100 Days Project, Mains

Day 24 – Ricotta Stuffed Kumara Pancakes with Spiced Fruit Compote

Day24

One recent comment from a Herbivore reader is that everything on the blog is so healthy.

I have to admit I do not eat super healthy all the time; what is the fun in that!?! You have to have that extra fat and calories sometimes, and in my opinion, Sunday brunch is the perfect time to be a bit naughty. With that in mind, may I present my take on Jerry James Stone’s Ricotta Stuffed Sweet Potato Pancakes.

Being in New Zealand, I used orange kumara instead of sweet potato and the fruit compote topping idea came from a dinner time discussion I had with a friend about easy ways to use up apples that need eating. Click here for my Spiced Fruit Compote recipe.

Earlier this week, I was having the discussion about kumara vs sweet potato and if they are the same thing.  Kumara is the Maori name for sweet potato; as far as I can tell they are both from the same plant family, but they are actually a different variation.  Some people claim that kumara are sweeter and more flavorful, and if my memory of sweet potato is correct than kumara does have a slightly different distinct flavor of its own.

The fresh ricotta came from yesterday’s visit to the La Cigale French Market, where a lovely Italian couple sells amazing Mozerella, Scamorza, and Ricotta cheeses that do not contain rennet.  This is an enzyme produced in a cow’s stomach and used in cheese production to coagulate the milk causing it to separate into curds and whey. Many vegetables have enzyme properties that do the same thing, and vegetable rennet is becoming more and more popular in modern cheese production.

These pancakes, fresh squeezed juice, and couple bottles of bubbles made an incredibly decadent boozey brunch. We certainly needed to take a bit of a walk after eating, but it was the perfect chance to enjoy another sunny winter day.

Ricotta Stuffed Kumara Pancakes with Spiced Fruit Compote

adapted from: Jerry James Stone

MAKES: approx. 12 pancakes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large orange kumara or sweet potato, peeled
  • 1 ⅓ cups flour
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup ricotta
  • warmed maple syrup
  • spiced fruit compote
  • pecans, dry roasted and chopped

Peel the kumara or sweet potato, wrap it in tinfoil and bake it for about an hour at 400 degrees F or 200 degrees C in a pre-heated oven; you want it to be very tender.

Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a large mixing bowl, and then add the brown sugar.

Crack and separate the two eggs. Whisk the egg yolks and the milk together so they are just combined.

Remove the kumara or sweet potato from the oven when it’s done and puree it either with a ricer, a stick blender,  a potato masher,  a fork, or any other kitchen implement that will get the job done. Add the puree to the dry mixture, mixing it well. It should create what looks like a bright orange smooth dough (made me wonder if it would be good for gnocchi).

Work in the egg and milk mixture, until completely combined. Using a whisk to make sure there are no floury lumps.

Beat the egg whites until they are fluffy and stiff.  Fold the egg whites into the mixture, but do not overly mix it.

In a buttered skillet, over a medium heat, ladle in the sweet potato pancake mixture. When bubbles form on the top and the edges look crispy, flip the cakes.

While these are cooking, whisk the ricotta cheese in a small bowl, giving it a creamier texture and making it easier to spread.

When the pancakes are done, layer them with ricotta and top with maple syrup, spiced fruit compote, and chopped pecans.

ENJOY!!

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100 Days Project, Gluten Free, Party Food, Recipes, Vegan

Day 13 – Smokey Sweet Maple Chickpea Snacks

Day13

Have you ever bought those over priced crunchy flavored chickpea snacks from the natural foods store?

I know I have, because they usually just taste too good and are a quick healthy high protein snack to have around. Realistically though, I figured they should not be too hard to make and decided to see what Google had to say about the idea. I ended up downloading about half a dozen recipes from various sources, which when it came down to it were all pretty much the same except for the choice of spice mixture to use for flavoring the chickpeas. Some versions were sweet, some salty, some curried, and some with herbs, but I tend to like when savory and sweet are used together, which is why this recipe by Jerry James Stone for a Maple Seat Salt variation caught my attention. Another recipe used smoked paprika in the seasoning, and that got my brain thinking that maple, sea salt, and smoked paprika would make a really yummy flavor combination, and it did!!

Overall, they did not turn out quite as I had imagined. The seasoning was great, but the chickpeas themselves mostly either burned, or were too soft in the middle. There were very few on the tray that actually came out as crunchy as the ones you can buy from the store. Even not as crunchy as expected, they still made a great late morning snack, and would go quiet nicely with an after work beer (or 2). I will definitely have to try again experimenting with different flavor combinations, cooking times, and temperatures.

I wonder if roasting the chickpeas and then dehydrating them might be an easier way to go. Does anyone have a food dehydrator I can borrow?

Smokey Sweet Maple Chickpea Snacks

INGREDIENTS

  • 15 Ounces or 425g of cooked Chickpeas
  • 1 Tablespoon real Maple syrup (imitation Maple Syrup does not have the same depth of flavor)
  • ½ Teaspoon Brown Sugar
  • ½ Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon  La Chinata Smoked Paprika

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

Strain the chickpeas and rinse them clean.

Place a paper towel on a flat surface and spread the chickpeas on to it so that they are a single layer. Place another towel on top of them, rolling them around, until they are completely dry.

Add the seasonings to the chickpeas, and then place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Roast them for about 40 minutes until they are a deep golden brown and very crunchy, making sure to not burn them.

ENJOY!!

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