There are a lot of vintage cheesecake recipes out there that ask you to “sieve” cottage cheese. Basically, that means rubbing/pressing the cheese curds through a sieve, until you end up with a smooth cream cheese you can’t get by whipping. This unusual griddle-cake recipe, uses the technique to smooth the cheese before adding it to the batter. It’s from Mike Fritzel, owner of long-gone Chicago blockbuster Fritzel’s restaurant, a celebrity spot which operated from 1947 to 1972 at 201 N. State.
A collaboration between Fritzel and Joe Jacobson, who teamed up to do Chicago’s Chez Paree nightclub before that, Fritzel’s had a 100-item menu. While Fritzel’s focus was front of house happiness, Jacobson was scrupulous about the food, which made him a favorite of Tribune food critic Kay Loring. Loring quoted Jacobson about that 100-item menu in 1967: “It doesn’t make sense to have so many things on a menu,” he said. “It’d be easier on the help, and we’d make more money if we cut it down. But it won’t be cut as long as I’m around. . . everything that comes in here is the best, or I don’t buy it.”
Jacobson’s was a good credo, which lives on in this recipe, and, another Fritzel’s favorite, Fritzel’s Pepper Steak. Please do try both!
- 2 cups large curd cottage cheese
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup flour
- pinch salt
- 2 pints fresh blueberries
- 1 cup cherry juice
- 1 Tbsp grated lemon-zest or orange-zest
- ½ cup sugar
- 1/3 cup corn syrup
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- Make the sauce: In a stainless steel or enameled saucepan, combine fruit, cherry juice and zest. Heat to boiling, pressing some of the berries against the side of the pan with a wooden spoon to crush. Gradually add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Keep pot at gentle boil. Add corn syrup and lemon juice. Heat to a jumping boil; boil hard for 15 minutes. Pour into jars. Cool. Refrigerate.
- Make the griddle cakes: Press cottage cheese through sieve. Mix creamy result with lemon juice, sugar, beaten eggs, flour and salt to make a thick batter. Spray fry pan with cooking oil, or, melt a small amount of butter in pan. Fry cakes and serve hot with sauce and dollop of yogurt or sour cream.