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Ricotta Hotcakes, Food of Australia

29 Mar

by Green Gourmet L

Mr. Green Gourmet and I were insanely lucky to be able to take a “holiday” in Sydney, Australia for a week. After enjoying the Sydney Harbor, Opera House, Blue Mountains, and beautiful beaches, we were ready to get into the food scene also. Unfortunately, the food in Sydney is not cheap. We tried to take advantage of the breakfast buffet at our hotel, but we had to take a trip to Bills.

Bills came highly recommended by an Aussie friend of ours, so of course we made our way to Surry Hills to see what all the fuss was about. First of all, the coffee in Australia is amazing. I ordered the flat white (which is like a cafe au lait), but has a more intense coffee flavor. Isn’t it beautiful?

After asking our server (and the local girls at the table next to ours), we decided we HAD to order the Ricotta Hotcakes.

Although it was quite expensive ($18!), it was worth it for the caramelized bananas and honeycomb butter. When we returned home to the US, Mr. Green Gourmet and I decided that we had to try and recreate this wonderful dish in our kitchen. And when you have a main ingredient that is going to shine through (like ricotta), you have to go to the store that specializes in cheeses… DC’s own Cowgirl Creamery.

So grab some fresh ricotta and make this for breakfast this weekend. You’ll be eating like an Australian but saving the $18/plate!

Bill Granger’s Ricotta Hotcakes

Ingredients

1 1/3 cups ricotta
3/4 cup milk
4 eggs, separated
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup butter
banana
honeycomb butter, sliced (below)
powdered sugar for dusting

Honeycomb Butter

1 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar honeycomb, crushed with a rolling pin
2 Tbs honey

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 any leftover honeycomb butter in the freezer, it’s great on toast.

Directions

Place ricotta, milk and egg yolks in a mixing bowl and mix to combine. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Add to the ricotta mixture and mix until just combined.
Place egg whites in a clean dry bowl and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites through batter in two batches, with a large metal spoon.
Lightly grease a large non-stick frying pan with a small portion of butter and drop 2 tablespoons of batter per hotcake into the pan (don’t cook more than 3 per batch). Cook over a low to medium heat for 2 minutes, or until hotcakes have golden undersides. Turn hotcakes and cook on the other side until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and quickly assemble the other ingredients.
Slice one banana lengthways onto a plate, stack three hotcakes on top with a slice of honeycomb butter. Dust with powdered sugar.

Enjoy your new breakfast favorite and don’t forget you read about it on Green Gourmets!

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Warm Me Up Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

10 Dec

Now that you have made this or this, you probably have some left over pumpkin in your fridge.  How about some warm, pumpkin spice oatmeal?  Oatmeal is a great breakfast option, I often use the quick cooking oats but they do not compare to the real deal.  Steel cut oats, like these, will blow your microwave oats out of the water.  In fact, I used Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats this morning to make this pumpkin spice oatmeal.  I know many people think making these oats will take too long but you could do what one family friend does – make a large batch of this and store it in the fridge, you could have steel cut oats all week long with only a minute to microwave them.

So why all the hubbub about pumpkin over here at Green Gourmets?  Pumpkin is very low in calories (about 40 calories for half a cup), so it adds filler to your foods, and a healthy filler at that.  Pumpkin is high in fiber, potassium, vitamin A and beta carotene (like other foods orange in color).  It is low in salt, sugar and has no saturated fat, trans fats or cholesterol.   The canned pumpkin can be found now for about $1.50 a can and many stores also carry organic canned pumpkin.  Please note, the canned pumpkin we’re talking about here is simply pureed pumpkin with nothing in it, not the pumpkin pie filler.

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

This serves one (large bowl of oats) or you can serve two with this and add an egg on the side.

1/2 cup of oatmeal (I used steel cut oats, adjust recipe for quick cooking or rolled oats)

1.5 cups of water

pinch of salt

sprinkle of cinnamon

sprinkle of nutmeg

2-3 heaping tablespoons of canned or fresh roasted pumpkin

maple syrup or your choice of sweetener to taste

Heat the water in a small pan on the stove with salt. Once boiling add the oats, give a few quick stirs and then turn the burner very low and cover.  Stir every few minutes.  The oats will take 10 minutes for al dente texture and 15 minutes for creamier.  Once done stir in the pumpkin and spices until completely incorporated.  At this point I like to turn the stove off and set the pot off to the side to let the flavors meld for a couple minutes.  Put the oatmeal in a bowl.  Top with whatever sweetener you want.  I love the agave with this because it has a mild flavor so the pumpkin really comes through, but maple syrup is always delicious.  Add some pecans or other nuts for a little extra protein and some crunch.  Dried fruit will add another layer of flavor and some color. To print this recipe, visit:  https://sites.google.com/site/greengourmetsprintablerecipes/green-gourmets-pumpkin-spice-oatmeal