Tag Archive: Explore Pancakes Row 2

  1. Tips for Flippin’ great Pancakes

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    It was such a treat to visit Michelin-starred chef Paul Foster at his restaurant Salt which lies in the beautiful and historic town of Stratford-Upon-Avon, a stones throw from the hustle and bustle of the town centre. Salt opened its doors in March of 2017 and within a year and a half had received a Michelin star, the first ever for the town.

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    At the beginning of 2020, they opened Salt Cookery School located in the stunning and wonderfully bright space above the restaurant. This is where we met Paul and cookery school leader Brett Connor and it provided the perfect background for photographing the three pancake recipes they have so generously shared with us.

    American Style Pancakes with Smoked Steaky Bacon, Maple Syrup and Banana

    Crêpes and Caramelised Orange Sauce

    Smoked Salmon Blini’s, Dill Creme Fraiche and Caviar

    Our aim of the day, to see our pans in action, capture some photos of Paul using our stainless steel tri-ply range and get some top pancake making tips to share with you. This stunning range of cookware is already being used by up-and-coming chefs in the cookery school kitchen at Salt.


    American Style Pancakes

    About the ingredients:

    Most American style pancake recipes include buttermilk, but why buttermilk specifically? 

    The acid in the buttermilk brings more flavour and greater rise so that when it reacts with the baking soda it yields that extra fluff we expect when making American pancakes. What about substituting the buttermilk for something else? The two commonly used substitutes are plain yogurt with a touch of vinegar or lemon juice but Paul and Brett both think this will change the final flavour of the pancakes and make them more acidic.

    Clarified butter is used for frying the pancakes, but what is it?

    Often used in Indian cooking it’s the clear oil that is generated when butter is slowly melted allowing the milk solids to separate from the transparent golden liquid. Cooking with clarified butter has a few benefits for example you can cook at higher temperatures without it burning. Milk solids, which are separated off when making clarified butter, are what cause butter to smoke and burn whilst cooking. They also cause the butter to spoil or become rancid so clarifying it will make it last longer. In the restaurant they tend to make their own because it’s more cost effective, but they also use salted butter in all their recipes.

    Paul loves his Salt, they use salted butter for everything in their restaurant, hence the name of the restaurant.

    Batter:

    How much milk you use can vary based on the flour you have, or even on the day, given that the moisture content in the flour can fluctuate on a day-to-day basis. You don’t want to overwork the batter, so minimize the amount of mixing you do. It should drop out of the ladle when poured and fall nicely like a cake batter would.

    When & how to flip:

    They used a spatula to turn these pancakes.

    It’s time to turn the pancake over when it’s nearly set on the top and a nice golden brown on the bottom so have a peak by lifting the pancake slightly with a spatula/turner. You don’t want the batter too runny before turning them.

    Top tips:

    Paul used a smaller ProWare Stainless Steel Tri-ply 20cm non-stick frying pan, because this way you can fill it, so one pancake per pan. Make sure not to heat the pan too high. A good, gentle, medium heat will do. If your pan is too hot the pancake will brown too quickly. They preheated the pans gently with a touch of clarified butter before adding the batter.

    Serving the pancakes:

    American pancakes wouldn’t seem the same without copious amounts of bacon and maple syrup.

    They source their bacon from Aubrey Allen Wholesalers, based in Leamington Spa. Paul explained the best bacon comes from Suffolk due to the vast amount of flat land they have. They used a delicious smoky streaky variety.


    Crêpes

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    About the ingredients: 

    Dark rumAny dark rum will due that you have to hand such as Captain Morgan’s.

    Batter:

    When putting it into the pan always start with less than you think you’ll need as with crêpes a little batter goes a long way. You can always fill in any holes as you go with a touch more batter if needed.

    When & how to flip:

    Usually you can toss crêpes, however there was one pancake that it was clear it just wasn’t going to work for. The crêpe needs to move around the pan before you can flip it, so pick up the frying pan by the handle and see if it loosens in one piece and moves freely around the pan. If you can do this then just go for it and give it a toss! If not, resort to turning these ones with a spatula or turner.

    Top tips:

    Paul used a large ProWare Stainless Steel Tri-ply 28cm non-stick frying pan gently heated over a medium heat with a touch of clarified butter moving around the pan, then using some kitchen roll make sure there isn’t too much excess butter before adding the batter.

    For the orange sauce, Paul used a large ProWare 28cm stainless steel interior pan for this as non-stick is not needed. We took some great bubbling photos of them reducing this on the hob.

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    Serving the crêpes:

    Paul and Brett suggest putting the crêpes in the pan to soak up the juice before plating them then pour a little extra juice over top.

    In the restaurant they make all their own ice cream, however for this recipe they used Jude’s vanilla ice cream. Brett also mentioned how good the Jude’s vegan ice cream is too. You can’t even tell it’s vegan.


    Blini’s

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    About the ingredients: 

    Are you slightly daunted as to what type of caviar to use? Don’t worry, any will do! Lumpfish or Harrods if you can splurge to it. Also a good budget variety is smoked herring row, which isn’t actually eggs, but made from fish milt and often referred to as soft roe rather than hard roe.

    Batter:

    Use straight away after mixing so that the batter stays aerated. The amount of batter for each blini is about the size of a 50 pence piece. It will spread out slightly from this as it cooks.

    When & how to flip: 

    It’s a good idea to pipe the blini’s in the shape of a clock face so that you can tell which one you did first and therefore you know which one to flip first. They used a spatula to flip the blini’s.

    Top tips:

    These are best made in a ProWare medium sized Stainless Steel Tri-ply 24cm non-stick frying pan using the same medium heat as previous pancake recipes to ensure they don’t brown too quickly although this time you add a touch more oil or butter to the pan for frying.

    If you pipe the mixture into the pan it yields neater blini’s, however you can spoon them in as well, they just aren’t as consistent. 

    Serving the blini’s:

    You can prep the blini’s ahead of time and warm them slightly in the oven before serving.

     

  2. Non-Stick vs. Stainless Steel – Which is Better?

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    It has been over 60 years since non-stick cookware was first introduced, and since then its popularity has continued to be widespread and significant. You would likely be hard-pressed to find a household in the UK that doesn’t have at least one non-stick pan. The promise of pancakes gliding effortlessly on to your plate; the prospect of never again being stood at the kitchen sink chiselling burnt food off your favourite frying pan. The appeal was, and still is, obvious. There are some strong arguments, however, in favour of the more traditional stainless steel pans that beg the question – which is better, non-stick or not?

    Whatever your feelings are toward non-stick pans, it is difficult to deny their virtues in the realm of frying eggs and making pancakes. The ease with which you can produce perfect fried eggs with nothing but a drop of oil and a delicate touch make them (in our view) worth having, if just for this task alone. Also, cleaning non-stick pans is often a breeze. If you get a decent one sometimes just a wipe with a paper towel does the trick.

    ProWare Stainless Steel Tri-Ply 26cm Non-Stick Frying Pan

    ProWare Stainless Steel Tri-Ply 24cm Non-Stick Frying Pan

    Unfortunately, they do have their limitations. The main one, which every keen cook will race to share, is that when using a non-stick pan, you cannot achieve that lovely golden colour when searing meat or caramelising. For this purpose, stainless steel pans are invaluable. Another area in which stainless steel reigns supreme is the making of gravy and pan sauces, an essential part of some dishes. All the juices that are released during cooking stick to the pan, allowing you to deglaze with the desired liquid.

    ProWare Stainless Steel Tri-Ply 26cm Frying Pan

    ProWare Stainless Steel Tri-Ply 24cm Frying Pan

    Aside from culinary matters, there are also some very practical reasons why stainless steel pans are favourable. Firstly, they are generally considered to be far more durable than their non-stick counterparts due to non-stick coatings often being easily damaged and requiring careful handling (find out more about looking after your non-stick here). To ensure the longevity of our pans we use Teflon Platinum Plus, a market leading, ceramic reinforced coating that we test rigorously (check out the video below). In addition, non-stick pans can’t be preheated in the way a stainless steel one can. This is due to good non-sticks being made up of multiple layers and when a pan is heated while empty the heat has nowhere to be transferred to which can lead to the layers deteriorating.

    Many people are deterred from cooking with stainless steel because they think everything will immediately stick, burn and it will all end in a charred, greasy disaster. What they don’t know is that it will only take a bit of confidence, some practice and the right pan for it to become a walk in the park.

    A great place to start is buying a quality pan. Pans that are very thin (some basic ones are as thin as 0.4mm), are likely to develop hot-spots and will not heat evenly. It is this which leads to food being burnt in one place and underdone in another. Our ProWare 24cm Stainless Steel Frying Pan has a three-layer construction – two layers of stainless steel sandwiching a core of aluminium. The overall thickness of the pan is 3mm, resulting in a wonderful robust feel and an ability to heat very evenly. It also means, like the rest of the range, this pan is oven safe.

    Once you have your pan, the easiest way to ensure effortless, stick free cooking is to season the pan (it is worth noting that this is not essential if you are willing to use oil a bit more liberally). Seasoning will produce a thin layer on the surface of the pan which will allow you to cook without the addition of more oil, and most importantly, without your food sticking. This is how you do it:

    Seasoning Stainless Steel

    1. Ensure your pan is thoroughly clean and over a medium heat, allow the pan to heat up for 2-3 minutes.
    2. Add a tablespoon of oil (rapeseed works very well) and swirl around the pan to evenly coat the inside.
    3. Heat the oil until it begins to smoke. Once smoking, remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool completely.
    4. Pour out the oil and wipe the inside of the pan with paper towel.
    5. Your pan is now seasoned and ready to use.

    Another useful tip when it comes to cooking with stainless steel is take your time! Do not rush and resist the temptation to constantly move your food around the pan. For example, when cooking meat, if the pan is properly preheated and the oil is hot when the steak is added you need not move it again until it is time to turn it. The meat will seal beautifully and you will be able to lift it from the pan easily, if you try to move it too soon you run the risk of tearing the flesh.

    ProWare Copper Tri-Ply 24cm Frying Pan

    The Verdict

    A conclusion we can draw in the argument of stainless steel versus non-stick, is that they both have their merits and drawbacks but it really depends on what you intend to use it for. For the more ardent cooks amongst you, we would actually recommend having one of each. Use your non-stick for things like eggs, crepes and delicate fish; and the stainless steel for just about everything else.