Sometimes, when I'm at the grocery store I must forget that I live alone because I come home with enough groceries to stock the Johnson and Wales store room. And towards the end of last week I bought 8 bananas because they were on sale. As I said above, I live alone. What am I going to do with 8 bananas? Well, I made two of my favorite banana dishes and attempted to write recipes for them.
Use #1: All of the eggs we made in class week put me in the mood for a good breakfast last weekend. As much as I love breakfast food, I rarely go the trouble of making something elaborate because it's hard to make a batch of pancakes, for example, for just one person. However, this weekend I had a friend over for brunch on Saturday, and we made some delicious banana-walnut stuffed french toast. The buttery, crispy exterior, soft custard interior, and rich nuttiness of the walnuts was a perfect kick-off to the day.
Batter for dipping:
3/4 cup milk
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. white sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 loaf French bread
vegetable oil or butter to coat the skillet
powdered sugar for dusting
serve with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup
Method of Preparation:
• Whisk together the eggs, milk, sugars, and cinnamon until well combined. Set aside.
• Mash the bananas. Stir in the walnuts and brown sugar until incorporated.
• Cut the end off of the French bread loaf. Cut the loaf into 3/4 - 1" slices. Make a slit in the middle of each slice but don't cut all the way through. Each slice should look like a pocket.
• Fill the pocket of each slice with 2-3 Tbsp. of the banana mixture.
• Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add enough butter* or vegetable oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
*Note: If using butter, work over medium-low heat so the butter doesn't burn.
• Dip each slice into the egg mixture for a few seconds and place directly into the heated skillet. Working in batches, cook the French toast until golden brown on each side and heated through, flipping each slice only once.
• Serve immediately with a dusting of powdered sugar and a drizzle of honey.
Banana Bread Muffins
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and then finely ground*
3 very ripe bananas, mashed well
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup moderately sweet apple, peeled and very finely chopped
1/4 cup light sour cream
1 whole egg
2 egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla extract
*I don't really like the chunkiness of nuts in my banana bread, but I like the flavor which is why I ground them up really fine. You can leave them chopped if you want.
Method of Preparation:
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line a muffin tin.
• Whisk the mashed bananas, melted butter, chopped apple, sour cream, eggs and vanilla until well-combined. In a separate bowl, mix together the flours, salt, baking soda, sugar, and ground walnuts.
• Fold the banana mixture into the dry mixture and stir until just combined. The batter should be thick and have chunks.
• Using an ice-cream scoop, fill each muffin cup about 2/3 full with the batter.
• Bake for 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few crumbs attached.
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