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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

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My grandmother made pancakes she always added ricotta cheese to the batter.  She didn’t necessarily always make them from scratch. She’d take help from the store when she could. Why measure all the ingredients you’ll need when there are great box mixes available for pancakes and all that work is done for you.

Don’t get me wrong, if you have the time to make the batter yourself that’s awesome. I take a little help from the grocery store whenever I can. Truth is adding a few extra ingredients to the box mix makes a huge difference. I’ll show you my tricks in making the fluffiest and tastiest pancakes ever with my Lemon Ricotta Pancakes.

Yields: 4 silver dollar pancakes (approx. 6-inches in diameter)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: approx. 5-6 minutes per cake or until both sides are lightly golden brown
Total Time: 25 minutes
Equipment: 12-inch non-stick sautèpan, indoor griddle pan, rubber spatula, large mixing bowl, whisk

Ingredients:
1 cup of pancake mix (box mix that only requires water)
3/4  cup of water
1/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese, room temperature
zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
1 stick of unsalted butter

Directions:
Preheat oven to 200-degrees F.
The box mix calls for 1 cup of dry mix to 3/4 cup of water.

Starting with the wet ingredients, add the zest of one lemon, water, pure vanilla extract, and room temperature ricotta. Mix together really well until there are no lumps, and the water has a milky appearance.

Next, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mix until the batter just comes together. DO NOT overmix. Set the bowl aside while preparing the non-stick pan.

Preheat a large sautépan (or griddle) on medium heat. Once the pan is hot lower the heat to medium-low, wait about 2 minutes. Next, add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.

Swish the butter around until it has completely coated the bottom of the pan. Using a 1/4 cup full (or a ladle equivalent) of batter at a time to the pan.

Allow the pancake(s) to cook properly. Do Not rush or flip too early. Let the under-side cook to a beautiful golden brown in color. When bubbles start forming on top and around the surface (batter side), they’re ready to flip. This process takes about 5-6 minutes, times may vary slightly.

NOTE: It’s always a good idea to make a tester pancake first so you know exactly what temperature the pan needs to be set on. This also gives the pan a chance to heat up evenly. After the small tester pancake is complete, start with the actual pancakes you are going to be serving.

Repeat this process adding an additional tablespoon of butter, to the pan, for each pancake you make or until all the batter is finished.

Note: While making the remainder of the pancakes, place the pancakes on a baking sheet into the oven to keep warm. Also, use REAL maple syrup, it makes a big difference.

 

 

 

 

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Old Fashion Coffee Cake

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My Old Fashion Coffee Cake is a dessert that’s easy enough to make any time. It’s great to serve when entertaining guests and need something sweet to serve with coffee.

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 to 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yields: 8 servings
Equipment: Stand Mixer, pastry cutter, 8 x 8 glass baking dish

Ingredients:
5 tablespoons of unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan
2 cup of all- purpose flour
2 heaping teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 a teaspoon of Kosher salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup of whole milk, room temperature
1/4 cup of Ricotta cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup of sour cream, room temperature

Topping:
1/2 a cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
6 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt
Powdered sugar for garnishing the top

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.

For The Cake:
Butter an 8 x 8-inch glass baking dish with butter. Add the flour, baking powder cinnamon, and Kosher salt into a large mixing bowl, whisk to combine.

In a large mixing bowl, start with the dry ingredients. Add all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, and Kosher salt. Whisk all the ingredients together until combined.

In a Stand Mixer (or a hand-held electric mixer), on low speed fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg until just combined. Next, the sour cream, Ricotta, and vanilla extract.

Add the dry ingredients and milk alternately and mix until just incorporated. Do Not over mix. Pour the batter into the buttered 8 x 8 glass  baking dish

For The Topping:
Combine the flour, sugar, butter, cinnamon, and Kosher salt in a medium bowl and “cut”  the ingredients together with a pastry cutter. Sprinkle evenly, all over the top, completely covering the batter

Bake until the cake is golden brown, or until a cake tester comes out clean, 40-45 minutes. Let cook for about 15 minutes before dusting the top with powdered sugar.

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Chorizo And Sweet Potato Hash

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Whenever I make any kind of “so-called” hash I can use up a lot of ingredients that I may not have needed in a previous recipe. Hash is a great way to use up those leftover ingredients.

Every now and then I’ll find a few extra potatoes I didn’t need or in I’ll find a zip-lock bag with pieces of bell peppers in the crisper drawer. It’s these instances when I decide it’s time to make a hash.

I’m using chorizo sausage today for my Chorizo And Sweet Potato Hash. I thought with the sweetness of the potato and the spiciness of the sausage, this would be a perfect match.

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Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30-35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Equipment: 12-inch Cast Iron Skillet, 12-inch sautépan with glass lid, 6-quart stockpot, Chef’s knife

Ingredients:
1-pound of fresh Chorizo sausage, sautéed and sliced
Non-stick cooking spray
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup unsalted chicken broth
3 large medium-size sweet potatoes boiled, skins removed, 1 1/2-inch dice
1/2 cup of diced onion
1/2 cup each green, red and yellow bell pepper, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
3/4 stick of unsalted butter

Directions:
Start by dicing the onions and peppers. Mince the garlic then transfer all the prepped vegetables onto a plate, set aside.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, add the sweet potatoes. Cover and boil for 12-15 minutes or until just tender on the outside but resistant in the center when pierced with a knife. Transfer the potatoes onto a plate, and let cool, about 10 minutes. Remove the skins then dice into 1/1/2-inch cubes and place into a bowl.

Tip: Cook the chorizo while potatoes are boiling.

Spray a cast iron skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Turn the heat to medium-high. Using tongs carefully add the whole chorizo sausage links to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, turning the links frequently until brown (careful, they will burn easily) on all sides and mostly cooked through. This happens quickly. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add 1/2 a cup of unsalted chicken broth to the pan, cover (using glass lid from sautépan) and simmer for another 10 to 12 minutes. Turn the heat off and transfer the links to a meat-safe cutting board (usually plastic). Slice the chorizo 1-inch thick on the bias. Place the chorizo slices into a bowl.

In a large sautépan on medium-high heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and diced onions. Stir and cook the onions for 2-3 minutes until soft and translucent. Next, add the diced bell peppers and continue to sauté allowing the peppers to start to soften, season with Kosher salt and black pepper to taste, another 3-5 minute. Last, add the minced garlic, stir through and cook for 1-2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sautéed vegetables to a plate and set aside.

Drain any fat from the skillet that may be left from cooking the sausages. Place the skillet back on medium heat. Add the butter to the pan to melt. Toss in the diced sweet potatoes. Stir to coat all the potatoes with the butter. Allow the potatoes to cook and brown nicely before flipping them to brown on the other side, about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn, but make sure they get nice and crispy.

Next, add the sautéed vegetables to the skillet. Stir the vegetables with the sweet potatoes and cook for another 2-3 minutes allowing the vegetables to get crispy around the edges.

Finally, add and mix in the sliced chorizo. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cook for another 5 minutes.
Serve hot.

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Breakfast Trifle

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Scrambling your eggs fast is what I thought was the best way to make a great scrambled egg. I mean, I see them do this in diners and they do it so fast. I have to tell you, that’s not the right way to make fluffy scrambled eggs. Low and slow is how you want to scramble your eggs. I don’t know much about the science that makes this true but I can tell you that the proteins in the eggs seem to love a slower process when being scrambled.

After you try my method I think you’ll agree, that cooking eggs the right way makes a huge difference in the texture and taste of your eggs.

Let’s step back a little, what’s my favorite meal of the day? That’s easy its breakfast. I love having all my favorite breakfast ingredients either in a Frittata or even casserole style where everything is layered. Then I thought, how about in a large glass stemmed trifle bowl where I could just stare in amazement at its colorful beauty. My Breakfast Trifle is the answer.

I wanted to bring a few of my recipes together to make this Breakfast Trifle. One is my Homestyle Fried Potatoes, second is my Perfect Scrambled Eggs and third my Pico de Gallo.

I’m combining three of my recipes to go along with the flavors of a Tex-Mex style turkey sausage seasoned with my Fajita Spice Blend. The bold flavors of these spices compliment the other ingredients perfectly. I’ve posted all the ingredients below you’ll need to make this Breakfast Trifle.  I’ve also attached links for complete directions to each recipe.

 

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I just love sweet bell peppers mixed in with my potatoes.

Homestyle Fried Potatoes

At this point, the potatoes with sweet peppers are done. Moving on to the scrambled eggs.

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For my scrambled egg recipe just click on the link at the bottom of this post.

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Today I picked a Colby Jack cheese for this dish.

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Prep Time: 30 minutes, includes making Pico de Gallo
Cook Time: 45 minutes, includes scrambling the eggs, plus 5 minutes to assemble the dish
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 12-inch Cast Iron Skillet, 12-inch non-stick sautépan, rubber spatula, stemmed trifle bowl

Tip: Make the Pico de Gallo first, place into a bowl, cover, then transfer to the frig to chill.

Ingredients For Turkey Breakfast Sausage:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1-pound (16-ounce Chub) Jennie-O mild ground turkey sausage
2 tablespoons Fajita seasoning blend
2 tablespoons of garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
1/4 cup unsalted chicken broth
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Ingredients For Homestyle Fried Potatoes:
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 large red onion, finely diced
6 cups of red potatoes, 1/2 inch cubes
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1/2 cup multi-color mini sweet bell peppers, finely diced
1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, minced

Directions For Homestyle Fried Potatoes:
Click on the link below.

Ingredients For Perfect Scrambled Eggs:
1 dozen large eggs (cage-free)
1/4 cup of half-and-half (substitute heavy cream or whole milk is fine)
8-ounces Colby Jack cheese, grated, reserve back 4-ounces to place between layers (or 1/2 cup of any grated cheese you choose)
2 tablespoons fresh chives, minced
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Directions For Perfect Scrambled Eggs:
Click on the link below.

Ingredients For Pico de Gallo:
2 pints grape tomatoes, halved
1 Fresno chili, seeded and minced (substitute jalapeno)
1 lime, juiced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper

Directions: For Pico de Gallo Two Ways:
Click on the link below.

Ingredients For Fajita Seasoning Blend:
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon  ground cumin

Directions For Fajita Seasoning Blend:
In a mixing bowl combine all the ingredients together. Store in an air-tight container for future use.

Directions:
A Great Tip:  Have all the vegetables prepped and the spices measured out (refer to the pictures) and set on a plate before beginning these recipes. Setting yourself up before you begin makes a BIG difference. Brown the turkey sausage and cook the potatoes at the same time.

In Cast Iron skillet on medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the ground turkey sausage. Start breaking up the sausage with the back of a wooden spoon.

Add Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and fajita seasoning blend, stir to combine. As the turkey sausage starts to brown, add the diced onions and minced garlic. Continue stirring and cooking the sausage and onion mixture.

Once the sausage is completely browned and onions are nicely caramelized about 15-20 minutes, (internal temperature is 165-degrees F.) then add 1/4 cup of unsalted chicken broth to deglaze the pan. Use the back of a wooden spoon to scrape up the bits from the bottom of the pan and allow the liquid to completely evaporate another 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon transfer the turkey sausage to a bowl, cover and set aside.

Follow the directions from the link below for cooking the potatoes. Once the potatoes are done transfer them to a bowl and set aside.

Note: Times and heat may vary slightly on different stovetops, keep a close eye on the potatoes so they don’t burn.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the scrambled eggs.

Use the same sautépan the potatoes were cooked in.

Follow the directions from the link below for making the scrambled eggs. Once the scrambled eggs are ready, it’s time to assemble this dish.

The first layer, start with turkey sausage, then the cheese, next, the eggs, the potatoes with the sweet peppers, and finally the Pico de Gallo. Repeat this process until the bowl is full. This dish is great for entertaining. A perfect centerpiece for your next brunch.

 

Perfect Scrambled Eggs

 

Pico De Gallo Two Ways

 

Homestyle Fried Potatoes

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