7.28.2013

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Strawberry Syrup


This recipe is a hit! Stacy and I both made it for different people and everyone thought these were amazing! I have made them both with the recommended meyer lemons and regular lemons. I can honestly say that using either one will be great because there is no real difference. It is a bit of a process so whatever you can do a day in advanced would be great. I found this a while back from Anne Burrell and I made a few tweaks to the original. If you have the time and money to find Meyer Lemons, which are sweeter, yet more expensive, then go for it! However if you are kind of on a budget but want to make an impressive brunch meal then use regular lemons.

Ingredients:

Strawberry Syrup

1 qt + 1 cup fresh strawberries topped and quartered
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tbl sugar

Pancakes
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 heaping tsp baking powder
4 egg yolks
4 egg whites
1 heaping cup of part skim ricotta (can use any you like)
3/4 cup fat free half n half
1 large lemon zested and juiced (or 2 meyer lemons)
1/16 tsp (pinch) salt for egg whites.

Directions
Finished strawberry syrup

Syrup:

  1. Place sugar, orange juice and strawberries in a bowl and let it sit for at least 30 min or Overnight.
  2. Take a little less than half of the mixture and blend it with a stick blender or regular blender then return to the rest of the strawberries and set aside.*






Pancakes:
Pancake batter with the egg whites


  1. Sift together Flour, Sugar, Salt, and Baking powder into a medium-large bowl. Make a small well for your wet ingredients.**
  2. Separate the egg yolks from whites by carefully cracking each egg in half and passing the yolk between the shells. Make sure a bowl is in place to catch the egg whites and the pinch of salt. **
  3. Put yolks in the little well you created with the dry ingredients.
  4. Add ricotta, lemon juice, lemon zest and milk then mix with the dry until just combined. **
  5. Using a whisk or electric hand mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Then fold in the whites with the batter gently. It will make your batter look double in size.***
  6. Heat a large skillet and make sure it is buttered or greased slightly to prevent sticking. A good medium to medium-low flame is best here.
  7. Using a ladle, and place nice dollops in  the pan then wait bubbles to reach the surface of the pancakes before you flip them. Repeat until all are made.
  8. Serve with the strawberry syrup and a mimosa or favorite drink!
Pancakes should be a brown on the bottom with bubbles popping up.














Cooks Notes:
* Make the syrup a day in advance so you don't have so much to do in the morning of.
**Can also sift the dry ingredients, separate the yolks and mix the wet ingredients in advance so that you can easily assemble in the morning.
***If you make this in the summer and it is humid out, place your bowl and whisk in the freezer for a few moments to help stiffen the egg whites. Otherwise you will most likely get soft peaks instead of stiff ones.

7.04.2013

Fried Bacon Mac n' Cheese Bites

Yes, the title is correct. Made these for mother's day and we loved them so much we made them again for fathers day. Though the main dish was a really awesome three leaf and shrimp salad, these bites dominated our table.

To make these I used a rendition of Anne Burrell's Bacon Mac n' Cheese recipe from her book, Cook like a Rockstar. Basically you can use any Mac n' Cheese recipe you want so long as it is not the box stuff.

Mac n' Cheese Ingredients from MY favorite recipe.

  • 1 tbls extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 strips of bacon (optional if you are a vegetarian!)
  • 3 tbls unsalted butter
  • 1 onion diced
  • salt
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 cups fat free half n half
  • 4 cups cheddar jack
  • 1 cup parmigian
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • Add hot sauce if needed.


Directions

  1. If you are adding bacon then cook the twelve strips of bacon  then drain them on a towel. Reserve half the bacon grease and move to the next step
  2. Begin boiling a large pot of water for your noodles.
  3. If you are NOT adding bacon then add butter to medium pot on medium to medium high heat then add onion and reserved bacon fat with salt and cook for 8 to 10 min till onion is soft and aromatic.
  4. Add flour and stir frequently 4-5 min till the mixture looks like wet sand. You are creating a bechamel sauce here.
  5. Whisk in half n half and season with salt. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and let cook for 8-10 min.
  6. Once your water is boiling add the pasta and cook for 1 min less than the directions say on the box. Drain and reserve.
  7. Once the onion bechamel is finished add your cheeses and some of your favorite hot sauce. Stir until the cheese is melted and mixed in well.
  8. Add Mustard, Bacon, and Pasta and mix well. Then transfer to a square baking dish and let cool. Freeze to help solidify the mac n cheese for cutting into bite sized pieces.
    1. Alternatively, you can eat it right here and now as it is amazing!


For Frying

  • 1 qt. (4 cups) of vegetable oil heated to 350 degrees
    • *use an instant read thermometer if you don't have a fryer.
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • salt
  • 1 cup panko
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1-2 eggs beaten


Directions

  1. Heat the oil to 350
  2. Prepare flour with pepper, paprika, nutmeg, and salt in a bowl
  3. Prepare panko with cayenne
  4. Cut the mac n' cheese into bite sized portions.
  5. Roll each piece in this order: Flour, Egg, Panko.
  6. Place bites in the heated oil for 2-3 min till golden brown
  7. drain on paper towels and enjoy!




Will have a wonderful crust!

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