Completely by accident today, I stumbled upon a simple and delicious looking recipe for Ricotta Fritters, over on The Iron You. I had all the ingredients, and it seemed simple enough.
The first thing I want to say is that right off the bat, I planned to add some shredded mozzarella cheese to the fritters, not use nutmeg, and planned to use Rao's marinara sauce instead of making my own. In addition, as my husband and I like meat with dinner, I wanted to do sausage and a veggie, and I had half a head of kale in my fridge.
Mozzarella cheese and ricotta cheese have always gone well together. That combination is in the greatest of all pastas: stuffed shells, and also in manicotti, and most Italian foods like baked ziti, too. So the taste combination is there. Also, I added seasoning to my ricotta mixture with oregano, garlic salt, pepper, and coriander and cumin.
|End result! Sauteed sausage and kale with oven-baked ricotta pancakes!|
I use Rao's homemade marinara sauce, and I put it in individual ramekins instead of smothering the meal, so that I could portion is as I wanted, and mostly because I love dipping. OK, for the food:
I sautéed my kale on medium heat with a bit of olive oil, adobo seasoning, garlic, and onion powders. Once it was wilted down about halfway, I added sliced up sausage (I used Aidells Roasted Garlic & Gruyere Cheese Smoked Chicken sausage, which is 0g net carbs) to the pan. The sausages were precooked, so I just wanted to heat them up and sear them a bit.
Mixing together all of the pancake ingredients.
Following instructions, I dolloped the mixture down into a greased pan on medium heat. I covered and waited 3 minutes-ish.
I checked, they were definitely not ready for flipping and were still VERY wet and runny.
|Left is the pan cooked way in the original recipe, right is my oven-baked version.|
So, I had the idea of baking the pancakes. I preheated the oven to 425, and added smaller dollops of the ricotta mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
After about 8-9 minutes at 425, they had spread out a bit, and had started going nice and brown around the edges. The above picture is after I used a spatula and carefully flipped each of them over, and out of their original positions.
|I love parchment paper!|
This meal ended up being delicious. What I ended up with is definitely not fritters, but are certainly based off of the recipe from The Iron You, which I believe he adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe. So, we each have taken this recipe and put our own spin on it!
If you make them, let me know. My conclusion is that trying to pan cook them took me forever and was not nearly as successful as baking them.
With the now-baked pancakes, I can put the ricotta pancakes in the oven first, and be able to cook all of the kale and meat while they bake. This first try may have taken a while, but the next time will be about 20 minutes from start to finish!
Makes about 8-12 pancakes depending on size!
Ricotta Pancake Ingredients:
-1 large egg
-2 cups ricotta cheese
-Some lemon zest (to taste)
-1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
-1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
-1 tablespoon almond flour
-1/4 teaspoon each of ground coriander and cumin, dash of oregano
-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
-Your preferred sausage (I used Aidells Roasted Garlic & Gruyere Cheese Smoked Chicken sausage)
-Abut half a head of kale (or any leafy green! This would be awesome with collards or spinach too)
-Marinara sauce of your choosing (I used Rao's)
Preheat oven to 425.
1. Mix all pancake ingredients together in one bowl. Mix well and taste it, and add any spicing you like. It will be we, not as smooth as a batter, not thick like a dough. Mostly the texture of stirred ricotta cheese.
2. On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, use a spoon to dollop the mixture onto the sheet. I had mine several inches apart because of how much they spread in the pan when cooking, but on the cookie sheet, they spread less. Still some, but not as much. Set your timer for about 7 minutes, and then check on them every minute from there until you see the edges get brown and crispy looking.
3. Add kale to a pan with a bit of olive oil in it, over medium heat. Remember to remove kale leaf from kale stalk. Season however you like your kale (I like mine garlic-y). While the kale starts to cook, slice up your sausage into thin slices. Leaving casing on.
4. When the kale is half wilted, add the sausage to the same pan. Stir occasionally. When done, remove from heat.
5. Once the edges of the ricotta pancakes look crispy, use a spatula to gently turn them over. They will still be a bit floppy, but are definitely flippable.
6. Bake for an additional 5-7 minutes, checking on them after 5 for doneness. They are done with they start to brown and look a little like tiny naan breads.7. Plate up and eat! I heated up my marinara in the microwave, and everything was really good! I used the small flat pancakes as tiny tacos! I spread some marinara on them, then added the kale and sausage, and dipped into the remaining sauce.
This was yummy, and earned praise from my non-keto husband, so that is always great. They did not in any way feel like fritters, but I do like what I ended up with. I can see using these as taco shells, as personal pizzas, as pancakes, and changing the seasonings.
I know I kind of made it sound complicated, but in the end it really wasn't. My first attempt was time consuming, but the experiment worked better the next time around and was much more successful, easier, and took a lot less time!
For Ricotta Pancakes only, per pancake if you make 10.
2g net carbs (The bulk of carbs come from the ricotta cheese itself)
For the rest:
-Aidells Sausage is 0g net carbs, and all 4 links were about 4 servings as part of this meal.
-Rao's homemade marinara is 1.5g net carbs (I used it for dipping and used approximately half a serving per person)-Leafy greens will change depending on what you use: Kale = Approx. 3g net carbs per cup.