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Saturday, October 02, 2010

Double Blue Pancakes and Zucchini Ricotta Cheesecake

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
First, a repeat of the double blue pancake recipe which I have been trying to get on the site for the past two weeks! Second, a new and interesting recipe for a savory Zucchini Ricotta Cheesecake.

Double Blue Pancakes

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups blue corn meal, coarse cut
3/4 cups AP flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
2 Large eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
melted butter
1 cup fresh blueberries
real maple syrup

Procedure
Whisk first 6 dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk, eggs, and oil. Now add wet to dry and let batter stand 20 minutes. Preheat griddle and lightly butter then ladle in pancakes, sprinkle top with blueberries and when bubbles form, flip over and cook the other side. Serve hot with warm maple syrup. If you preheat your oven to 200 you can hold the pancakes on a sheet pan and then everyone can eat together.

Zucchini Ricotta Cheesecake

This is a delicious, unusual item that makes a great lunch with mixed greens and maybe a bowl of soup. Or try it as a special treat on a bed on lettuce at dinner time. I made up this recipe last week so if you have any ideas to make it better let me know!

Ingredients
1 cup graham crackers
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup black and white sesame seeds, mixed
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup butter melted
2 cups zucchini, unpeeled & grated
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups full fat ricotta cheese (you can drain if you have the time)
1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
2 shallots and 2 teaspoons garlic, chopped and lightly sautéed
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
zest of one lemon
2 large eggs, well beaten
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/3 cup goat cheese, crumbled
drizzle of olive oil for garnish

Procedure
Preheat oven to 325F degrees, put rack in the middle of the oven. Butter or spray a 7-inch springform pan and set aside. Combine cracker crumbs, sesame seeds, panko, and melted butter and press into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 15 minutes and let cool while making the batter.

To shred the zucchini use a box grater — most microplane-type graters are too fine, you want shredded zucchini, not mush. If you want, I think you can get creative with the herbs and add-ins. Try anything from chopped olives, sun-dried tomatoes, or chives, to spices, chopped spinach. In a strainer, toss the shredded zucchini with the salt and let sit for ten minutes. Now aggressively squeeze and press out as much moisture as you can. Set aside.

While the zucchini drains, combine the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, goat cheese, shallots, garlic, dill, and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Stir in the eggs and continue mixing until well combined. Now stir in the shredded zucchini. Fill the springform pan with the ricotta mixture and place on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for sixty minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool five minutes, run a thin knife around the edges of the cake then release the cake from its pan. Cool completely, serve at room temperature drizzled with a bit of olive oil and a few sprigs of dill.