Steal This Recipe® Lemon-Ricotta Hotcakes

November 20, 2014

From Mitch Omer, joint owner & chef, Hell's Kitchen, Minneapolis, MN

In the heart of downtown Minneapolis you'll discover Hell's Kitchen; named after the New York neighborhood, and also because of the charged atmosphere of the restaurant’s kitchen!

This indulgent breakfast, or any time recipe, was stolen with permission from Mitch Omer, joint owner and chef with partner Steve Meyer. Hell’s Kitchen serves ‘real food, carefully prepared from scratch’ which has been described as "unique but not fancy; interesting but not fussy". Some of the enticing dishes on the menu are: Toasted Sausage Bread, Jamaican Jerk Burger, Megu BBQ Beef Ribs and Charred Sea Bass with jerk seasoning and pineapple jalapeno salsa.

With Gospel Sunday brunches, served by pajama clad waitresses, the ambiance at Hell’s Kitchen reflects the owners’ unique, yet easy going style of cooking and about this recipe, Mitch says “You can adjust the quantities and ingredients to better suit your personal tastes. That’s what good cooking is all about.” The food at Hell’s Kitchen is unapologetically not health food, which fits Mitch’s tendency to favor the extreme in all aspects of his life.

About the chef:
 Mitch Omer is the manic-depressive, recovering drug addict, wild-eyed owner of the two successful Hell’s Kitchen restaurants in Minnesota (Minneapolis and Duluth), and co-author with Ann Bauer of Damn Good Food: 157 Recipes from Hell’s Kitchen. He’s much more mellow than the man he once was, having given up drugs, had a successful gastric bypass and being happily married to Cynthia, his third wife. He’s not only up front about his rock ‘n’ roll past, but successfully leverages his image to bring in customers – and gives them a free cinnamon roll if they come for brunch still dressed in their pajamas.

Hell’s Kitchen
80 South 9th St. 
Minneapolis MN 55402

Lemon-Ricotta Hotcakes are served at Hell’s Kitchen for $12.25.
This recipe makes 16 hotcakes.

Lemon-Ricotta Hotcakes Ingredients:
6 egg whites
9 egg yolks
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
4 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3cup all-purpose flour
Unsalted butter, melted (for the skillet)

Steal This Recipe® Step by Step Instructions:
Pour egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a wire whisk attachment, and whisk on high speed until firm peaks form. 
Reduce the speed to low. Slowly add egg yolks, and then gradually add melted butter. 
Continue whisking on low speed until well incorporated. Stop the mixer, and add sugar, ricotta, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt. Whisk on medium speed for 1 minute. 
Reduce the speed to low, and gradually add flour. Continue mixing for about 1 minute. Stop the mixer, and scrape the sides of the mixing bowl with a rubber spatula. 
Return the mixer to medium speed, and mix for about 1 minute. 
This makes about 4 cups.
Mitch finds it best to refrigerate the batter for a few hours prior to making the hotcakes. This allows the melted butter to firm up slightly in the mix and keeps the batter from spreading out too thin on a hot griddle. 
Refrigerated in a covered container, this batter will keep safely for up to 3 days.
To cook the hotcakes, heat a large skillet over medium high. 
Brush the skillet with melted butter, and drop batter into the hot skillet in ¼-cup portions. 
Leave about 2 inches between hotcakes to allow them to spread. 
Cook until bubbles appear and bottoms are golden brown, about 5 minutes. 
Flip hotcakes and cook another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the skillet.
Mitch garnishes the cooked hotcakes with a handful of fresh blackberries, blueberries, and quartered strawberries, then dust with a vanilla powdered sugar, and serve with a side of butter and warm maple syrup.