I do not like to eat breakfast….<INSERT EXPLETIVE HERE>. Growing up, my parents – especially Daddy – emphasized every day the importance of eating the first meal of the day. And as a south American in the great state of Georgia, most everyone I know relishes the traditional breakfast of bacon, eggs, cheese, grits and toast. I just don’t. On the occasional morning that I do want to eat, what is more appealing to me is something small like a cup of coffee and a pastry or toast. Although, every now and then, pancakes are a must on the menu. In fact, ricotta pancakes are the best. They are light and fluffy and easy to make. Here is a favorite recipe that tastes delicious too.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel (If you don’t like lemon, skip this item. It’s optional.)
1/3 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 stick of butter, or 1/4 cup of oil for the pan
In a big dish, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, as well as salt. In a medium-sized bowl, blend buttermilk, egg yolks, and lemon peel. Stir buttermilk mixture right into flour mixture evenly combined. Fold in ricotta cheese.
With a mixer on high speed, beat the egg whites until soft tops form. With a flexible spatula, gently fold in the peaked egg whites right into the batter until incorporated.
Place a nonstick pan over medium heat (350 degrees F). When warm, coat lightly with oil or butter. Adjust heat to preserve an even temperature level. Drop batter in small sections onto the frying pan. Let each drop cook until pancakes are browned underneath and the sides begin to look completely dry – about 2 minutes. Turn the pancake drops with a large spatula. Brown the other side, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Coat pan with more oil or butter as needed to prepare all batter into pancakes.
Serve with fresh strawberries and bananas, or a scattering of grated lemon peel. Add warm syrup or a berry coulis to drizzle over the fruit as well as cakes.
Makes about 8-10 pancakes, depending on batter drop sizes.