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I am thankful that when it comes to television, Mr. J and I don’t have a problem as far as what shows to watch. We like almost the same programs – I watch what he watches, and he likes to watch what I watch. My only problem with him is when he’s got the remote control – he changes channels so much I get dizzy! He loves to scan the channels, and when commercial break comes, his fingers get busy with the remote almost like an instict. He can’t just stay in one channel. He just has to look around.

I know though, that this is a habit not unique to Mr. J alone. This is a guy thing. It must have something to do with the nature of men.. their nature to explore and conquer?

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Anyhow, we were watching Tyler Florence over in FoodNetwork on Saturday afternoon. We just got intrigued with these cheesy pancakes. Coupled with the prosciutto and the apples.. this breakfast looked like a winner.

“Hmmnn… Why don’t we try that?” Mr. J. said. “But you don’t like cheese”, I said to him. Mr. J always teases me because I love cheese a lot. He smiled and said, “well, it’s ricotta. I’m willing to try it”. So that settled it. I have no problem trying Tyler’s ultimate pancakes.

So that very day I went to the grocery and picked up what we needed. Mr. J didn’t expect for us to have the pancakes that very next day,so he was a bit surprised. Since it’s Sunday, I thought it was a good time. So, why wait?

This breakfast then is a collaborative effort between Mr. J and I. I love it when we cook together. I made the pancake batter, but Mr. J took care of the flipping, and cooking. The prosciutto and apple wasn’t much of a problem because both gets thrown in the oven.

As for these pancakes, one really has to be careful not to use too much heat. The pancake is different in that it cooks very slow, due to the cheese in it I suppose. So if you use very high heat, the outside will get burned and the inside will be raw.. that’s not going to be good at all… So this breakfast particularly needs a lot of TLC (tender loving care). (Incidentally, in the Philippines, we call them HOTCAKES, and not pancakes..)

So just be patient, because you’re going to be rewarded with a very delicious breakfast.. heavy and rich, but delicious. This breakfast sustained us, so much so that we didn’t get hungry until dinner!
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Ricotta Pancakes With Roasted Apples & Prosciutto
recipe from Tyler Florence

For the topping:
12 slices prosciutto
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, optional
4 Golden Delicious apples
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/4 cup maple syrup

For the pancakes:
2 cups ricotta
4 large eggs, separated
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch salt
Butter, for cooking
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting, optional
1 cup maple syrup, warmed on stove-top

For the topping:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Lay the slices of prosciutto out in a single flat layer. Season with some salt and freshly ground black pepper, if desired, and pop into the oven. Roast the prosciutto until crispy, about 10 to 15 minutes.
3.Cut each apple into thirds, remove the cheeks and discard the core. Slice each piece into 4 and toss with butter and maple syrup.
4. Transfer to a roasting pan and place in the oven. Roast the apples until they are fork-tender and slightly caramelized on the top, about 30 to 45 minutes depending on ripeness of the fruit.

For the pancakes:
1. Combine the ricotta, egg yolks, buttermilk, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl.
2. Sift the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together into the ricotta mixture and stir until fully combined.
3. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form and then gently fold into the batter.
4. Heat a large nonstick pan over medium heat and add a little butter. Cook pancakes at a time using a 6-ounce ladle or measuring cup to pour the batter into the pan.
5. Cook the pancakes on 1 side until they set. When small bubbles appear on the uncooked surface, flip the pancakes and cook until golden on both sides, about 6 minutes (or longer). Keep the pancakes on a plate set at the back of the stove under a dry towel to keep warm while you make the rest.

To serve, lay the pancakes on a plate and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Serve with roasted apples, crispy prosciutto strips and warm maple syrup.

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Buttermilk Biscuits

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Here’s a personal confession.

In the Philippines, biscuit or “biskwit” means, soda crackers, or crunchy cookies. Thus, naturally, I grew up believing that biscuit means the same in the US or elsewhere in the world. But little did I know that though it is spelled the same, outside of the Philippines, the word doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing.

So when a franchise of Texas Chicken opened in one of the big malls in Cebu, the city in central Philippines where I come from, I was surprised to read that the menu includes: “2 pcs chicken with biscuit“. Hmnn… I thought, “soda crackers with chicken? That’s interesting!”. So I made it a point to try, and when I did, I discovered that “biscuit” is actually a soft, round bread! And it tastes good too! That , ladies and gentlemen, was my first introduction of what “biscuit” in the western world is supposed to be.

Now that I’m based in the US, I’ve also discovered that what rice is to us Filipinos, is bread to the Americans. Americans (and Europeans as well)are major bread eaters, and would eat bread with everything. That’s how Filipinos are too, with rice.

Well, I may have eaten countless biscuits since moving to the U.S., but I can never forget that very first biscuit encounter that I had in Cebu. That biscuit had a little honey on top that made it a bit sweeter… And to this day, that’s how I like my biscuit… with a little honey and butter, reminiscent of my very first taste of this little yummy bread.

The biscuit recipe I have here is simple. The buttermilk makes this traditional Southern specialty especially light and tender. The recipe is supposed to make 12 biscuits, but since I used a 5-in cookie cutter which is slightly bigger than the usual size, I only made 8 pcs.
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Buttermilk Biscuits
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
5 tbsp chilled butter (or solid vegetable shortening)
1 cup buttermilk

1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
3. Using a pastry blenderor 2 knives, cut the shortening into the flour mixture until coarse crumbs form. (or you can do this in the food processor too)
4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Gather into a disk. Knead lightly a few times just until smooth. (Dough can be made up to 2 hrs ahead, wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated until ready to use)
5. Pat the dough to 3/4-in thick. Using a biscuit cuttter or a glass dipped in flour, cut out biscuits. Place the biscuits, 2 in apart, on an ungreased baking sheet. Gather dough trimmings, pat to 3/4-in thick and cut out more biscuits.
5. Bake the biscuits 12-15 mins, or until golden brown. Serve hot.

NOTE:
For flaky biscuits, take care not to overhandle the dough. For less waste and speedier preparation, pat the dough into a square form, then cut into square shapes with a floured knife.

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