Back in the ambiguous days of my childhood, my mom and dad always cooked up a big pot of black eyed peas for New Year’s Day. They would soak the dried beans on the “eve”, then simmer them gently all day with ham and other aromatics. This simple ritual made the house feel so warm.
The thing is I do not like black eyed peas. Never have, likely never will. I don’t care how much pork is in them. Feel free to take a moment to gasp. I’ll wait.
Not sure why, they just don’t do it for me. Does this mean that instead of good luck I will instead suffer bad luck for all of 2012 as a result of my disdain for those damn legumes? Is this why I seem to consistently get the short end of the stick to an almost comic degree?
Well let’s take a look at the facts. Eating black eyed peas on New Year’s Day is supposed to bring you prosperity for the coming year.
But why? You’ll love this. When the peas cook, they swell. This “swelling” or growth symbolizes prosperity. Well you know what also swells as it cooks? Pancakes.
So this year, I am cooking a big batch of fluffy lemon pancakes oozing with ricotta and drenched in a mint honey syrup. Take that 2012, I’ll take that prosperity now!
What are you cooking up to bring you prosperity in the new year?
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Mint Honey Syrup Recipe
(adapted from a recipe by Queenie)
For the pancake batter
2 c all purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 c buttermilk (OR 2 c whole milk + 2 tsp lemon juice, let sit 5m. voila buttermilk!)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 c ricotta
butter, for cooking pancakes
For the syrup
1/3 c honey
1/3 c filtered water
2 sprigs mint leaves, chopped
In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and zest. In small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, lemon juice, eggs and vegetable oil. Add liquids to dry ingredients, and whisk until barely combined. If you whisk too much, the pancakes will be tough. And nobody will be happy then. Add the ricotta, and gently fold it in using a spatula. You’ll want to leave some streaks and small chunks.
Heat a nonstick (preferably) pan or griddle to medium. Once the pan is preheated, add 1/2 tsp or so of your preferred fat (oil, butter, ghee). I have found that 1/2 c of pancake batter makes a reasonably sized pancake. Pour in the batter. As the batter cooks, air will escape and create holes or small craters all over the pancake, about 3 to 5m depending on your stove, heat, pan, etc.. Then it’s ready to flip. Once flipped, the pancake only needs another minute or 2 and it’s done. Continue with the rest of the batter.
For the syrup, combine honey and water in a small pot. Bring to simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, about 6-8m. It will thicken as it cools. Take off the heat, and let cool. Just before you are ready to serve, add the mint. Drizzle at will.
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