I didn’t have to work yesterday. No, it wasn’t a holiday. No, I wasn’t sick. No, I didn’t take a vacation or personal day. Rather, The Bride of Frankenstorm decided to visit the state so work was cancelled (yes, I just used the British spelling of the word – Hey, I went to grad school in the U.K. and some things just stuck). We sorta had the Hurricane Sandy version of a Snow Day. We had a San-Day, if you will.
It was a Cruel, Cruel, Cruel San-Day…
…and I feel for the thousands living on Long Island Sound who just got whalloped. We were pretty okay in inland CT, though – and I am not nearly as scared of hurricanes as I am of thunderstorms – so I hunkered down, stayed in my jammies…
…and thought of some creative ways to use up the ripe bananas that were languishing in my fruit bowl.
Banana Beer Bread
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 large banana, mashed
1 tablespoon honey
12 oz. beer
Mix together the flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cayenne. In a separate bowl, mash the banana and stir in the honey.
Create a “well” in the flour mixture. Pour in the banana-honey mixture and the beer – super gently, you don’t want a lot of “head” goin’ on. Stir it all together just until combined. Do not overstir! You’ll end up with stiff, dense bread and that would be ick. Unless, of course, you like stiff, dense bread – in which case, stir away. Pour the batter in a 9×5 loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.
During the baking process a delightful aroma will fill your house. So delighful, in fact, that you’ll think you’re burning a banana/beer scented Yankee Candle. You’re tummy will start to grumble in anticipation of this wonderous delight and before you know it you’ll pull this outta the oven:
I didn’t wait one minute before diving in – I might have burned myself on the loaf pan in the process – it smelled that good. It tasted pretty good too – a nice mix of savory and sweet. The yeastiness of the beer complimented the sweetness of the banana while the cinnamon added some spicey warmth. I didn’t really taste the cayenne which was mildly disappointing – I’ll probably add more next time.
Seeing as I still had a couple of bananas left, I continued the banana-fest with:
Banana Roasted Chicken
1/2 chicken breast
1/2 small vidalia onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 large ripe banana, roughly chopped
olive oil, salt, pepper, and bouquet garni to taste
Put everything in a baking dish and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes to a half hour depending on the size of your chicken. I was cooking for one, but this recipe could easily be doubled or tripled or exponentially multiplied to feed an army.
Whoa, baby! Was this delish! The chicken was tender, the bananas were roasted to sweet perfection, and the onions and gralic added the perfect savory finish. I am definitely making this recipe a staple in my repertoire.
Today, the sun is shining and hurricane-force winds are but a memory. In her aftermath Sandy has left flooded homes, downed trees, thousands of people without power…and 1 1/2 bananas still chilaxing in my fruit bowl. Sandy may be over but I have a feeling Bananarama is just getting started…
What are your favorite ways to spend a
Snow Day San-Day?
How do you use up your ripe bananas?