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Cooking with 'Friends': Duffy Family's Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

2 c. all-purpose flour
½ c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
4 tsp. lemon zest
2 c. part-skim ricotta
1 c. milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 c. blueberries
4 large eggs, separated
Powdered sugar
Wisconsin butter
Wisconsin maple syrup

Whisk dry ingredients, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, set aside.
In separate bowl, whisk together ricotta, egg yolks, milk, lemon zest, and vanilla. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture until combined.
Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into pancake mixture until blended.
Heat and butter your griddle. Pour about ¼ cup of batter for 4 inch pancakes. Drop desired amount of blueberries on each pancake.
Cook pancakes about 3 minutes until bubbles form. Flip and finish cooking until golden.
Finish with a dusting of powdered sugar.
Serve with a pat of Wisconsin butter, more blueberries, a dollop of fresh whip cream, and warm Wisconsin maple syrup.

National Ice Cream Day: Homemade Ice Cream

For more recipes like these, check out ‘A La Mode: 120 Recipes in 60 Pairings’ by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough

From 'À La Mode: 120 Recipes In 60 Pairings'
Yield: about 1 quart

We put the butter back in butter pecan ice cream! Or to be more specific, browned butter—thereby cutting down on the ice cream’s sweetness so the pecans show through. What we want are the browned and burned solids in the butter, often lying on the bottom of the saucepan. The only way to get enough of those is to make too much browned butter. But you’ll then have a generous amount of browned, clarified butter for frying eggs, making outrageous cinnamon toast, or preparing curries.

16 tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
¾ c. pecan pieces
2 c. whole milk
¾ c. heavy cream
½ c. packed light brown sugar
¼ c. light corn syrup
1½ tbsp. cornstarch

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat until it turns dark brown, 3 – 5 minutes. Gently pour the clear, brown liquid off the top and into a small glass storage container, leaving the browned milk solids and blackened bits on the bottom of the saucepan. Reserve this browned, clarified butter, covered, in the fridge for another purpose. Set the pan with the solids and blackened bits aside to cool for 10 minutes.
Toast the pecans in a large, dry skillet set over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and fragrant, about 7 minutes. Pour onto a cutting board and chop into small bits. Set aside.
Add the milk, cream, light brown sugar, corn syrup, and cornstarch into the pan with the browned butter bits; set over medium-low heat and whisk until the brown sugar and cornstarch are dissolved, scraping up those browned and blackened bits on the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until thickened and bubbling, about 5 minutes.
Pour into a large bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 1 day, covering after the mixture is cold.
Prepare an ice cream machine.
Stir the browned butter mixture, then freeze it in the machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions, until it can mound on a spoon.
Add the pecans and let the machine’s dasher churn them in until the ice cream can mound on a spoon without immediately melting at its edges.

From 'À La Mode: 120 Recipes In 60 Pairings'
Yield: about 1 quart

Cream cheese in ice cream? Why not? Especially since it gives the frozen concoction a taste very much like cheesecake. Sweet cherry jam—rather than sour—will work best against the already slightly sour cream cheese. If you miss the crust on your cheesecake or are serving this ice cream without the bear claws, let the ice cream machine’s dasher stir 2 or 3 crumbled graham crackers into the finished custard before you layer it with the jam.

1¼ c. whole milk
¾ c. heavy cream
⅔ c. granulated white sugar
6 oz. regular cream cheese (do not use low-fat or fat-free)
3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
½ tbsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. finely grated lemon zest
⅔ c. sweet cherry jam

Heat the milk and cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat until puffs of steam rise off the surface.
Place the sugar, cream cheese, egg yolks, vanilla, and lemon zest in a food processor. Cover and pulse a few times to combine well.
With the machine running, pour the warmed milk mixture in through the feed tube. Process until smooth, scraping down the inside of the canister at least once. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 2 days, covering once the mixture is cold.
Prepare an ice cream machine.
Stir the custard and freeze it in the machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions, until you can spoon up a mound without its edges immediately melting.
Spoon some of the ice cream into a tall container or a loaf pan, spread a little cherry jam on top, and keep making these alternating layers, ending with ice cream. As you scoop it up, you’ll make ribbons of jam in the ice cream balls.

National Ice Cream Day: Talenti's Gelato Sandwiches and Floats

Try these fun twists on a classic summer treat using Talenti gelato.


Place 2 scoops of sea salt caramel gelato on one cookie. Place the other cookie on top. Round out edges with a knife and dip in your favorite topping – sprinkles, chocolate chips, crushed candy bits.


Place 2 scoops of pistachio gelato on one macaroon. Place the other macaroon on top. Round out edges with a knife and dip in your favorite topping – sprinkles, chocolate chips, crushed candy bits.


Use a small scooper and place 2 scoops of Roman raspberry sorbetto or mango sorbetto in a champagne flute. Top off with sparkling wine – if you’re over 21 – or sparkling apple cider.

Red, White and Blue Recipes from 'Weber's Greatest Hits'

Serves 10-12

If an appetizer is gone in just a few bites, each bite needs to make a fabulous impression. That’s why we decided to splurge on filet mignon here. The buttery tenderness of the beef tastes luxurious with the tangle of slow-cooked onions and the dollop of heady horseradish cream.

3 filet mignon steaks, each about 8 oz. and 1½” thick
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1½ tsp. kosher salt
¾ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

For the crostini:
1 baguette, cut into 25 slices, each about ½” thick
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves

For the cream:
⅓ c. sour cream
3 tbsp. prepared horseradish
¼ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Balsamic Onion Jam (see below)
1 bunch fresh chives, chopped (optional)

Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F).
Brush the steaks on both sides with the oil, then season on both sides with the salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes before grilling.
Brush the cooking grates clean. Lightly brush one side of each baguette slice with oil. Grill the slices, oiled side down, over direct medium heat, until toasted on the underside, 1 to 2 minutes (grill one side only). Remove from the grill, let cool, and rub the grilled side lightly with the garlic.
Combine the cream ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Grill the steaks over direct medium heat, with the lid closed, until cooked to your desired doneness, 12 to 14 minutes for medium rare, turning once. (If flare-ups occur, move the steaks temporarily over indirect heat.) Remove from the grill and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Cut the steaks across the grain into ¼-inch-thick slices.
Spread a layer of jam on each toasted baguette slice. Place a slice of meat on the jam and top with a small dollop of the cream. Sprinkle with the chives, if desired.

Makes enough for 10-12 servings
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 large sweet yellow onions, each about 12 oz., thinly sliced
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ c. balsamic vinegar
½ c. packed light brown sugar
¼ c. dried currants or raisins

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the butter and olive oil. Add the onions and salt and cook until translucent and reduced in volume by half, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent browning. Stir in the vinegar, sugar, and currants. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the onions become jam-like and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 35 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. The jam will thicken as it cools. (The jam can be made up to 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate, then bring to room temperature before serving.)

Serves 4

When we first published this recipe in 2005, it called for Chilean sea bass, which was wonderful and abundant. Since then, it has been overfished, so nowadays we recommend pairing thick, meaty halibut with the brightly colored and flavored vinaigrette. Take care not to overcook the fillets, which can go quickly from moist to dry.

3 bell peppers, preferably 1 red, 1 yellow, and 1 orange
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
½ tsp. minced garlic
½ tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp. hot-pepper sauce
4 skinless halibut fillets, each about 6 oz. and 1” thick, any pin bones removed
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat (450° to 550°F).
Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the bell peppers over direct high heat, with the lid closed, until blackened and blistered all over, 10 to12 minutes, turning occasionally. Place the peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to trap the steam. Let stand for about 10 minutes. Remove and discard the charred skin, stems, and seeds, then cut each pepper lengthwise into 1/4-inch-wide strips. In a medium bowl whisk together the remaining vinaigrette ingredients. Add the peppers to the vinaigrette, stir to coat evenly, cover, and set aside for up to 1 day.
Lightly brush the fillets on both sides with oil and then season on both sides with salt and pepper. Grill over direct high heat, with the lid closed, until the flesh is opaque in the center but still moist,5 to 7 minutes, carefully turning once. Remove from the grill.
Serve the fish warm with the vinaigrette spooned on top.

Serves 8 to 10

Even cooks intimidated by the thought of making a pie crust or baking a cake will declare this dessert a slam dunk, especially if it’s made midsummer when blueberries are at their best. Serve the cobbler heaped into bowls and topped with whipped cream as suggested—or with ice cream if you prefer. It’s as easy as summer ought to be.

For the filling:

¼ c. (½ stick) unsalted butter
8 c. fresh or thawed frozen blueberries, divided
1 c. granulated sugar, divided
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

For the batter:
2½ c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 c. granulated sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 c. whole milk
½ c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Whipped cream for serving

Prepare the grill for indirect cooking over medium heat (ideally 350°F).
In a large skillet over medium heat on the stove, melt the butter. Add 4 cups of the blueberries and 1/2 cup of the sugar and heat until the mixture is the consistency of jam, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat. Add the remaining 4 cups berries, the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, the flour, the lemon zest and juice, and the nutmeg and stir to combine, making sure all the whole berries are evenly coated. Transfer to a grill-proof 2-quart shallow baking pan.
In a large bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a small bowl whisk together the milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Add the milk mixture to the flour and stir until well mixed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. There may still be some lumps. Drop the batter onto the fruit in large spoonfuls, starting in the center of the skillet and working toward the edge and leaving a 1-inch border of exposed fruit around the edge. It will seem like too little batter, but it will expand as it bakes.
Brush the cooking grates clean. Bake the cobbler over indirect medium heat, with the lid closed, for 20 minutes. Carefully rotate the pan 90 degrees, being careful as the fruit mixture will be bubbling up, then continue to bake, with the lid closed, until a skewer inserted into the center of the crust comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes more.
Carefully transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature topped with whipped cream.

From "Weber’s Greatest Hits" by Jamie Purviance and Ray Kachatorian. Copyright © 2017 by Jamie Purviance. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. Visit for more information.

Cooking with 'Friends': Gerri Willis' Ultimate Kale Salad


2 cans garbanzo beans, drained
⅛ c. sundried tomatoes packed in oil
4 garlic cloves, smashed
½ c. olive oil
4 sweet potatoes, peeled, cut in 1½” cubes
Lots of curly Kale (not dinosaur Kale)
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. chipotle paprika
Pumpkin seeds

For vinaigrette:
4 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 shallot, diced into very small pieces
1 tbsp. maple syrup

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Soften garbanzo beans in a cast iron pan with a quarter cup olive oil, spices, salt, pepper and garlic for 20 minutes. Add sundried tomatoes in last five minutes. Beans get brown on the outside, creamy on the inside.
While the beans simmer, put the sweet potato cubes on a baking sheet with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast them in the oven for 25 minutes, tossing them midway.
Prep Kale by cutting out the rib in each leaf. Cut into bite size pieces and put in salad bowl. Sprinkle with olive oil and sea salt then massage the kale.
For the vinaigrette, whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, shallots, and maple syrup.
To serve, mix together the kale, sweet potatoes, and garbanzo beans.
NOTE: Gerri serves this salad with trout fillets roasted in the oven and cornbread on the side.