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CULINARY SOS

Battle of the Batters

September 27, 2000|ROSE DOSTI

DEAR SOS: Pluto's in San Francisco is known for its carved meat at dinner, but my boyfriend and I love going there for breakfast to order their sublime lemon cloud pancakes. I'd be on cloud nine if you could persuade the chef to share the recipe.

RACHEL BARTZ

San Francisco

DEAR RACHEL: No wonder these pancakes are like clouds. Egg whites and ricotta cheese in the batter virtually act like an air pump.

Pluto's Lemon Cloud Pancakes

Active Work and Total Preparation Time: 30 minutes

11 eggs, separated

1 1/4 cups flour

1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese

Zest of 2 lemons

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup sugar

Nonstick cooking spray

* Whip egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form, 3 to 4 minutes.

* Beat egg yolks in large bowl. Add flour, ricotta, lemon zest, melted butter, salt and sugar. Mix until batter is smooth. Fold in 1/4 egg whites to lighten batter, then fold in remaining whites. Do not over-mix.

* Lightly coat griddle with nonstick cooking spray. Heat over medium-low heat. Ladle 1/2 cup batter onto griddle for each pancake. Cook pancakes until light brown, 4 minutes, then turn and cook 3 minutes more.

24 pancakes. Each pancake: 120 calories; 168 mg sodium; 113 mg cholesterol; 7 grams fat; 8 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams protein; 0.02 gram fiber.

*

DEAR SOS: I have not figured out the secret. How does the chef at the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz., create the most delicious pancakes ever? I'd love the recipe.

BARBARA BARNETT

Villa Park

DEAR BARBARA: The pancake batter made with cake flour, baking powder and soda and buttermilk produces a soft, airy pancake. Add to that a bunch of topping goodies, such as a honey smear and warm syrup, and you've got ambrosia.

The Phoenician Buttermilk Pancakes With Pecan Honey Butter

Active Work and Total Preparation Time: 35 minutes

PECAN HONEY BUTTER

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1/4 cup honey

2 tablespoons chopped pecans

* Mix butter and honey until creamy. Stir in pecans. Set aside.

PANCAKES

3 cups cake flour

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 tablespoon salt

3/4 tablespoon baking soda

1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder

2 tablespoons sugar

3 eggs

4 cups buttermilk

1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon melted butter, cooled

1/2 cup water

Nonstick cooking spray

* Mix cake and all-purpose flours, salt, baking soda, baking powder and sugar in large bowl. Make a well in center.

* In separate bowl, blend together eggs and buttermilk. Pour into well of dry ingredients and mix well. Stir butter into batter. If necessary, add water to make batter of pouring consistency, neither too thick or too thin. Refrigerate any remaining batter for future use.

* Coat griddle with nonstick spray. Heat over medium heat. Ladle 1/3 cup batter onto griddle for each pancake. Cook pancakes until bubbles come up from surface and surface starts to dry a little, 4 minutes. Turn and cook other side, 2 minutes. Serve with Pecan Honey Butter and warm maple syrup.

22 to 24 pancakes. Each of 24 pancakes with Pecan Honey Butter: 197 calories; 553 mg sodium; 50 mg cholesterol; 10 grams fat; 22 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams protein; 0.16 gram fiber.

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