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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ricotta Pancakes

I grew up in a pancake house. I realize that sounds like I was born in an IHOP. Not quite. But when I was little...and still today actually, we would get up on a Saturday morning and dad would grab the box of Bisquick and start up the griddle. Reading the Sunday comics with sticky syrupy fingers...heaven. They were always quite heavy pancakes, I think it was the Bisquick. So when my colleague Beth passed me this recipe after I shared the homemade ricotta recipe with her - I knew I'd hit the jackpot. I made these pancakes this morning and they were the lightest, fluffiest pancakes I've ever had.

1 cup ricotta or cottage cheese - best with homemade ricotta
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
3 eggs, separated
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup flour
1 TB sugar
2 TB lemon juice
2 tsp lemon zest
butter for the pan

1. Beat together the ricotta, sour cream, and egg yolks.

2. Combine baking soda, flour, and sugar.

3. Beat egg whites until fairly stiff.

4. Stir the flour mixture into the cheese mixture, blending well but not beating. Stir in the lemon juice and zest. Gently fold in the egg whites - they should remain somewhat distinct in the batter.

5. Add batter to a heated buttered pan by heaping tablespoon. Cook until lightly browned on each side and cooked through the center. They will be very light and fluffy - don't overcook!

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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Orange and Soy Baby Back Ribs

I had never made ribs before. We used to eat them a lot when I was younger and for a few years I remember picking them as my birthday dinner when I was little. I had a hankering for ribs recently and decided to give them a shot. This Bon Appetit recipe is quite different because it doesn't involve a long day of baking or grilling. You just have to give them a long simmer - and then a quick broil. I was afraid they'd end up dry but they were fall off the bone delicious. One of the best dinners in a while - and VERY easy!!!

3 lbs of baby back ribs, cut between bones into individual ribs
1 cup soy sauce, divided
8 cloves garlic, minced, divided
4 tsp cumin, divided
3 tsp red pepper flakes
3 TB vegetable oil
6 scallions, chopped - only the white and light green
1.5 cups orange juice
Zest from 1 orange, lime and lemon
3 TB honey

1. Place the ribs, 1/2 cup soy sauce, 3 minced garlic cloves, 2 tsp cumin, and 1 tsp red pepper flakes in a large dutch oven. Add enough water to completely cover the ribs.

2. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce to a simmer. Cover leaving the lid ajar and and simmer for about 2 hrs.

3. Drain the ribs and set on a cookie sheet with tin foil (you MUST use tin foil or you'll have a very bad clean-up!)

4. Heat oil in a small saucepan and add the remaining cumin, red pepper flakes, garlic, and green onion. Saute until soft and then add the remaining soy sauce, orange juice, and honey. Bring to a boil and cook until sauce is thick, about 15 minutes.

5. Preheat the broiler and brush the ribs generously with the sauce. Place the ribs under the broiler and cook until the sauce bubbles, about 3 minutes. Turn over and re-glaze, cook for another couple of minutes.

6. Take the rubs out of the oven and drizzle with more sauce and top with the zest.


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Beef Curry

I don't usually like beef in my curry but we tried this last week from Food & Wine and it was delicious. It was very quick to make although it could be a while before the smell of the house is curry free. Occupational hazard I suppose...

1.5 lbs lean ground sirloin
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely diced
handful of cauliflower florets if you have some
2 TB minced ginger
2 garlic cloves minced
1.5 TB curry powder
2 TB flour
1 large yukon gold potato, cut in 1/2 inch dice
1.5 cups chicken broth
14 oz can of coconut milk
14 oz can of diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup frozen peas

1. In a large dutch oven, heat a bit of canola oil and then add the sirloin. Break it up as it cooks so that you don't have any lumps.

2. Add the onion and ginger, potatoes, carrots and cauliflower if you have them. Cook until soft. Add plenty of salt and pepper.

3. Add the curry powder and cook for a minute or two. Then add the flour and stir until all veggies are coated.

4. Increase the heat to high and add the chicken broth and tomatoes and stir well. Stir up any bits from the bottom of the pot.

5. Bring to a boil and then and then lower the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes. If the sauce is too thick, add some broth. If it's too runny, leave the lid off for a bit and let it boil away.

Serve with basmati rice and/or toasted naan with butter.

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