Celebrate Pancake Day: Tony's Haddock Pancakes with Zingy Salsa

Serves 4 (2 per person) for the pancakes

  • 100g (4oz) plain flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 285ml (½ pint) milk, at room temperature
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • lightly salted butter, melted, for frying
  • for the soured cream
  • 125ml (4½fl oz) soured cream
  • 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 25g (1oz) chopped fresh chives
  • 1 heaped tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
  • ¼red onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp lime juice (juice of about½lime)

For the salsa verde

  • 30g (1¼oz) fresh coriander, including stalks
  • 30g (1¼oz) each sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley, tarragon, basil and mint; strip off the leaves and discard the stems
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 anchovies
  • 15g (½oz) capers
  • 15g (½oz) small gherkins
  • lime juice, to taste
  • 40ml (1¾fl oz) extra-virgin olive oil, or to taste

For the pancake filling

  • 1½ tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
  • 500g (1lb 2oz) undyed smoked haddock, skinned and deboned, cut into 8 equal pieces
  • 20g (¾oz) lightly salted butter
  • 100g (4oz) baby spinach, to serve

1 To make the pancake batter, sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl, and make a well in the centre. Gradually whisk in the egg and milk, incorporating the flour from the sides, and combine to a smooth batter. Set the mixture aside to rest while you continue with the recipe.

2 Mix together all of the soured cream ingredients except the lime juice. When mixed, add lime juice to taste, along with some salt and pepper. Set aside in the fridge.

3 Put all of the salsa ingredients except for the lime juice and olive oil in a food-processor. Pulse to create a rough purée, then tip the mixture into a bowl and season to taste with lime juice and a little salt and pepper.

Mix in olive oil to taste, then add more salt, pepper or lime juice as required. Set aside.

4 You can now make the pancakes. Preheat the oven to minimum. Heat an 18cm(7in) pancake pan and add a dot of butter, using kitchen paper to smear it around the pan. Measure out about 2 tablespoons of the pancake mixture into a ladle, then pour this into the pan and quickly swirl it around the base – there should be just enough to thinly cover the bottom of the pan. Cook for a few seconds until brown, flip onto the other side for a few seconds until brown, then slide onto a warm plate and keep warm in the oven.

5 Wipe the pan clean and continue cooking pancakes in the same way until you have a total of eight pancakes

6 To make the filling, heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed non-stick pan, then add the haddock pieces. Cook the pieces, without stirring, until the bottoms have a nice golden brown colour; then turn the pieces over, add the butter and cook until that side is golden. When the fish is nearly done, add 2 teaspoons of salsa verde per person and cook for a further minute. Don’t be alarmed if the fish breaks up a little.

7 Divide the fish between the pancakes and roll each pancake like a spring roll. Serve on a plate with the baby spinach and soured cream.

HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH’s Ship’s Company were visited by renowned Scottish chef, Tony Singh MBE, who cooked up a storm to mark the annual baking bonanza of Shrove Tuesday

Traditionally Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day, is the last day of feasting before the religious festival of Lent begins, and for the hungry sailors onboard this ship the feast of pancakes was a welcome treat! With state of the art equipment, the Royal Navy chefs who will sail with the ship have been eagerly getting to grips with the newest galley in the fleet by cooking up three meals per day for her 680 crew members.

To mark the festival, six of the most junior chefs onboard were asked to create their own pancake recipes and go head-to-head for the title of star pancake-maker. To add some extra spice to the competition the young chefs were lucky enough to be visited by Scottish favourite Tony Singh MBE to cast the deciding vote on the best tasting recipe and provide some handy tips.

Speaking before the cooking began, Tony Singh said: “It’s a privilege to be here in this state of the art-galley while you embark on your careers as the future chefs of this amazing warship. Serving on board the UK's biggest and most complex warship is an incredible way to start your career in the kitchen and the best advice I can give you talented chefs is to remember that less is more!”

AB Chef Nicholas Cassidy said: “Having the opportunity to show off our culinary skills and our brand new galley to a TV celebrity chef has been exciting. The pressure is really on when we’re cooking up the meals for the ship’s company but it was nothing compared to making sure my pancakes were just right for a top chef.”

Aircraft Carrier Alliance