Putting my gifts to work

crepes-maker-150x150Had a couple of early gifts for Christmas – one was this crepes maker which could quite easily have sat in the cupboard for a spell before getting some use, but the other was a slab of smoked salmon shipped over to me fresh from Scotland – that definitely couldn’t wait!! The instructions were very clear – eat within 7 days, so who was I to argue! Fish is a ‘must’ on the Venetian table at Christmas time, so I had the perfect tools and ingredients for the event.

So a couple of days ago I made half a dozen crepes, just to give the machine a whirl. Like most folks, I have always made my pancakes the good old-fashioned way in a heavy based frying pan, so this new-fangled machine was quite a revelation to me. I have to say that it gave very satisfactory results in less time and with less mess, so I was converted right away.

I rolled the pancakes in some kitchen parchment when they were cold, and tucked them in the fridge – a piece of foil would have worked equally well, and then last night, all I had to do was turn on the oven – mix a few slices of salmon in with my ready-made bechemal sauce – a sprinkling of pepper – a quick roll up and tucked them in the oven for 15 minutes.

So how was all that in more detail?


  • Enough pancakes to allow 2-3 per person
  • About 70 grams of smoked salmon per person
  • 400 grams of bechemal sauce
  • Black pepper
  • 25 grams of butter
  • 1 tbsp of grated parmesan (optional)

1.Turn on oven to 180°C
2.Prepare pancakes (a couple of days in advance if needs be)
3.Cut salmon into bite size pieces
4.Carefully and thoroughly fold salmon into bechemal, adding a little pepper for seasoning.
5.Distribute the salmon mixture between all the pancakes
6.Roll the pancakes carefully
7.Grease the bottom and sides of an oven-proof dish with a little of the butter
8.Place the pancakes side by side in the dish
9.Spread a fine layer of bechemal over the top of all the pancakes
10.Add small knobs of butter here and there on the top
11.If you like, you can add a fine sprinkling of parmesan over the top of everything
12.Place in the oven for about 15 minutes until the top has turned a golden brown and the bechemal is bubbling.
13.Serve straight away – you can use this as a started or main dish according to the quantities you serve.

Goes well with a salad as side dish.


Photograph on the left to be found on
I forgot to take a photo of my own recipe before it was all eaten!

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Janys Hyde
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Janys Hyde

Owner at Creative Retreats in Italy
Founder and owner of 'Creative Retreats in Italy', Janys Hyde brings a wealth of hospitality and organisational experience and skills into her small company, matured both in the UK and Italy.

After moving to Italy she transferred her skills to the tourist hospitality industry, accompanying international guests across Europe, caring for their welfare and needs; troubleshooting and organising impromptu events for their entertainment.

A 'creative person' herself, she dabbles in all manner of artistic pursuits and takes great pleasure in the organisation of cultural activities for her international guests here in Venice, Italy.

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