Bill’s ricotta hotcakes

December 27, 2009 at 11:33 pm (breakfast, F (0 stars, dislike), Necessarily nonvegan, Other)

Derek has very fond memories of eating Bill Granger’s  ricotta hotcakes when he ate at Bill’s in Sydney.  We finally got around to trying to make them ourselves last week. The recipe is all over the web, along with a huge number of really beautiful pictures of stacks and stacks of hotcakes.  Derek even tried to make the “sugar honeycomb” that’s used to make the crunchy “honeycomb butter”.  However, the recipe he used wasn’t very precise about heat or timing, and the honeycomb never crystallized.  It just ended up a big, hard slab of sticky sugary goo.  So we ended up eating our hotcakes with regular old maple syrup.

I thought the hotcakes were fine, but nothing special.  They tasted like good but not particularly unusual white-flour pancakes.  We used store-bought ricotta from the German grocery store.  Maybe the pancakes would have been significantly different if we would have had really fine, freshly-made ricotta.  As they were, however, they were simply okay.  I don’t think they were worth the calories.  I actually prefer a slightly heartier pancake, with a little more heft.  These were quite light and fluffy and “white” tasting. Rating: B-.

Derek thought that the texture was good, but the pancakes themselves were kind of bland, and undersalted.  He suspects that the honeycomb butter (and the crystallized crunch it adds) is the truly stellar part of the recipe.  Derek’s rating:  B-.

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Tofu and millet patties

December 27, 2009 at 11:10 pm (C (1 star, edible), Grains, The Vegan Gourmet, Tofu)

I wanted to use up some leftover millet, and decided to try a variation on the tofu patties in The Vegan Gourmet.  I figured I’d try out one more recipe before passing it on.  The recipe calls for bulgur rather than millet, but I figured the two grains are similar enough, and the substitution should work okay.

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Cornmeal cookies

December 27, 2009 at 10:53 pm (Alice Medrich, C (1 star, edible), Cookies, Dessert, Necessarily nonvegan)

Derek wanted to make almond crescent cookies, but we didn’t have enough almonds, or his mom’s recipe.  We decided to try these delicate cornmeal cookies instead.  The recipe is from Chocolate and the Art of Low-Fat Desserts by Alice Medrich.

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Two vegetarian cookbooks bite the dust

December 27, 2009 at 2:36 pm (Cookbook reviews, Crescent Dragonwagon, The Vegan Gourmet)

I am a collector of cookbooks, but a principled one.  I believe that a cookbook that is not cooked from is a cookbook whose purpose is unfulfilled.  If I don’t cook from a cookbook, then I shouldn’t own it.  I also believe in finishing cookbooks.  My ultimate goal is to finish every cookbook I own, where “finishing” means making every recipe that appeals to me.  (In other words, I can skip the recipes for eggplant parmigiana and blue cheese and artichoke ravioli.)  I try not to buy too many cookbooks, as I always feel guilty about all the cookbooks I already own that go untouched.  Still, sometimes my principles lapse a little and I buy myself a new present.  Other times, friends or family give me new cookbooks.  It’s two of these gifted cookbooks that I’ve been holding onto for years that finally bit the dust.

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