Weekend brunching

May 22, 2010

Banana bread. Compliments to the guys at Cooks Illustrated/The New Best Recipes.With a wedge of sausage quiche and some sliced tomatos.

And that’s the way we roll on the lake this fine sunny Saturday.

This was before I went out and spent a couple of hours on the swim deck, working on my non-existent tan because I haven’t been home on a sunny weekend to work on my freakin’ tan up to now. And I am going to the lake next Sunday, so I’ve got to hustle it and get enough of a  base tan that I won’t fry myself down there.
And I digress again.
Anyway, the banana bread was pretty much to-die-for, and the quiche, with PJF country sausage, about a cup and a half of Emmenthaler, and fresh herbs from my garden, was only separated from Sweet Baby Jesus territory by the fact it was a tad salty. Wasn’t thinking about the cheese being salty when I beat up the eggs and cream.
I browned a pound of sausage, and used half of it in the quiche; the rest will go onto a pizza or into stuffed pancakes tomorrow. Grated a slab of Emmenthaler, sprinkled it on top of the sausage in an out-of-the-dairy-case pie crust. Beat up six eggs with a half-cup of cream and a half-cup of half and half (so I guess that was a cup of three-to-one) and a couple of tablespoons of chopped chives parsley and tarragon, because they sounded like they’d go well. (They did.) In the oven at 350 for about 50 minutes. Wonderful!
The Cooks Illustrated recipe I’ll give you chapter and verse, and then tell you what I changed.
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (unbreached) and some for dustin
  • 1 1/4 cups walnuts coarse chop (optional)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 very ripe bananas mashed well
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cool
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350°F (175°C) degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan; dust with flour, tapping out the excess.

     2. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

     3. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and walnuts together in a large bowl; set aside.

     4. Mix the mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla with a wooden spoon in a medium bowl. Lightly fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula until just combined and the batter looks thick and chunky. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan.

    5. Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. (The bread can be wrapped with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.)

     What I did differently:

    1. I used four bananas, which yielded a little over two cups mashed.
    2. I  upped the flour to three cups, the sugar to just over a cup, and the yogurt to a half cup. Oh, and I used baking powder, and used 2 teaspoons of it.
    3. I used however many walnuts I had left. I think it was close to two cups. May have been more.
    4. I baked it in a bundt pan, which I sprayed with canola oil cooking spray.

    Can’t argue with it.  I think I’d have preferred a touch of cinnamon and a little nutmeg, but it ain’t bad, not at all.

    Tonight will be burgers and roasted potato wedges, as new son is anxious for burgers. But tomorrow…..now tomorrow is an adventure. It’s lamb yiouvetsi, which I just ran across today, which is lamb stew meat braised in a Greek tomato sauce and then cooked in a casserole with orzo and cheese. Now how can you beat that? I submit you cannot. I will report.

    Hope you and y’mama ‘n ’em are enjoying your gorgeous summer weekend as much as I’m enjoying mine.

    5. Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. (The bread can be wrapped with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.)

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