10 October 2010
A.k.a. nanner bread. Modified from a Chiquita recipe Nat found on the side of a bag of bananas forever ago, back when bananas came in bags.
- 8 tbsp butter (about 110g), at room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, separated
- 2 cup all purpose flour (or 1 cup all purpose, 1 cup whole wheat)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 large overripe bananas, mashed to hell
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped and pan roasted
- Preheat the oven to 175C.
- Separate the eggs, and beat the whites to soft peaks.
- Cream together butter and sugar until it’s pale and fluffy. Beat in the yolks.
- Sift in the flour and baking soda. Add the salt and mix well.
- Fold in the bananas, vanilla and walnuts.
- Fold in the egg whites.
- Butter a small bread tin and add the mixture. We usually pour the mix into tiny bread tins and make 2 small loaves.
- Bake for 45-60 minutes, depending on the size of your tin. A knife should come out clean when it’s done.
- Cool for 10 minutes in the tin and then let on a cooling rack.
Peeled to Mission of Burma – Vs.
15 August 2010
We make these nearly every weekend, so there’s been ample time to obsess and perfect. This is a no-frills pancake, attempting to create the softest, fluffiest pancake possible – for when only pillowy, American-style flapjacks will suffice.
- 3 tbsp butter, plus a bit to spread on each pancake
- 1 1/2 cups plain flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 egg, separated
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- Enough maple syrup to swim in
- Before you get carried away, melt the butter and set it aside to cool. You don’t want to mix in molten butter and have it curdle your eggs.
- Into a large bowl, sift together all of the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
- Separate the egg. Vigorously beat the whites until you get soft peaks. Set aside. This step is the key to unlocking the gates of special pancake heaven.
- Add the milk and egg yolk to the flour mixture. Mix enough to combine all of the ingredients. If you’re keen, use a whisk to prevent any floury clumps from forming.
- Pour in the butter while mixing and combine.
- Using a spatula, fold in the egg whites.
- Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.
- Heat a small nonstick frying pan over a medium-low heat. Don’t add any additional fat to the pan – the butter in the pancake mix will keep things from sticking and create an even colouring. Once the pan is hot, use a ladle to portion out 1 pancake. The ladle we use holds about 150ml of batter.
- Leave the pancake to cook for a minute or two on each side. You’ll know when to flip it when you see small, uniform bubbles appear across the surface of the batter. The pancakes should be a rich, golden brown on each side.
- Once a pancake has cooked, place it on a serving plate and spread with a thin coating of butter.
- Once you have a stack of two pancakes, douse in maple syrup or jam and indulge.
This recipe makes 4 pancakes – enough to make 2 people very fat and happy.
Flipped to Yo La Tengo – Painful
14 August 2010
I had a lusty affair with beets while Nat was away for a few weeks in Copenhagen, especially cooked ones, earthy and sweet. Beets are too easily forgotten in our kitchen – which is a shame since they’re both delicious and very nutritious. This tasty, simple salad offsets the beet’s intense earthiness with creamy, bitter tahini, sour lemon and parsley.
- 4 smallish beetroots
- 2 tbsp tahini
- The zest from 1 unwaxed lemon
- The juice from that very same lemon
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- about 2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp parsley, roughly chopped
- 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Wash the beets and place them in a medium sauce pan. Cover the beets with ample cold water. Bring to a simmer a leave it the hell alone for an hour or so. They’re done once a sharp knife can easily poke through the sweet, sweet beetflesh.
- Zest the lemon and set aside.
- While the beets are cooking, make the dressing. In a small bowl combine the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Add enough water to give the dressing a creamy but runny consistency. This depends on your tahini, but it’ll likely be around 2 tablespoons. We use this same dressing for almost every salad we eat.
- Drain the beets and let them cool. Sure, you can run them under some cold water for a bit or shock them in an ice batch. Trim, peel and quarter the beets. Wash your hands, you look a mess.
- Place the beets in a big bowl. Add the lemon zest, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Mix it up. Drizzle on the dressing and garnish with parsley. Don’t mix it after adding the dressing, unless you want hilariously pink dressing.
Beat to Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Before Today.
8 August 2010
Describing my ideal pomodoro sauce makes is sound like a complicated affair. It’s not – it’s just a bit of process and finesse. The result is more than worth the additional effort – fresher and more vegetal than it’s gloopy, concentrated cousin.
- About 10 plum or other medium sized tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, smashed
- 1 small bunch of basil, whole
- 1 tsp chile pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- A pinch of sugar
- Bring a large saucepan of water to a vigorous boil. While it’s heating up, get an ice bath set up in a large bowl.
- Once the water is at a boil, plop the tomatoes in for 30-45 seconds until the skins just begin to break. Remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon, dumping them straight into the ice bath.
- Peel the tomatoes and then chop them in half. Remove most of the seed pods, but don’t dispose of them.
- Place the discarded seeds into a sieve. Sprinkle with a tiny bit of salt to draw out the moisture and place over a bowl.
- While the seedy bits are draining, put the tomatoes into a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Before they get too hot, crush the tomatoes in your fists like you’re some kind of unforgiving tomato king. Sure, you could use a potato masher, but this way is so much more cathartic. Add a pinch of salt and sugar. Keep the mix simmering.
- Meanwhile, add the oil, garlic, basil and chile pepper flakes to a cold, large frying pan over a low flame. Watch this carefully – you don’t want this oil infusion to start sizzling. Just before the oil starts popping, turn the heat off and let it sit for 10 minutes or so while tomatoes continue to simmer.
- Once the tomatoes have broken down, add in the liquid you’ve extracted from the seed pods and simmer for another 10 minutes or so. Taste and season.
- Decant the oil infusion directly into the tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes or until the sauce is fully emulsified.
One of my favourite meals on the planet is a spaghetti pomodoro made with this sauce. Cook the spaghetti 2 minutes less than directed and then finish the pasta in a pan with the sauce and few splashes of the water you cooked the noodles in. You don’t want the pasta downing in sauce, just well coated.
Reduced to Wild Nothing – Gemini.
3 May 2010
Our house salsa is fairly trivial to prepare and fairly amazing to consume. Based loosely on memories of the salsa at Papilote in San Francisco.
- 4-5 small tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 red pepper, trimmed
- 1 red chile pepper
- 3 small cloves of garlic, unpeeled
- 1 medium carrot, cut in half lengthwise
- 2 spring onions, trimmed
- Juice from 1/2 lime
- Get the broiler going. In the meantime, get your prep on.
- Arrange all of the veg in a medium baking dish. Just before you pop it under the broiler, give everything a nice coating of vegetable oil.
- You want everything to have a nice char, especially the tomatoes and peppers. This usually takes about 10 minutes or so to achieve, but keep an eye on the proceedings.
- Remove the dish from the oven. Trim the top off the chile and remove the garlic from its skin.
- Pop everything into the food processor and blend until smooth. Add the lime juice and season to taste.
Mix it up with some cilantro, if that’s your thing. Sometimes that’s my thing too. This goodness keeps for few days in the Frigidaire.
Blended to Avi Buffalo – Avi Buffalo.