Any time I go out of town, I try to sample some local delicacies. Every place has its own signature take on the most basic foods, or offers something completely different you've never seen before.
I had only been to Columbus once or twice before. I recently went out there to see a concert, and spent the next day touring the Short North district with a friend. The area offers countless shops and places to eat, but since it was prime brunch time, he insisted we try this great brunch spot toward the far end of High Street.
It was well worth the walk. Fresh carrot and mango juices, crunchy granola and the fluffiest pancakes I ever had. The menu told me the pancakes were made with ricotta cheese, a combination I had yet to encounter in my lifetime of pancake-eating. Like most times I eat anything wonderful in a restaurant that isn't too daunting, I vowed to give it a whirl sometime, taking a few of the cakes home in a takeout box for comparison.
There were many recipes for ricotta pancakes online, so I took the basic ingredients from each. I had a box of Bisquick I needed to use up, so the only thing I had to buy was the ricotta. I had some bananas on hand, and even sliced them fancy like they did at the brunch place. Also, I had accidentally packed up the restaurant's metal syrup cup with my leftovers - sorry. I used it to hold my syrup as an homage.
I managed to make about eight cakes, some being less photogenic than others. But it was overall really simple, granted that your pancake-flipping skills are better than mine. They came out light and fluffy, just like a pancake should be. These cakes can be enhanced with blueberries, topped with jam or preserves, honey or just butter (or apple butter, which I always enjoy an excuse to use). Great for a fall breakfast.
1 2/3 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups pancake mix
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
Melted butter / cooking spray
Stir 1 2/3 cups of water and vanilla in a large bowl. Add pancake mix and stir just until moistened but still lumpy. Stir the ricotta into the pancake mixture, gently incorporate the ricotta but maintain a lumpy batter.
Heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat. Brush with the melted butter or coat with cooking spray. Working in batches, spoon 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. Cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Serve with syrup, jam or apple butter.