Leek and Smoked Cheese Pancakes with Sweet Lentils

pancakes-lentil-sauceA great winter recipe for when you can get some lovely leeks and need something warming and substantial for dinner.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

600g leeks, white plus about half of the green part (prepared weight), cleaned and sliced
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
100g smoked hard cheese, e.g. lincolnshire poacher, grated
50g walnuts, chopped
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
100ml white wine
1 tsp cornflour

For the pancakes:
2 eggs
240 g plain flour
250 ml milk
250 ml water

For the lentils:
100g puy lentils, cooked in 300 ml water
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 x 400g can of plum tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato chilli jam (optional, if not using add a little sugar and/or chilli oil)
Approx 5 tbsp olive oil
6 cherry tomatoes, quartered

1) Make the pancake batter: combine the milk and water in jug. Sieve the flour into a bowl and break in eggs, add a little milk and whisk to a paste; slowly add the rest of the liquid and keep whisking until you have a smooth batter. Rest for half and hour if you have time. Heat a large flat pan with a little butter and cook a ladle full at a time. Flip the pancake before the batter starts to brown. You want to end up with 8 large pancakes. Set aside.

2) Make the leek filling: melt a chunk of butter in a large frying pan and add the leeks and garlic, cook for around 5 minutes then add the wine and mustard. Cook at a highish heat for 5 minutes more then add the cornflour to thicken the sauce. Cool then add the cheese, walnuts and some seasoning.

3) Place a spoonful of leek mixture in the bottom two quarters of a pancake. Fold the top half over the bottom, and then fold again so you have a nice quarter pancake with filling. Repeat with the other pancakes laying them overlapping in large baking dish. Brush with melted butter and warm in the oven at about 160 degrees for 20 minutes or so before you are ready to eat.

4) Make the lentils: cook the lentils in 300 mls of water for around 20 minutes until soft to the bite but keeping their shape. Drain any liquid. Heat a tablespoon of the olive oil and cook the onion and garlic for a few minutes, then add the canned and cherry tomatoes, chilli jam if using, lentils and the remaining oil. Cook for another few minutes then season.

5) Serve two pancakes per person with a spoonful or two of lentilsĀ on each plate .

Inspired by one of Denis Cotters recipes in Paradiso Cookbook (beware I found the original recipe does not yield anywhere near as many pancakes as required and the batter is too thin to be handled easily!!).

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