I bet I am not alone in this, but one of my favorite things is to find some odd ingredient in the fridge and try to figure out what I can make that will use it up that does not include, say, buying another ingredient that I will only half-use to do so.
(This reminds me of when of the time we discovered that we had been joined by a roommate of the tiny, scampering variety, an evil one that outsmarted all traps put in its path, and many suggested that we get a cat to “get rid of it”. But then how to get rid of the cat problem, I always asked, and people shook their heads and clucked their tongues at me. Okay, perhaps this story isn’t an exact parallel after all…)
Among the many, many awesome things my apartment swap-ees left us in the fridge (Breton butter, cheese, homemade jam, oh, I’ll stop rubbing it in) they also left us stuff like cream cheese (which made for some wonderful frosting) and, well, a humble container of cottage cheese.
Now, I actually adore cottage cheese (though when I used to bring it to work for lunch, people considered it odd that I’d eat it with a fork and not a spoon. Am I alone in this?) but eating it as I usually do (with a sliced up banana or mango) doesn’t make for very interesting cooking blog fodder, non?
Instead I rendered it into pancakes for my next house guest (mom!) last weekend and it was indeed a delicious, delicious, thing, as reminiscent of the ricotta pancakes we made last year as it was of the flavors in the noodle kugel my mother married my father over. In other words, of course we loved them.
Breakfast, previously: Not the breakfast you were hoping for? I’ve put together a Breakfast Topic Index including groupings of egg dishes; muffins and scones; pancakes waffles and french toast and other assorted morning goodies like granolas and how-tos. Check it out!
Two years ago: Indian Vegetable Fritters with Curry-Lime Yogurt
Cottage Cheese Pancakes
Adapted from The Joy of Cooking
I am not sure if my last, overly-confident post about how to get pancakes right every single time came back and bit me in the, uh, griddle, but I seemed to have one mishap after another–burning, sticking, dark but raw in the middle–before I begrudgingly switched to a nonstick. Perhaps you’ll have better luck than I did with the pan of your choice, but if you have a nonstick, well, it might be worth it to just use that first.
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon or pinch of ground nutmeg (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 cup full-fat or low-fat cottage cheese
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cups finely chopped walnuts (optional)
1/3 cup dried currants, plumped (optional)
2 large egg whites
Pure maple syrup or honey, or plain yogurt (optional, for serving)
Lightly butter, oil, or spray your griddle–nonstick works best with these, if you have them–if needed, and preheat it over medium heat. If you are using an electric griddle, preheat it to 350 degrees F. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F if you do not plan to serve the pancakes hot off the griddle.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon or nutmeg and salt together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, cottage cheese, butter, egg yolks and vanilla.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and gently whisk them together, mixing just until combined. Stir in the walnuts and/or currants, if using them.
Beat the two egg whites until they are stiff but not dry and fold them into the batter.
The batter will be thick and bubbly – similar to cake batter. Spoon 1/3 cup batter onto the griddle for each pancake, nudging the batter into rounds. These are thick and might take a little longer to cook than most other pancakes. Cook until the top of each pancake is starting to dry around the edges – you will get a few bubbles here and there – then turn and cook until the underside is lightly browned. These will keep in a 200 degrees F oven while you finish making the rest, but they are best served immediately, when they are at their lightest and puffiest.