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Creamed spinach and ham pancakes with béchamel

Recipe taken from Channel 4's River Cottage: Three Go Mad series.

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

To make the béchamel sauce. Put the milk in a saucepan with the onion and bay and bring up to the boil, then turn off.

In a separate pan, melt the butter then add the flour, stirring to mix well. Cook the flour and butter mixture (this is known as a roux) for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat.

Remove the onion and bay from the milk. Pour a little of the warm milk onto the roux and whisk well. Continue to add the milk, bit by bit, whisking as fast as you add to avoid any lumps. Once all the milk in added return the sauce to a medium heat and whisk gently until you have a thick, smooth, white sauce which has come back to the boil.

Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.

Wash the spinach thoroughly and drain. Put a large saucepan on the heat and add a third of the spinach. Cover with a lid and wilt (there is no need to add water). Set aside in a colander and repeat until all the spinach is cooked. Squeeze the cooked spinach to extract as much water as you can then chop roughly.

Mix together the chopped spinach and half of the béchamel.

Line each pancake with a slice of ham, add a generous dollop of creamed spinach mix and roll the pancake up to enclose the spinach mix. Place into a small, shallow, ovenproof dish and repeat until you have 3 small stuffed pancakes per serving.

Spoon the remaining béchamel over the pancakes and then place in the oven and cook for 10 minutes until golden on top.

Serve immediately.

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Ingredients

  • 1L whole milk
  • 1 white onion, chopped into 4
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 100g butter
  • 100g plain flour
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • 24 pancakes
  • 24 slices of ham (same size as the pancakes)
  • 3kg fresh baby spinach
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • freshly ground nutmeg

This recipe is taken from...

Three Go Mad