Thursday, February 4, 2010
Sunday, lovely Sunday: Banana Yogurt Pancakes
Last weekend was the perfect storm of reasons to mix up some banana pancakes: I had some bananas that were on their way out and a boy roommate who has a serious hankering for sweet Sunday morning breakfasts. Sunday mornings are good for that sort of thing, playing around in the kitchen, searching for a great recipe, turning up some tunes and NOT micro-managing your time. It is ok to be a micro-manager Monday-Saturday, because really, that's how we are all able to get through life. But Sundays are for planned free time. Newspaper reading, exploring the city, grabbing a seat at a great neighborhood bar and for simply slowing down. And now- Sundays are also for banana pancakes from the lovely Barefoot Contessa.
While searching for a great banana pancake recipe, I learned that there are two camps- those that incorporate banana "mush" into the batter and those who stud the 'cakes with slices of banana during the cooking process. I went for the latter this time, although I think I could be a fan of both techniques. I also learned another really important lesson. Don't screw with Ina. I adapated the recipe to what I had around and to my tastes, which ususally works well. The substitution of plain yogurt in place of sour cream worked well. The addition of dark chocolate bits did not. They tasted too heavy and bitter, and did not pair well with her delicate lemon-y and light pancakes. It blew my mind actually, because I LOVE the combination of banana and chocolate. I might try it again with milk chocolate chips, but these pancakes really sing on their own. Actually, they would probably be great without the banana too. Ina, you always rock my world.
Banana Yogurt Pancakes
Adapted from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa: Family Style
1 1/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup plain yogurt ( I used low-fat)
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
2 extra-large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 ripe bananas, sliced, plus extra for serving
Pure maple syrup
Combine the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder and salt) in a large bowl. In a seperate, medium sized bowl, whisk together yogurt, milk, eggs, vanilla and lemon zest. Pour the wet mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and gently mix until just combined.
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter or oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat until it melts and begins to form small bubbles. Scoop or ladle a small amount (about a third of a cup) onto the hot surface. When the edges begin to solidify and bubble, gently place 3-4 banana slices on top of the pancake. Cook for another minute, and carefully flip the pancake over. If any of the soft middle section squeezes out of the round pancake shape, simply push it back towards the pancake. Make sure to wipe out the pan with a paper towel after each batch (the natural sugar of the bananas can cause the pan to blacken with sticky residue) add more butter or oil to the pan. Also keep track of how hot your skillet gets- you may want to turn it down as you get further into the process, as it might continue to heat and cause your pancakes to burn a little on the bottom. I keep the oven at 200 degrees and add the cooked pancakes to a baking dish to keep them warm while I cook. Continue the process until all the batter is used. ENJOY!