Alicia’s recipe is a deliciously alternative idea for Pancake Day. Using smoked fish is inspired and goes beautifully with the sweet potato and corn pancakes which might be a little too sweet for normal ceviche. The pancakes are also outrageously good with streaky bacon and slow-cooked tomatoes for breakfast. You can use either smoked pollock or coley for a more sustainable option.
Feeds 4 as a light main meal
For the ceviche:
300g undyed smoked haddock fillets
1 serrano chilli
1 red shallot
Juice of a lime
For the pancakes:
120g coarse cornmeal
1 red shallot
1 serrano chilli, grated
Zest of a lime
Kernels cut from 2 cobs of corn
200g sweet potato, grated
2 whole eggs
About 100ml milk
2 egg whites
Stems from a big bunch of coriander
Salt & pepper
Sunflower oil for frying
Juice of half a lime
Splash of olive oil
1 ripe avocado
Leaves from a big bunch of coriander
Remove the skin from the smoked haddock and cut it into thin slices, across the grain. Place the sliced chilli, sliced shallot and slices of fish in a non-reactive dish and pour over the lime juice. Sprinkle on a little Tabasco if you like it really hot. Leave for 45 minutes to cure.
In a large bowl combine the cornmeal, diced shallot, diced chilli, lime zest, corn and sweet potato.. Stir through the whole eggs and the finely chopped coriander stems. Add enough milk to make a thick batter. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks and fold through the corn and sweet potato mixture. Season with salt & pepper.
Fry pancakes gently in oil (about 4 minutes a side – the first one inevitably falls apart and it takes a long time to cook out the sweet potato) and keep them warm.
When ready to serve, drain the fish from the marinade (discarding the juices but retaining the sliced shallot and some of the chilli slices) and combine with the coriander leaves and scoops of avocado. Dress with the lime juice and a splash of olive oil. Correct the seasoning.
Serve the hot pancakes topped with cool, fresh ceviche.
Alicia’s recipe is very special indeed. The contrast of textures, temperatures and acidity make this a real joy. The corn and sweet potato pancakes are so good that you should make a large batch so they you can enjoy them for lunch the next day with a zesty topping of prawns and guacamole.
Thanks to everyone who entered my competition. For more Mexican recipes, including the winning recipe from Steve Gale you’ll have to buy my book – Mexican Cooking Made Simple!