Pancakes with asparagus and Parma ham

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I really enjoyed the repeat (thanks BBC!) of Simon Hopkinson’s The Good Cook, because I missed the series the first time around. I love the classic, but far from boring, dishes he cooks, and especially this dish made my mouth water instantly.

You need nice asparagus for this dish, but most importantly you need good-quality Parma ham (or prosciutto works just as well). I had this for dinner but it would work wonderfully well for brunch or lunch too.

 

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Pannkakor med sparris och parmaskinka, 4 portioner

Adapted from Simon Hopkinson’s recipe.

Pancakes:

100 g plain flour

2 eggs

pinch of salt

250 ml milk

50 g melted butter

Hollandaise sauce:

3 egg yolks, at room temperature

250 g unsalted butter, melted

½ lemon, the juice

salt and pepper

8 Parma ham slices

16 asparagus spears

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and preheat the grill to high.
  2. For the pancake batter, place the eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk in the flour. Add the salt and half of the milk. Finally, whisk in the butter and remaining milk to achieve a thin, pouring cream consistency. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. Melt a small knob of butter in a 20cm/8in non-stick frying pan. Once it is hot and sizzling pour in enough batter to thinly cover the base of the pan. After 30 seconds you can lift the edge with a palette knife to see if it’s tinged gold as it should be. Flip the pancake over, cook the other side for a few seconds, and then slide it out of the pan onto a plate.
  4. Without greasing the pan again, repeat the process in stage three to make eight thin pancakes.
  5. For the hollandaise sauce, whisk together the egg yolks with a tablespoon of water in a stainless steel saucepan set over a very low heat, until thick and smooth.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and continue to whisk while adding the melted butter in a thin stream, leaving behind the milky residue that has settled in the bottom of the butter pan. Season the sauce with salt and freshly ground black peper and sharpen with lemon juice, to taste. Keep warm.
  7. Boil the asparagus in salted water until tender. Once cooked, refresh the asparagus in a bowl of iced water. Drain and pat dry.
  8. To assemble the délices, place a slice of ham on top of a pancake, then arrange two asparagus spears upon it. Roll up and place into a lightly buttered baking dish. Repeat with the remaining pancakes, parma ham and asparagus. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until just beginning to crisp at the edges.
  9. Serve the délices on a serving dish and coat each one carefully with a spoonful of hollandaise sauce, running it along their length. Very briefly flash the délices under the grill until only just gilded by the heat.

The first evening back home: crayfish and hollandaise

We went back home to Sweden last Tuesday and after being picked up in Malmö we had a lovely lunch at Katrinetorp where we also had a look in their antique shop and after a quick visit at the shop Provinsen more close to home we finally got home to the summer house.

It is situated on the south coast in Sweden, only 2 km from the most Southern point in Sweden, and I love coming there and breathing the sea air.

I had wished for crayfish for dinner, so we had that as a starter, followed by barbecued fish, salad, potatoes and homemade hollandaise. To eat it outside on a blue and white tablecloth made it a perfect summer’s evening with Christopher and my parents.

For the first time I tried to make hollandaise a different way than normal (for me). Instead of melting the butter and adding it to the egg yolks, I used cold butter cut in cubes and incorpotating them into the yolks instead. It worked a charm and makes it easier not to split the sauce, since the temperature rises more slowly than with melted butter.

After dinner mum and I went for a quick stroll on the beach and I really enjoyed being home.

Hollandaise sauce sås, serves 4

3 egg yolks

150 g (cold) salted butter

1/2 – 1 tbsp lemon juice

salt & white pepper

Mix egg yolks and lemon juice in a non stick saue pan (start off with only half a tbsp lemon juice if you don’t want the sauce too sharp, you can add more add the end). Cut the butter into cubes and put one of two into the egg yolks, while whisking. Let all the butter melt before adding more and repeat this until all the butter is used. The sauce will slowly thicken and when it is thick enough, remove it from heat, still stirring, season and pour it into a cool dish to serve immediately.