Blueberry Ricotta Cornmeal Pancakes

by Min Merrell

You don’t have to serve blueberry ricotta cornmeal pancakes with syrup. We heat them up in the toaster oven and eat them like a flat muffin.

I can trace the inspiration for these blueberry ricotta cornmeal pancakes back 25 years when I lived in Chicago and worked for food publicity maven Marian Tripp. Marian was well-known for creating fantastic publicity events that the food media actually wanted to attend. How? She insisted on spectacular venues and always had a great news hook. She was a genius at spotting upcoming trends and upcoming people. One of her favorite places was the Ritz-Carlton in Chicago behind Water Tower Place, the site of the very exciting launch of Uncle Ben’s Boil-in-Bag Rice. Susan Weaver, a young chef there created a glamorous Asian/Spa cuisine luncheon using the innovative bagged rice. Hard to believe now, but anything Asian was big news. Thai food was just coming around. I remember admiring the shy chef, thinking she was about my age.

A few years later into the 90s, that same Chef Weaver moved to Toronto to become the first ever Four Seasons Hotel female executive chef.  From there she went to the fabulous 57 57 restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel in New York.  I took my Jack Daniel’s buddy Lynne Tolley to the restaurant for breakfast while we were in town for the Beard Awards.  57 57 was THE place for hobnobbing with the fancy suits over Chef Weaver’s famous lemon ricotta pancakes.  Lynne and I loved them. Of course, back in Nashville,  I was up to my elbows in Martha White self-rising flour and cornmeal, my two favorite ingredients for great pancakes and corn cakes.

Today, Chef Weaver is a partner with the Lettuce Entertain You restaurant group back in Chicago.  Nice career. And I’m still thinking about those pancakes.  Here is my recipe inspired by Susan Weaver with a little Martha White thrown in.  Serve them with syrup and butter, or even better, they make a perfect toaster oven snack that sure beats a muffin.  We love these.

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