Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Fat Tuesday & bills Ricotta Hotcakes

Scrambling between a hair cut, a PTO meeting, and piano lessons, I pulled out bill's Ricotta Hotcakes for Fat Tuesday. I lived near enough to New Orleans to know that I ought to have made gumbo, but that's a weekend meal at my house.

We discovered bills in Japan. Bill Granger is an Australian chef whose first foray into Japan was a hop, skip, and jump away from our stomping grounds in Kamakura. The restaurant in Shichirigahama is popular for its laid back beach vibe and tasty dishes. We most often went for breakfast, but you have to show up early to beat the tourist. Ricotta Hotcakes, funny enough, were served for breakfast, as an appetizer, and for dessert at dinner.

I love the combination of the these hotcakes with bananas and maple syrup, but the rest of my family prefers the hotcakes with apple butter, a hills of Ohio touch. Breakfast for dinner is odd to my kiddos, but as an only child, I ate a fair amount of scrambled eggs and toast for dinner. They scarfed these down anyway. The hotcakes are good with a side of bacon and roasted tomatoes, but the restaurant always serves them with Honeycomb Butter.

If you haven't tried them, do!

Adapted from bills food by Bill Granger
Serves 4

Eggs, 4, separated
Ricotta, 1 ⅓ cups
Milk, ¾ cup
All-purpose Flour, 1 cup
Baking powder, 1 tsp
Salt, a pinch

Butter, 2 Tbsp (~50 gm)
Banana, 1 sliced
Maple syrup or Powdered Sugar or Honeycomb Butter, garnish

What to do
  1. Separate egg yolks and egg whites.
  2. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  3. Combine ricotta and milk with the egg yolks. 
  4. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. 
  5. Add the sifted mix to the ricotta mix and stir until just combined. 
  6. Fold egg whites through batter in two batches, with a large metal spoon.
  7. Lightly grease a large non-stick frying pan or griddle with a small portion of the butter and drop 2 tablespoons of batter per hotcake into the pan (small batches are best). Cook over a low to medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until hotcakes have golden undersides. Turn hotcakes and cook on the other side until golden and cooked through. 
  8. Transfer to a plate, stack 3 hotcakes, top with bananas, garnish with maple syrup or a dusting of powdered sugar.

Honeycomb Butter
Unsalted Butter, 8.8 oz (250 gm), softened
Sugar honeycomb crushed with a rolling pin or a Crunchie bar, 3.5 oz (100 gm)
Honey, 2 Tbsp

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Shape into a log on plastic wrap, roll, seal and chill in a refrigerator for 2 hours. Store leftover honeycomb butter in the fridge for up to 24 hours, or in the freezer-- great on toast.

Bill's Ricotta Hotcakes in Shichirigahama, Japan

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