Our family has embarked on virtual travels to various countries and regions. To explore these countries and their cultures, we have followed along with the festivals, cooked and eaten traditional foods, learned of traditional handicrafts with hands on exploration, along with many activities to immerse ourselves. Chronicled here are some of these activities.

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Around the World with Pancakes: Portuguese Panquecas

We're trying out pancakes from around the world, looking beyond fluffy pancakes and beyond breakfast food

This past weekend, Elle and I made Portuguese pancakes for supper. These are crepes that are often filled with ground meat, spices and tomatoes. This was a bit of a departure for us - though we occasionally have savory crepes with ham and cheese, somehow this filling felt a little odd to our palates. Reviews were mixed: Elle scarfed hers down (though admittedly she was rather hungry), Hubby asked for seconds, Pea could barely stomach them, and I didn't mind them, but wouldn't have them again. If you're curious, you'll have to try them out and see how you like them :)

Portuguese Panquecas

Recipe adapted from Food From Portugal
Serves 4

Crepe batter:
  • 1 cup flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter or margarine, melted + more for pan
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
Make the crepe batter. Sift together the flour, salt and sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs and margarine. Make a well in the center of the flour, pour in the milk and whisk together. At this point, Elle used a hand held immersion blender to get a smooth batter. You could also use an electric beater or put it all in a blender. Put batter aside while you make the filling. 

  • 1 cup ground beef
  • 1 cup ground pork
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 3 medium, ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
1. Mix together the meats, garlic and spices. Heat 1 tbsp oil in pan on medium, then add the onion. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until translucent. Lower the heat and add the tomatoes, cook them until they start to break down. Add the meat mixture, and cook on medium-low heat until the meat is browned, and the liquid is reduced. Once it's cooked, as it's reducing, taste to make sure the seasoning is to your liking. 

The liquid in with the meat takes some time to reduce - make sure it reduces though or you'll get a soggy pancake

2. While the meat cooks, make the crepes: Heat the oven on low to keep them warm. Heat a pan on medium-high and melt a bit of butter. Pour 1/4 cup of batter on the pan and swirl the batter so it is thin (I often use the edge of a spatula and spread it out). These crepes cook quickly, about 30 seconds on each side - don't think you have the time to set the table while they cook, or you will burn them :) 

3. Assemble the panquecas by spreading 1/2 cup on each crepe, and sprinkling with cheese. Fold over, and enjoy with a side salad.

Find more multicultural recipes with Around the World in 12 Dishes, a group of bloggers that explore a set of countries, one per month, through food and activities. 

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  1. These are very interesting and your timing is perfect. We're heading to Portugal soon and I hope to find these there.

    1. Such fun! I can't wait to read about your trip!

  2. I do love crepes. I've tried them with a few savory fillings, but tend towards sweet ones myself. I'm seriously thinking I need to break down and get a crepe pan to make some. Do you have one?

    1. We have a cast iron pan that I think is meant to be a crepe pan :) but we only got that a couple of years ago. I've been making crepes since high school, and had always used a regular frying pan - the key is for the pan to be hot, and not poor too much - and expect the first one or two to be duds :)

  3. My mum used to make these but they were also baked in the oven with a cheesy sauce poured over them Delicious!


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