Julia Child is one of the best legendary chefs in America. She had a huge influence on American culture – particularly how people cook at home. The more I perused her recipes and the more I read about her, the more I liked her.
She seemed like she was an indomitable woman; utterly fearless and, through the medium of food, a revolutionary. I decided to cook one of her recipes. When choosing which of her recipes to make, I thought, naturally, that it would be a dessert. However, I was drawn to her hugely extensive collection of savory dishes – and the particular ingredients of her Cream Cheese and Spinach Pancakes jumped out at me.
Using the above quote as my excuse, I adapted the original spinach pancake recipe, excluding the Sauce Mornay and serving spinach cheese pancakes instead as snacks to pick up and eat with one hand. I was moving into my new house at the time, so this was exactly the food we needed as we shifted boxes and assembled furniture!
I also made the spinach pancakes using a traditional British pancake recipe. For a showstopping piece, Julia’s original recipe is far superior, but for a fun snack, here’s my healthy recipe for savory spinach pancakes with cheese:
Cream Cheese and Spinach Pancakes
For the pancakes
- 4 oz plain flour
- Pinch salt
- 2 eggs
- 200 ml milk
- Small jug of water
For the filling
- 4 shallots finely chopped
- 1/2 a red onion finely chopped
- 2 large bags of spinach
- Salt pepper and mixed herbs to season
- Cream cheese
- Preheat the oven to about 150oC.
- For the pancakes, put the flour and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Crack the eggs into the well and begin to whisk the eggs in with the flour, adding the milk as you whisk. Add a little of the water at a time until you have a batter with a thin, creamy consistency.
- Brush the bottom of a large frying pan with butter and put on the heat. Add a little of the batter to the pan and tilt the pan to spread all the mixture evenly.
- Leave it to cook for about 30 seconds, then lift the edges with a spatula to check it is golden. Then toss it in the pan (children will love doing this, although you may end up with a few on the ceiling!) and cook the other side for a few seconds. Slide onto a large plate.
- When you have used all the batter, put the pancakes into the oven and turn down the temperature. This will keep them warm.
- For the filling, lightly beat the cream cheese with a little pepper and herbs. Set to one side.
- Saute the shallots and red onion in a little oil in a pan. Tear the spinach and add with a pinch of salt. Once the spinach has wilted, remove from the heat and add salt, pepper and herbs to taste.
- Remove the pancakes from the oven and put some of the spinach and onion mix onto each. Top with some of the cream cheese and wrap. Pass them around and enjoy!