Let me tall ya....there's a special something that balsamic vinegar does to those strawberries. A certain magic. I can't explain it but its like...I dunno, have you ever tasted cookie dough before you added the brown sugar and thought mmmm...thats good. Then you add the brown sugar and its like WOW!! A whole new level of good! Thats what balsamic vinegar does! I swear. The vinegar taste disappears. Poooof! See? Magic!
Now..a few weeks ago I came across a really yummy sounding recipe for Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes. I was so excited cuz I happened to have some ricotta cheese left over from something I made (I totally forget what it was) and here was a way to use it, and try something new! Only, I didn't have a chance to get to this new recipe until today and well....lets just say that the ricotta cheese had aged too much. (Umm...before I get any further into this store, let me give you the "click here" link to where I originally found the recipe, that I ended up slightly altering due to a lack of one ingredient. It is a lovely blog, btw). Sooo, I thought 'crap! now what? I'm totally wanting to try this syrup and I want to make these pancakes!! ' Searching searching searching...through the fridge...hmm....plain yogurt? eeeeh, I dunno. Cottage cheese? damn! that shit is older than the ricotta!! hmm....whipped cream cheese? mmmm....too thick I think. Oh...hey, lets try sour cream! Now we're off and running!
First I made the syrup so it could cool off before use:
3 cups strawberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
zest from one lemon
Combine all the ingredients and stir until the sugar has melted
Then I got out my handy dandy potato masher and squished those berries. I let it simmer until it thickened. It actually took quit a while.....I kept tasting it and altering it until I had it the way I wanted. Do stir occasionally as you're waiting for it to thicken.
Now, you have a choice.....if you like the chunks of berries, then leave as is. Set aside and let cool. Oooor, you can strain the syrup to remove the berry chunks and seeds. See?
And the Strawberry said to the Balsamic Vinegar, "YOU complete me!!"
ok ok....now for these pancakes. Like I said, the only thing I changed in the recipe was the ricotta to sour cream. I do plan on using the ricotta cheese as intended, someday. But I think I would omit the cinnamon and nutmeg. Not that I have anything at all against the two, cuz I totally love them. The flavor really makes these pancakes seem so special....like.....Christmas morning special. And.....well, its not Christmas and I like the idea of something a little more fresh...summer fresh, you know? Sooo, lets get on with the recipe and I'll tell ya more when we're done:
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon sugar
2 eggs, separated
2/3 cup milk
zest from one lemon
juice from one lemon
In a medium sized bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks develop.
In another medium bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Blend until just mixed, but don't over do it. Gently fold in the egg whites...
Don't over do the mixing here either cuz you don't want to break down the whites.
Ok...now I totally suck at making pancakes. Just cook these the same way you normally would any other pancake. They are on the soft side....be careful when you flip them. These are so light (must be those soft white peaks).....they remind me of foam, if that makes sense. And oh man...that lemon flavor! Now thats what totally hooked me here. So on one pancake I put my syrup...and on the other one, I squeezed a lemon on it. YA BABY!! Next time I just want that lemon flavor! Add a little butter to the pancake, squeeze a little lemon on it and shake a bit of powdered sugar and I'm in pancake heaven!