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Smoked Salmon Pancakes – For Hors D’Oeuvres, Starter Or Main

You will need:

*) Two eggs
*) Four ounces of flour
*) Seven fluid ounces of full cream milk
*) A tablespoon of butter
*) Olive oil
*) A pack of high quality, smoked salmon
*) A cucumber
*) A small pot of runny yoghurt
*) A clove of garlic
*) Dried, Greek herbs

Every time I make these smoked salmon pancakes, I always get asked how I made them. If your guests like salmon and aren’t afraid of garlic, this will always wow them.

Pancakes are hardly rocket science, but just take a bit of extra care with this mixture so they come out light and firm. Use a large mixing bowl and sift the flour from a good height. Add the salt. Break the eggs into the middle and whisk together. Gradually add the milk, taking time to get a thorough, homogeneous batter. It should take on the appearance of a slightly thick pouring cream. Use extra milk if it needs thinning.

Melt the butter into a pan and add this to the mixture. This is now ready to roll. Nothing fancy about cooking the pancakes. Use your favourite pan, add a small drop of olive oil and in goes a sparing amount of batter. Squish it round to make it as circular as possible and flip as soon as the pancake is firm enough. My own preference is for the heat to be on the high side to achieve that French panache of slightly burnt spikes like you get on Bretagne crepes. But you may prefer just a light, golden finish. Now stack your pancakes between grease proof paper to cool.

Peel and chop the cucumber and the garlic and throw it into a blender together with the herbs and yoghurt. Blend it to a smooth, creamy mix. Because cucumber has such a high water content, this will always be the correct consistency, no matter what size the cucumber or the pot of yoghurt.

Lastly, simply take a cool pancake, cover with one layer of smoked salmon and generously spread on the liaison. Roll up, roll up and it’s done!

For a main, leave as it is and serve with a big salad of lettuce, radish, celery, tomato, red pepper and finely chopped shallots. Hot, garlic bread is the perfect accompaniment. You can use any excess yoghurt mix either as a dressing or as a dip. If you want to use as a starter, about a half a pancake should do the trick, with some parsley and salad as a garnish.

Alternatively, cut into squares, sprinkle with chopped parsley and you have hors d’oeuvres or canapes. Spear a stuffed olive and spike it through the top.

You can be certain that if you have true food lovers as guests, smoked salmon pancakes will always be an expectation – at least from time to time. And if you’re like me, you’ll adore them the following day. They will go slightly soggy and the garlic really permeates the pancake.