Tuesday, January 02, 2007

I'm home, pancakes are made

One of my favorite new things is a cookbook/diary by Nigel Slater, called appropriately enough, The Kitchen Diaries. He kept a diary for a year of what he cooked and ate, with the goal of trying to eat more locally, to shop each day, and to know from whence came his food. His entries are sometimes blindingly simple - "August 19 - Beer and a new pizza place" and sometimes as blindingly complex - see Christmas - but I love his style and the panache with which he throws together things from his pantry and finds from the local grocers. He uses a bit more spice than is my taste, especially in the winter, and man does he love potatoes, but otherwise he's right up my alley.

I've had the book for a few months, but have only been able to read bits and pieces before this last weekend. I took it to the lake house (we're home! hurray!) and read it as much as I could while we were there - it's perfect for total immersion. Of course, there was I, hours from decent grocery stores, salivating at each new recipe.

I was excited this morning to try his Ricotta Pancakes. The NYT recently had an article touting the addition of ricotta cheese as a great way to add protein and make pancakes a weekday breakfast - something that would go over well in our house. They were great - Hannah ate three, and Jesse and I the rest. Hazel prefers a mid-morning snack to breakfast, so hopefully she's eating right now.

Orange and Ricotta Pancakes
- Nigel Slater

ricotta cheese - 1 cup
superfine sugar - 5 TBS
large eggs - 3, separated
grated zest of one large orange (I used a small clementine, it worked fine)
all-purpose flour - 1/2 cup (unlike me, make sure you add this BEFORE the egg whites)
melted butter - 2 TBS

In a large mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, egg yolks, and sugar. Set the egg whites to whipping in a standing mixer, or enlist a helper with the hand-held mixer. Or, multi-task.

Grate the orange zest into the cheese mixture and stir it in gently with the flour (yes, the step I missed. I was tired.) Once the egg whites are stiff, fold them into the mix as lightly as you can.

Use the butter to cook them - I'm not sure about this, as we usually use a non-stick spray, and it doesn't burn as easily as butter. They sure did taste good, though...

Serve with jam or powdered sugar on top. Hannah did spring for syrup - suit yourself.

Jesse would prefer no fruit and no powdered sugar, but he said he liked them too. Nigel adds raspberries to this recipe at a later date - Kris will add blueberries for sure.

I will add ricotta to my weekly list of must-buys, just for this recipe. Can't wait to try more.


Jennifer said...

Yeah, I really want to try this one. I often make multigrain pancakes on the weekends, but pancakes with cheese?!?! Oh, my!

Jennifer said...

OK, I bought ricotta formaggio today, but probably won't get to try it until Saturday...