Before I get into this today, I have to have a moan. It is SO hot here. It stinks. Over 40C yesterday and not much cooler last night. We don’t have air-conditioning (it costs the earth in too many ways) and I’m hot and tired! We are in for a week of this (the hottest week on record for Sydney).
If you’re reading this from the depths of winter in the Northern hemisphere… how I envy you today!
Anyway – back to Valentine’s Day…. This dish looks SO fancy and so difficult and complex. But it isn’t (sshhh). This is the kind of thing I’d like produced on Valentine’s Day: romantic (smoked salmon and champagne is always romantic!), not too heavy (don’t want to feel too full just in case there are ‘afters’), but very special.
I’ve looked at this recipe for years and never done it as it looked way too time consuming. Turns out it’s about as difficult as making a sandwich. So if you’re game…? here’s how….
First you need to make a stack of crepes (pancakes). Small ones are better – they are easier to manage, and make a neat little stack. You only really need 5 pancakes. If you have your own recipe, fine… but this is the one I used:
100g Wholemeal flour
250ml milk (I used lite milk)
Beat the eggs into the milk and then add gradually to the flour until you have a smooth thick liquid. If it gets lumpy, whisk it with an electric whisk. I add a pinch of salt too as I’m a total salt addict. Then you leave the batter to stand for 30 minutes.
At least, you’re supposed to. I never have the patience to do this. Does it really make that much difference? Does anyone know?
Then you heat a frying pan over a medium heat and once it’s hot, add a tiny bit of butter, pour a half ladle of batter in and tilt the pan until the batter runs all over the base and covers it. You’re aiming for a thin covering. Cook it until it’s done on one side, turn it and cook the other. Repeat until all the batter is used up. Each pancake will only take a minute or so to cook on each side.
Then mix the filling. You’ll need about 400g of ricotta or cream cheese. I beat mine with some lemon zest to add some flavour. You could add capers and dill.
To assemble, place a pancake on a plate, spread over the ricotta (being careful not to tear the pancake), top with smoked salmon. Then add another pancake and repeat. I suggest about four layers. This uses about 250g of smoked salmon.
I served it with a tomato salsa for colour and some acidic contrast to the richness of the smoked salmon. It’s actually a pretty healthy meal! But looks and tastes wonderful.
For Valentines Day, serve with French Champagne, red roses and lots of diamonds.