I love traditions and the way they give you an excuse to really, deeply explore a theme, especially when it’s a food theme. Shrove Tuesday (aka pancake day) is definitely that. It originates with the Christian calendar and is the day before Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent. The idea behind it is that you use up all your rich/perishable ingredients before giving them up for Lent. It seems like most Christian countries have their own version of this but the food that is cooked varies. In the UK it’s pancakes (crepes if you’re American).
For me, I enjoy the excuse to be creative in the kitchen. Dessert is always simply pancakes with lemon juice and sugar but I try to also cook a pancake-based meal for main course as well.
This year I cooked a simpler version of this Ficelle Picard recipe which I’m calling Mushroom Pancake Gratin.
- Crimini Mushrooms
- Gruyere Cheese
- Herb butter
- Crepes (I made 1 egg’s worth of pancake batter which made 4 crepes for the main and 2 for dessert)
Preheat the oven to 400F. Fry the Pancetta in some oil with the garlic till just cooked. Chop the mushrooms and add to the pan along with the butter, continue to saute until the mushrooms are cooked but still firm. Turn off the heat and prepare the pancakes. Roll up the mushroom mix in the pancakes and lay them side-by-side in a roasting dish. Cover with grated Gruyere cheese and bake in the oven until the cheese is melted and starting to crisp. (You could probably do this under the grill instead)