simple, Gloriously Good!







Sautéed Potatoes with Chorizo | Chorizo Potatoes

These sautéed potatoes with chorizo

are a simple yet delicious accompaniment to any meat dish

Sauteed potatoes with chorizo | chorizo potatoes

  • Potatoes – peeled and cut into approx. 1.5-2cm squares
  • Chorizo – sliced into approx. 1mm thick slices, then each slice quartered
  • Olive oil
  • Paprika
  • Fine sea salt

I’ve left quantities up to you as this is really a ‘chuck it in the pan and go for it’ kind of recipe, rather than being too prescriptive.


Heat up a generous splash of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan.  Once the oil is really hot, add the potatoes and season with sea salt and a sprinkling of paprika.  Toss them around in the hot oil to ensure the paprika has evenly coated them, then add the diced chorizo pieces.

Turn the heat down and cook on a gentle heat for 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are cooked but not falling apart.  Turn up the heat to crisp them off a little, then when they’re ready, remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon so you leave some of the fat behind.

Perfect as a Tapas style dish or as an accompaniment to meat/chicken dishes.


Chorizo potatoes | Gloriously Simple, Glooriously Good!

Carbonara Sauce | Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Carbonara Sauce | The authentic way to make it

Carbonara Sauce is possibly one of the most distorted and ‘abused’ sauces worldwide.  I admit to being a pedant and quite militant with it when it comes to Italian food, but why mess with something so simple and delicious? By all means, make pasta with a sauce that includes cream, mushrooms…whatever you want to stick in it.  Go for it!  Just please don’t call it ‘carbonara’!

Authentic Carbonara Sauce only contains a few very simple ingredients: eggs, pecorino cheese, black pepper, guanciale (it can be difficult to get hold of in the UK – I order it online – so you CAN substitute pancetta, but for the best – and most authentic – taste, try to get hold of guanciale), olive oil.

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 6 large egg yolks (if you don’t like waste, make meringue with the left-over whites)
  • 70-100g grated pecorino cheese (enough to make a thick paste with the egg yolks – the exact amount will depend on the size of the yolks)
  • plenty of freshly-ground black pepper (to taste, but you do want to see a ‘speckled’ effect, ideally)
  • 200g diced guanciale (if you really can’t get hold of any, substitute with diced pancetta – I get my guanciale online here)
  • a generous dash of olive oil (bear in mind that an Italian ‘dash’ is quite a large splash!)
  • Spaghetti for 4 people (approx. 700g)


Place a large pan / stockpot approx. 3/4 full of water onto the hob and turn the heat on high.

While the pasta water comes to the boil, separate the eggs and place the egg yolks in a large serving bowl.  Add the grated pecorino cheese and freshly-ground black pepper to the egg yolks and stir in with a fork.  Aim for a thick consistency.

Carbonara Sauce | egg yolk and pecorino cheese
Egg yolk with pecorino and black pepper

In a frying pan, heat the olive oil and add the diced guanciale, fry until the guanciale fat goes quite transparent and a little bit crispy.

Once the water comes to the boil, add a few drops of olive oil and a small handful of coarse sea salt.  Add the spaghetti when the water is boiling vigorously and push it down with a wooden spoon within a few seconds – as soon as it’s soft enough to ‘bend’ and stir so that all the pasta is in the water and doesn’t stick together. Cook the pasta for the indicated time on the pack, but taste it a minute or two before the indicated time to ensure you don’t over-cook it. It needs to retain a little bit of ‘bite’ – the ‘al dente’ consistency.

Once the spaghetti are cooked, drain them and immediately drop them into the big serving bowl containing the egg yolks, pecorino cheese and black pepper, mixing them with a serving spoon and fork to ensure the pasta is evenly coated in the egg, pecorino & pepper mixture and no ‘clumps’ form.

Pour on the olive oil and guanciale immediately and mix in.  Serve & enjoy!

Carbonara Sauce | Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Spaghetti alla Carbonara – Gloriously Simple, Gloriously Good!