This week’s Foodie Friday is all about feasting and fasting as Lent comes upon us. From pancakes to cornflakes, to things we CAN’T give up, Sauce gives you a round-up of loving and leaving food.
Lent is the time of year when we practice a period of restraint in our lives. Officially, it lasts for 40 days and 40 nights, but for me it usually lasts about 2 hours. Prior to the beginning of Lent is, of course, Pancake Day, or Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday). We hope you gobbled up your favourite pancake toppings in preparation for your diligent fasting on Tuesday. Or perhaps you used pancakes in more unusual ways this year…
Toss them, eat them… race them?
Pancake Day 2013 saw Shrek, the Cheshire Cat and a couple of builders with pan in hand, running down Dray Walk. It may seem like the beginnings of a terrible joke, but in fact they were just a few of the participants of the much-loved, annual Great Spitalfields Pancake Race. The race invited groups of four to sprint down the road tossing their pancakes whilst wearing their best fancy-dress. Better yet, it was a charitable event raising money for the London Air Ambulance.
The Breakfast Club held a pancake challenge this year in its four London locations: Spitalfields, Soho, Angel and Hoxton. It dared diners to tuck into TWELVE thick, American-style, stacked pancakes, with a large dollop of maple syrup, heavy cream and topped with fresh berries. Sounds delicious? The challenge was to eat this pancake pyramid within 20 minutes. If successful, the pancakes were free. If not, the £17.50 bill was plonked down in front of you and the money donated to Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity.
Cabana Restaurant celebrated the beginning of Lent with a Brazilian Carnival extravaganza full to the brim with face painting, music and Brazilian pancakes!
If you didn’t manage to indulge in pancakes on Tuesday, treat yourself this weekend with Cabana’s recipe for their Brazilian pancakes!
Pancakes with Doce de Leite Caramel Bananas
For the pancakes:
110g flour, sifted
pinch of salt
1. Sieve together the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre of the bowl and break in the eggs. Whisk in the eggs with a fork or hand whisk. Mix the milk and water and gradually whisk in in small quantities
2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the melted butter into the pancake batter and whisk it in. Pour the rest of the butter into a bowl and use it to oil the pan, using kitchen paper to grease the pan in between each pancake.
3. Turn the heat up to high, let the pan get very hot, and then turn it down to medium. Pour about a ladle-full of batter into the pan, tipping it from side to side so that the base is coated. After about 30 seconds, the base should be cooked – use a palette knife or spatula to lift up an edge; it should be golden brown underneath. If it’s ready, flip over the pancake with the palette knife or spatula, then let it cook for a few seconds on the other side. Then simply slide from the pan onto a plate.
For the caramel bananas:
3 large, ripe bananas, sliced lengthways
50g soft brown sugar
1. Sprinkle the sugar into a heavy based non-stick saucepan and melt it over a moderate heat. Once it’s completely melted, turn the heat to high and cook for another couple of minutes.
2. Stir in the butter then add the bananas and toss to coat in the caramel. Cook for 1-2 minutes until slightly golden and just tender.
Serve the pancakes topped with the caramel bananas and a dollop of vanilla ice cream or crème fraiche. For an added twist you can sprinkle over some toasted nuts (flaked almonds work really well) or desiccated coconut.
After all this pancake gorging, it’s sadly time to think about giving something up (or some things for the braver readers amongst us)
The Guardian, Fat Chance: The Bitter Truth about Sugar by Robert Lustig – review, Steven Poole
If you were thinking of giving up sugar, then you may want to read this article (or even the reviewed book) by Steven Poole talking about new book Fat Chance by Dr Robert Lustig. Fat Chance warns us that added sugar comes in many guises, which people often do not realise is contained in their “sugar-free” foods. In a further shocking discovery, Lustig explains how these added sugars are literally “browning” our insides.
The Daily Mail, Ultimate breakfast fan: Man spends £36,800 on travelling to 63 countries to find the perfect bowl of cornflakes, Sam Webb
One thing we know Mick Hobday won’t be giving up this Lent is cornflakes. Hobday has spent £36,800 going around the world to find the perfect bowl of cornflakes. His journeys have given him probably the deepest insight into cornflakes that has ever been carried out, enabling him to note the different textures and colours of each country’s breakfast flake. Apparently Egypt gives Kellogg’s a run for its money with the crunchiest cornflakes, whilst Bulgaria’s are dragging along at the bottom for their plastic-like texture.
And finally… we asked Sauce what they CAN’T give up for Lent, and here’s what we found out:
Hazel can’t give up cheese because of its versatility. She is most fond of vintage cheddar.
Jess can’t ever give up butter. She wouldn’t mind Michael Wignall’s bread and butter, but would settle for President…
Syamala loves wine and peanut butter (hopefully not combined).
Helene’s Lent list will never see coffee, chocolate, red wine, curry or fizz.
Martine’s breakfasts would not be the same without peanut butter and jam on toast.
Sam can’t live without his hourly protein fix in the form of bacon and egg sandwiches.
Lizzie feels silly without her drizzle of sweet chili.
Laura U can say no to chocolate, crisps and sweets, but will always stay loyal to eggs; because she eats them every day.
Natalie B could give up anything… but meat and milk stay.
Elena loves all things coffee and can’t give up her caffeine kick!
Charlie’s feeling pretty general with what she can’t give up: a Bloody Mary with a dash of sherry and some horseradish.
As for myself, I just can’t give up horsemeat. My lasagnes wouldn’t be the same.
Let us know what you CAN’T give up by tweeting to @SauceComms #ICAN’Tgiveup… We’d love to hear your wonderful or weird food loves!