Hugh, Tim and Gill demonstrate how to make the crispest of savoury pancakes, a perfect starter or snack
For the pancakes
For Hugh's smoked pollack filling
For Tim's chicken and sweetcorn filling
For Gill's steak and kidney filling
For the final assembly
1. To make Hugh's smoked pollack filling: First put the fish in a pan with the bay leaf and onion. Pour over the milk. Bring slowly to the boil, then cover the pan and remove from the heat. Leave for a couple of minutes, then check the fish - it should be just cooked and flaking easily away from the skin. If not, leave it in the hot milk a little longer. When cooked, remove the fish from the milk. Strain 250ml of the milk into a warm jug (discard the rest).
2. Melt the butter in a small pan over a medium heat. Stir in the flour to make a roux, then cook this gently for two minutes. Remove from the heat, add a good splash of the strained milk and beat until you have a smooth paste. Repeat with a little more milk, then a little more. Add the remaining milk in two or three lots, beating well with each addition to get rid of any lumps. Return the pan to the heat. Bring slowly to a simmer, and cook gently for a couple of minutes, stirring often, until thickened. Remove from the heat, add the grated cheese and stir until it has melted into the sauce.
3. Flake the poached haddock off its skin, removing any bones as you go. Add to the hot cheese sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Leave to cool.
4. To make Tim's chicken and sweetcorn filling, first melt the butter in a small pan over a medium heat. Stir in the flour to make a roux, then cook this gently for two minutes. Remove from the heat, add a good splash of the hot stock and beat until you have a smooth paste. Repeat with a little more stock, then a little more. Add the remaining stock in two or three lots, beating well with each addition to get rid of any lumps. Return the pan to the heat. Bring slowly to a simmer, and cook gently for a couple of minutes, stirring often, until thickened. Add the chicken, bacon, corn kernels, garlic and herbs and simmer for another five minutes or so, until the chicken is completely cooked. Season with salt and pepper. Leave to cool.
5. To make Gill's steak and kidney filling, season the chopped kidney and shin well. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat, add all the meat and brown well all over. Add the thyme leaves, then sieve over the flour and stir well so it coats the meat. Add the wine and stock, stir well, then bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer very gently for 1-2 hours until the meat is completely tender and the sauce is nicely gloopy. Check the seasoning. Leave to cool.
6. To make the pancakes, put the flour and salt in a bowl. Break the egg into the centre, then start whisking it into the flour, gradually incorporating the milk. Keep adding milk and whisking until you have a smooth batter the consistency of single cream. Rest the batter in the fridge for 30 minutes.
7. Heat a little sunflower oil in a small frying pan - we used one about 15cm in diameter - over a high heat, until almost smoking. Pour in a small ladleful of the pancake batter, immediately swirling the batter around to form a pancake (don't make it too thin - these need to be a little more robust than your standard crepe). Cook for a minute or two, until the pancake is golden-brown underneath. Flip it and cook the other side for another 30 seconds or so. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter. (Do not worry if your first pancake is a disaster - this is the mysterious law of pancake making at work.)
8. To assemble, take one pancake and spoon some of your chosen filling on to one half of it. You only need a tablespoonful or so - don't overfill the pancakes. Brush some beaten egg around the edge of the pancake and sprinkle on a little flour to form a natural glue. Fold the pancake over to make a half-moon shape, and press the edges to seal. (Or you can try Hugh's method - which is a little trickier - of running a little uncooked batter around the edge of the pancake, folding it over and returning it to a hot pan to seal it.)
9. For final assembly and frying, put the flour in a deep dish and season well with salt and pepper. Put the beaten eggs in a second dish, then the breadcrumbs in a third. Season the breadcrumbs, if you like, with paprika and turmeric - this helps to achieve the trademark orange colour.
10. Heat a 1mm layer of sunflower oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the breadcrumbed pancakes a few at a time, for about 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and piping hot in the middle. Drain briefly on kitchen paper, then serve straight away.
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