Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spekpannenkoek

All this talk about spekkoek last week left me with a taste for bacon! Luck would have it that yesterday, on March 30th, the Netherlands celebrated Pancake Day. The centuries old tradition stems from the onset of Lent, a forty day fasting period that would lead straight into Easter. The Tuesday before Lent would be the last day that the believers were allowed to consume luxury items such as eggs, milk, butter and meat. That day is known as Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras, but has no particular name in Dutch.

And so neither is Pancake Day celebrated on that famous Tuesday, like in many other countries, but almost a month later, on March 30th. Schools engage in baking pancakes for the retirement homes in their neighborhoods, parents will bake pancakes for dinner that day, and kids are thrilled that there will be no Brussels sprouts, broccoli or sauerkraut on the menu.

Lent or no Lent, pancakes are always a welcome sight at a lunch or dinner table, whether that's at home or at one of the many pancake restaurants around the country. The traditional flavor is sweet, with plain pancakes, apple pancakes or chocolate spread pancakes as the main favorites, but often savory pancakes are eaten as well. The most traditional of those savory delicacies is the spekpannenkoek, or the bacon pancake.

Choose your favorite bacon (thick sliced, peppered, hickory smoked, honey maple......the varieties are endless!) and experiment! This is a basic spekpannenkoek. To make it more interesting, you could sprinkle a handful of grated Gouda cheese on the pancake right before serving, or fry slices of apple with the bacon before adding the pancake batter.

Spekpannenkoeken
10 slices of bacon
3 cups of self-rising flour
2 eggs
6 cups of milk, divided
1 stick of butter, divided

Cut the slices of bacon in three or four pieces, if desired. Stir the flour, three cups of milk and the eggs together. Beat until the batter is smooth, and thin it with the remaining milk. Melt six tablespoons of butter, let it cool a little bit and stir this into the pancake batter. You are looking for a pourable batter.

Heat a 12 inch skillet, and add in ½ tablespoon of butter. Brown the pieces of bacon in the butter, turning them over as they crisp up. Remove them from the skillet and pour off any surplus fat, you want just enough to grease the bottom but nothing more. Add the bacon back in the pan, arranging it so that it's distributed evenly. Pour in half a cup of batter and carefully swirl the skillet so that the whole bottom surface is covered with a thin layer of pancake batter. Bake the pancake until the surface is dry. Then flip or turn the pancake over and cook the other side.

Stack the pancakes as you go and cover them with a clean kitchen tea towel while you bake the rest. Serve the spekpannenkoeken with appelstroop or pancake syrup.  Makes about ten large pancakes.

7 comments:

  1. My son LOVES bacon and he LOVES pannekoeken, I will have to make this for him he will be so excited. It's going on the menu for this week.

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    1. Renate, looks like this recipe was very successful with Sandra's (see comment below) youngest son. Sounds like they had a lot of fun! If your son loves bacon and pancakes, he's going to love this dish!

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  2. MMMM, Gisteren met mijn jongste zoon idd pannekoeken gebakken met ontbijtspek en katenspek, bij de biologische winkel nog maple stroop gekocht voor over de pannekoeken. Wat was mijn jongste trots.
    9 jaar en alles zelf gedaan, van beslag tot het bakken.
    Leuke website en errug lekkere recepten!
    Sandra Timmerman

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    1. Sandra, wat leuk dat je zoon het allemaal zelf heeft gedaan, goed zeg! Daar mag hij zeker trots op zijn!

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  3. Hi Nicole,

    I went to your Dutch Table site today and wanted to copy your recipe for Spekpannekoeken to try it out..

    in the past I could always cut and paste sections from your site with my mouse - but that that does not seem work anymore (I'm using Firefox.. but also tried with IE...)

    the only thing I can do now is right click in the browser and do a "select all" and then copy and paste..
    but then I get a complete copy of the page I'm on and have to delete a lot of stuff around that recipe that's on that page also......

    does that have something to do with your new license stuff ??
    if that's the way you want it - you might want to put a message on your site to tell folks who are not so Computer savvy how to get a copy of your recipes ?

    Regards,

    /chris

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    Replies
    1. Hi Chris,
      It has partly to do with the licensing, and it's very unfortunate. I am starting to find my pictures and recipes, copied verbatim with text and all, on other websites, without reference or credit, and passed on as original work. That's not right. Until I find a better way to protect my work, I've chosen to disable the copy function. I'm sorry for the inconvenience this creates, I really am.

      Delete
  4. A lovely treat that I don't make often enough! When I do, though, I don't put butter in the pan but dry-fry the bacon -- this leaves just enough fat to cook the batter in, so there's no need to take out the bacon, get rid of excess fat then put the bacon back. Anything for an easy life :-).
    Did you ever have kaaspannekoeken as a child? Mamma would make a thick batter, pour it into the pan and just before the top set sprinkle over lots of grated cheese. Then turn and bake until done and golden. Yum.

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