Saturday, May 20, 2006

A Brunch of Bananas

I know it's been a while since I've posted, but since most of my cooking lately has been the routine, unimpressively easy meals I tend to throw together for myself (and the occasional small dish of cookie dough, but we won't discuss that here), there hasn't been much worthy of an entry.

Today will be different, though, because the lovely Phoenix is ready to resume her cooking lessons after an incredibly hectic final semester.

Before we started on a lavish home-cooked Indian feast, however, we needed to fortify ourselves with a good breakfast... or brunch, as the case may be. And what better way to start a weekend than with homemade pancakes?

Homemade banana-nut pancakes, that's what.

Yes, I've taken my grandfather's trusty pancake recipe and tweaked it once again to come up with a nut and spice-laden pancake (with local whole wheat flour, egg, and pecans, plus organic soymilk) with slices of organic bananas baked onto the bottom for a combination of cool and spicy, crunchy and creamy wholesome goodness. Add a little unsalted butter and good local maple syrup, and you've got a plateful of heaven.

With freshly-squeezed orange juice and herbal tea on the side, sunshine streaming through the windows (after more than a week's worth of rain), and a day of cooking fabulous food ahead of us, we couldn't ask for a better breakfast. And before you ask, I'll give you the recipe.

I promise you, you'll go bananas for it.

Banana-Nut Pancakes

I never knew my grandfather (he of the fantastic pancakes), but if I could meet him now, I'd thank him for the best pancake recipe ever. In the meantime, I'll thank the Chef Mother for teaching me how to cook so that I could eventually take such a basic recipe and dress it up in all sorts of different ways. Weekends are made for pancakes.... and I love them all.

1 1/4 c whole wheat pastry flour
1 T Sucanat or other natural sweetener
1 T baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 c finely chopped pecans
1 egg, beaten
1-2 T canola oil
1 c soymilk
1 banana, sliced

Whisk together dry ingredients. Beat together egg, oil, and soymilk. Make a well in the dry ingredients and whisk in the liquid ingredients until well blended. Allow to rest for a minute or two while you heat up the skillet.

Sprinkle salt lightly over the skillet to keep the cakes from sticking. Pour 1/4 c batter into the pan and allow to spread. Top with banana slices. When the edge of the pancake becomes dry-looking, flip the cake and brown the other side.

Serve with butter and real maple syrup.

Serves 4


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