Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Saturday Morning Rituals

Conveniently - and scarily like a planned-out sitcom - my best friend's boyfriend lives less than two blocks from my boyfriend's apartment. This was not some conniving girl-plot to be BFF forever, it just worked out that way. It makes cab rides easy (and cheaper) and it's always nice to know they're close. But the best part about having them within spitting distance is that every Saturday morning they wake up hungry - and so do I.

We regularly receive a phone call between 9 and 10 a.m. yelling in scratchy morning voices that it's time for pancakes. No argument here. Our classic staple is Banana Chocolate Chip pancakes (a nice compromise for me and R with a good fruit-to-chocolate ratio). We usually just use the regular Aunt Jemima mix and then throw in whatever else is in the fridge (by Saturday, it's usually not much).

This past Saturday we were feeling particularly adventurous. I had found a recipe for Orange Ricotta Pancakes in this month's Everyday Food magazine and we decided to give them a try. (Ever since I read about Pumpkin Pancakes at Everybody Likes Sandwiches, I've been itching to try a new pancake recipe.) The batter was quite thick as the recipe calls for almost two cups of ricotta. You'll notice in the picture that our griddle is strangely spanning the two burners on the stove. Something about the size of the griddle and the distance between the burners necessitates a diagonal placement of the griddle and a constant rotation to keep the pancakes browning nicely (I left this up to R while I did the dishes).

The pancakes came out thicker than I would have liked and were very dense from the ricotta cheese. The picture in the magazine looked like they were much thinner, maybe adding some milk to the batter would help this cause. We also used a nonstick spray instead of the canola oil that it called for when cooking. This kept the grease level down and eliminated the need to drain them.

Overall they were enjoyable, especially with some strawberry jam spread over the top. If you like your pancakes dense, then you'll definitely be a fan of this recipe. I think I'm more of a buttermilk girl. I highly recommend starting your own Saturday Morning Pancake Ritual... even if your best friend doesn't live next door.

Orange Ricotta Pancakes
Adapted from Everyday Food, April 2007


1 3/4 C. part-skim ricotta cheese
1/3 C. granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. grated orange zest (about 1 orange)
2/3 C. all-purpose flour
3 Tbs. canola oil (see note)
Confectioners' sugar, for serving


In a medium bowl, whisk together ricotta, granulated sugar, eggs and orange zest. Whisk in flour just until combined. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-low. Working in batches (and adding more oil to the skillet when necessary) add batter, using a a scant 1/4 C. for each pancake. Cook until browned, about 4-5 minutes per side. Transfer pancakes to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Serve hot, dusted with confectioners' sugar. Serve with jam and maple syrup.

*You can substitute a nonstick spray for the oil and eliminate the need to drain the pancakes.

Yield: 12 pancakes