Not only did I get to gawk at nearly naked women at a recent catering gig; I was also rewarded with a bounty of pumpernickel bread, one batch each of saffron and achiote poached shrimp, bay shrimp salad, and six pounds of ricotta. Oscar was stoked. It's always a treat to bring home a random box or bag of catered goodies because it's sometimes premium items or ingredients that I may not have at home.
So. How to eat one's way through six pounds of ricotta cheese? To start, freeze one of the tubs.Really, should two people be eating six pounds of whole milk ricotta in under three weeks? Then think big: go beyond pasta dinners or cheesecake. How do lemon ricotta pancakes sound, with or without blueberries? I've been obsessing over these pancakes for almost two weeks. Purists may scoff at the use of pancake mix but that's their problem! The first batch we made had us ooooohing and aaaaaahing to each other, and the 'cakes were light, fluffy, creamy, and delish.
LEMON RICOTTA PANCAKES
Serve with warm honey or (my favorite) maple syrup. The recipe is adapted from Giada De Laurentiis' on foodnetwork.com.
1 2/3 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups pancake and waffle mix, Krusteaz is recommended
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon
2/3 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
Using a rubber spatula, stir water and vanilla in a large bowl. Add pancake mix & stir til just moistened but still lumpy. Stir in ricotta, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Stir gently to incorporate ricotta & lemon but still maintain a lumpy batter. Fold in blueberries.
Cook pancakes over a medium hot griddle, using 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. I like to put butter and syrup the entire stack of pancakes & then microwave for 30-40 seconds. Eat immediately while reading the newspaper, chatting with family, and drinking strong coffee.