Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lemon Ricotta Hotcakes

After a much needed vacation with my family to Jackson, WY last week, I had to leave them there and catch a flight to Minneapolis for a conference. It was a busy few days putting the conference on but after we got everything cleaned up on Friday afternoon, I wandered around downtown Minneapolis with a few of my friends. We happened upon this restaurant and took a peek at their menu. It sounded intriguing and so we decided to have our lunch there. Well it turned out to be an award winning restaurant . . . and for a good reason. Hell's Kitchen describes their food as "unique but not fancy; interesting but not fussy." Their name has nothing to do with the TV show on Fox, but rather it comes from the famous New York neighborhood. The food was totally out of this world! My friends both had the crab cakes and poached eggs with bell pepper holandaise sauce. I chose the Lemon Ricotta Hotcakes and oh my! They were incredible! I've never tasted such fluffy, light, and airy pancakes. A few berries on top with a light dusting of powdered sugar and I was in heaven!
They do have a recipe book for $28 but after buying their homemade Blood Orange Marmalade and their homemade Peanut Butter to bring home I didn't want to spend the money on the cookbook. So of course, I googled for a recipe and here it is:
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
Mitch Omer - Hell's Kitchen Minneapolis

6 egg whites
9 egg yolks
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
4 T freshly grated lemon zest
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 t kosher salt
1/3 cup flour
unsalted butter, melted for the skillet
Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer fitted with a wire whisk attachment, pour egg whites into a stainless steel bowl. Whisk the whites on high speed until they form stiff peaks. Once peaks are formed, reduce the speed to low.
Add the egg yolks one at a time to the whites, beating after each addition. Then slowly add 1/3 cup melted butter. Continue to whisk on low speed until the ingredients are well combined.
Turn off the mixer and add the sugar, ricotta, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt. Whisk for 1 minute at medium speed, then reduce the speed to low. Slowly add the flour. Mix to combine the flour for about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrap the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula to eliminate any remaining dry spots. Mix again at medium speed for about 1 minute until everything is just combined.
Place the batter in the fridge for 4 hours or up to 3 days.
When ready to cook, place a large skillet or griddle over medium high heat. Brush the cooking surface with melted butter and pour the batter into the skillet in 1/4 cup portions. Leave about 2 inches between the batter to allow for spreading. Cook the pancakes until bubbles appear on the surface and the underside is a golden brown, about 5 minutes. (These will take a bit longer to cook than traditional pancakes, so be patient.) Flip the pancakes a cook for another 2-3 minutes until the other side is golden brown. Transfer the pancakes to a warm plate, and repeat until all of the batter is used up.
Garnish the hot pancakes with powdered sugar, fresh berries, melted butter, and warm syrup. Serve immediately.

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