Sunday, January 2, 2011

Citrus-y Ricotta Pancakes

Happy New Year!

The holidays are such interesting times when you look beyond the gifts and the big dinner with family. In this college town life is very different for one week each year, and today is the last day of that week. The students have gone home, so the town is a little empty, the traffic is lighter, everything seems a bit calmer and kind of slow, but in a relaxed and comfortable way. It's a rare opportunity to enjoy the moment or just take time to think without worrying too much about what needs to be done next. Maybe that's why we only consider our goals once a year, in the form of New Year resolutions. The rest of the year we are just too busy to do that kind of thinking.

This morning I have exactly two goals in mind: 1) try to put a little more "skinny" in the recipes; and 2) not to leave the house today. That means feeding us with ingredients on hand. It's a good way to use up items you bought for holiday cooking. The citrus-y pancakes may not exactly meet the intent of goal #1, but they fit #2 perfectly. We combined lemon and orange zest and juice in this batch, but lime or kumquat zest would work well, too. These are light, fragrant, moist pancakes. Serve with your favorite syrup, fruit, or my favorite -- a sprinkle of sugar and squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

This will make 12-14 pancakes using a 1/4 scoop of batter.

Ready to flip
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup ricotta cheese
2/3 cup milk
1 Tbs lemon/orange zest
1/2 t cinnamon
dash of nutmeg (optional)
1/2 T sugar

2 eggs, separated

  1. Separate the egg yolks from the whites. You can do this by cracking the eggshell into two halves, then gently pouring the egg back and forth between the halves. Do this over a bowl allowing the egg white to fall into the bowl, while the intact yolk remains in the shells. Or you can buy an egg separator kitchen gadget.
  2. Combine all ingredients EXCEPT the eggs. Mix just until everything is blended, but don't overdo it. You are not aiming for a perfectly smooth consistency. The batter should be a bit thick, but still easily poured.
  3. Beat the egg whites until they are frothy, then keep at it until they form stiff peaks. 
  4. Fold the egg whites into the batter and mix gently until there are no streaks. Batter can be refrigerated at this point for up to 2 days.
  5. Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto well-oiled preheated griddle. Flip when air bubbles appear on top (see photo). Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Serve hot.

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