New Year's Party Recipe: Sweet Pea Pancakes with Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraiche

Sweet Pea Pancakes with Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraiche. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Sweet Pea Pancakes with Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraiche. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

I adore savory pancakes, whether they come buckwheat-blini style, crammed full of corn and salty bacon, in the form of zucchini griddle cakes, or like these: delicately lemony with plenty of sweet peas and tender, buttery leeks.

The great thing about these fresh little pea and leek pancakes is that you can make them any time of year. But they are an especially pleasing fresh note when you grow tired of heavy winter fare.

I was inspired to make these by one of my favorite starters at Schmidt’s, a San Francisco German beer and sausage restaurant in the Mission. Mine include tender leeks and a good helping of lemon zest and herbs.

If you like, use sour cream instead of the crème fraiche. You can also flavor the crème fraiche or sour cream with more lemon zest or herbs. Make these vegetarian by omitting the smoked salmon. In the springtime, top them with a mound of pea shoots.

However you serve them, they are certain to be devoured quickly and with great relish. Enjoy!

Ingredients for Sweet Pea Pancakes with Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraiche. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Ingredients for Sweet Pea Pancakes with Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraiche. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

Recipe: Sweet Pea Pancakes with Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraiche

Makes about 22 bites

    Ingredients:
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 small leek, trimmed and finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas (8 ounces), thawed
  • 2 small green onions, very finely chopped
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk, beaten together
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • Olive oil, for frying
    For serving:
  • About 1/3 cup crème fraiche
  • About 4 oz cold-smoked salmon
  • Finely chopped fresh chives
    Instructions:
  1. In a large frying pan over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp butter. Add the leek and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until soft and tender, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, put the peas in a bowl and pour boiling water over them to cover. Let sit for 5 minutes then drain well.

  • Add the peas, green onions, and lemon zest and cook, smashing the peas with a potato masher until about half are smashed. Cook until tender and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley, remove from the heat, and set aside.
  • Melt the remaining 2 tbsp of the butter. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and 1/2 tsp salt. Whisk in the eggs, milk, and the melted butter together to make a batter. Add the pea mixture and stir to combine.
  • In a nonstick frying pan, warm a little olive oil over medium heat. Spoon tablespoon-sized dollops of the batter into the pan, spacing them evenly. Fry until golden brown and crisp, turning once, 3 or 4 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels and keep warm in a low oven while you finish the remaining pancakes.
  • To serve, transfer the pancakes to a warm platter. Top each with a sliver of smoked salmon and a dollop of crème fraîche. Sprinkle with chives and serve right away.
  • Sweet Pea Pancakes with Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraiche. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
    Sweet Pea Pancakes with Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraiche. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

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