Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Miscellaneous Wednesday

When you have a job, like that of the 5-0 team, that has you working really crazy hours or doing crazy things, it truly has a way throwing off  your schedule.  

You never know exactly where that job is going to take you, or what obstacle it will put in front of you.  Then again life in general can just throw your life and schedule completely out of whack.  This is when those fast food stops and eating out falls into play because lets face it who wants to cook.  You get home open your fridge and all you see there are leftovers.  Better yet this is when you say to yourself I really want breakfast for dinner, crazy right?   

Not crazy, lets face it lots of people love eating breakfast for dinner.  This is what you eat when you haven’t gotten to the store for more serious groceries, but hey, if you have  got eggs, the bread is fresh enough  you toast it, it becomes a quick meal, even add a cup of coffee and juice nothing better.  Though some feel it may be more of a meal of last resort, not me.

Recently, I stumbled across the idea of savory pancakes the thought made it just more interesting.  Taking this little bit of country comfort and giving them a elegant uptown flair, all the time it is a simple dish anyone (yes anyone) can make and serve.  

Instead of our usual breakfast treat there’s the savory part,  basically taking what is usually a sweet batter and removing that element. Instead of dressing it up with its usual syrup or jam, sugary fruit and whipped cream, it now has a delectable tomato sauce with greens to compliment it.  Just add a glass of wine and a small salad, then those weird hours you are working just don't seem so bad.  

Ricotta Pancakes with Tomato-Chard Sauce

1 bunch Swiss chard,  trimmed (may use spinach instead)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
1-28oz can whole tomatoes in puree, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs, separated
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp butter, cut into three pieces
1/4 cup shredded Pecorino Romano cheese

  1. Cut ribs and stems from Swiss chard leaves, then cut into 1-inch pieces.  Rinse Swiss chard thoroughly in large bowl of cold water and transfer chard to colander, leaving dirt in bottom of bowl.  
  2. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil on medium until hot. Add onion and garlic, and cook about 7 minutes or until tender. Add tomato paste; cook 1 minute, stirring. Add tomatoes with their puree and 1/4 teaspoon salt; heat to boiling on medium-high. Stir in Swiss chard; reduce heat to simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Remove cover and cook 8 to 10 minutes longer or until chard is tender and sauce is thickened slightly, stirring occasionally. Remove saucepan from heat; cover to keep sauce warm. 
  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200 degrees F.  In blender blend egg yolks, ricotta, and milk until smooth. Add flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and blend until smooth; transfer batter bowl. 
  4. In small bowl, with mixer on high speed, beat egg whites just until stiff peaks form when beaters are lifted. With rubber spatula, fold beaten whites into batter. 
  5. In 12-inch nonstick skillet, melt butter on medium. Drop batter by 1/4 cups into skillet, making 4 to 5 pancakes at a time. Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until edges look dry and bottoms are browned. Turn pancakes over and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until bottoms are browned. Transfer pancakes to platter; keep warm in oven.  
  6. Repeat with remaining butter and batter to make about 16 pancakes in all. Serve pancakes with warm Tomato-Chard Sauce; sprinkle with shredded Romano.
**You may also substitute part skim ricotta for whole milk, and low fat or skim milk for whole milk.**

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