Saturday, January 19, 2008

Breakfast of Champions

This morning I was craving pancakes something fierce. Tragically, I lacked buttermilk, so I sent Hubz to the store. "Pick up some sausage and heavy whipping cream, too!" I needed something major - Hubz and I quit smoking last Monday, so my attitude this week is "fuck a diet" and I'm being extra nice to myself. And needing to cook/eat comfort food affords me the opportunity to join in the Monthly Mingle hosted by What's For Lunch, Honey?

We have a bunch of baby bananas that are getting brown, so I thought of making some spicy caramelized banana compote for some banana bread-type topping for the pancakes. It came out really yummeh!

Banana bread pancakes
(Basic pancake recipe adapted from Joy of Cooking - it's supposed to make a dozen 5" pancakes, but I ended up with only 4 huge pancakes! Oops!)

1 1/2 c AP flour
3 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs*
1 1/2 c buttermilk

*I used one egg and 3 tbsp egg white because I ran out of eggs but had bottled egg white, and I think it may have added to the overall lightness of the pancakes.

Heat up a griddle if you have one, or a regular non-stick skillet works great too. Whisk together dry ingredients, then in a separate bowl whisk together wet ingredients. Add wet to dry and whisk only until combined (batter will be a bit lumpy like muffin batter).

Turn heat to medium and add a pat of butter to cooking surface. For huge pancakes use a ladle (mine's 1 cup-sized). For silver-dollar pancakes you can use an ice cream scoop to meter out the batter. When the bubbles forming on the surface of the pancake batter start to look a bit dry, flip the pancake and cook for ~30 seconds on the other side. Transfer to a plate and keep the pancakes in a 150-degree oven while you cook the rest of the pancakes. Add a little more butter to the pan between pancakes.

Banana bread compote
3 mini or one large ripe banana, sliced into 1/2" thick rounds
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice**
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp chopped nuts - I used hazelnuts (optional)
splash rum or bourbon (optional)
pinch salt

**I keep a jar of my own mix of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, cardamom and star anise that I toast whole and grind to add to things like banana bread, snickerdoodles, curries, etc.

In a small pan, melt butter with spice mix for a few seconds until butter begins to foam. Add bananas and saute until browned slightly. Add sugar, nuts and salt and stir gently, being careful not to mash up the banana too much. If using it, stir in the splash of booze and let the whole thing simmer for a few minutes over medium-low heat until the alcohol evaporates. Compote is finished when the mixture is saucy and caramelized.

Top the pancakes with a scoop of compote, and if you've just recently quit smoking I think you should also add a drizzle of maple syrup and a dollop of freshly-whipped cream. Enjoy with sausages and a mug of good, strong coffee.


JEP said...

Those are beautiful pancakes & the banana topping is perfect for my tastes!

Emily said...

You're on Tastespotting with that picture! It's a beautiful picture.

These look definitely comforting. Good luck with the smoking thing. You can do it.

Peter M said...

That's an..."F-ing" good looking pancake! lol

You should post more often and the salty-talk is fine too!;)

Heather said...

JEP: Thanks! Bananas are often overlooked for their ooey-gooeyness, but they're so good.

Em: I finally got a photo on Tastespotting! Thanks for the support - it's not that hard to quit smoking after all.

Peter: Haha! My father was a sailor and my mother was a corporal in the US Marine Corps, so I have something of an affection for cussing. :)

Thistlemoon said...

Okay, you have done it Heather, taken two things I don't like, and made them in such a way that I actually WANT to eat them - buttermilk pnacakes (I like only thin, crepe-like ones and very infrequently) and Bananas! This is great Heather. Oh and big congrats on quitting smoking! You do deserve to be VERY nice to yourself! Well done!

Núria said...

Ai, ai, ai Heather, this looks so good and so full of calories and so sinny!!! Next time I go to America I have to get this kind of breakfast... I never did before! And since I also quit smoking... I have that right, don't I?

I quitted only 12 years ago, he, he!
Keep it up with the non-smoke, cooking is so different when you get to smell things well!!!

Heather said...

Jenn - it's never too late to change your mind about pancakes! Thanks for the niceness, as always.

Nuria - Congrats on being an ex-smoker! You definitely deserve some pancakes! With whipped cream and sausages!

kellypea said...

Mmm...we are pancake lovin' fools at our house. Especially banana pancakes. These look and sound terrific. I'll have to get my husband "the expert" to check them out!

Anonymous said...

Good Job! :)

Laura said...

Awesome recipe!

I will be trying these out in the morning much to the delight of my kids :)

If you get chance check out my banana bread recipes!