You Gonna Eat All That?

A fork in one hand, a pen in the other.

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Location: Virginia, United States

(Biscuit Girl)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Go Bananas!

It never fails, I buy a nice bunch of green bananas with the best of intentions and before I know it, they're over ripe. But the bunch I had on the counter this weekend were REALLY over ripe. Black ripe. Banana bread ripe.

I used a recipe from a place that rhymes with America's Test Bitchin' and modified it just slightly. Modification #1: I added shredded coconut. Modification #2: I used sour cream instead of plain yogurt. And modifications #3 & 4: I used a muffin pan with removable bottoms instead of a loaf pan and adjusted the cooking time. The pan looks like this one only with square instead of heart shaped sections. Every once in a while you can find them on Bakers Catalogue.

And I must say, this was one of easiest and best recipes I've used yet. They were very moist and tender and bursting full of banana flavor.

Banana-Coconut Muffins
2 cups All-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar

3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

3 large (or 4 med sized) very ripe bananas, mashed
(about 1-1/2 cups)
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs

1/4 sour cream

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan and set aside.

Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. In a medium sized bowl, whisk the mashed bananas, eggs, butter, sour cream and vanilla. Gently fold the banana mixture into the flour with a rubber spatula just until combined. Do not overmix. It's ok if the batter looks thick and lumpy.

Scoop the batter into each muffin cup. Fill about 1/2 full. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until they are golden brown and a knife inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Let the muffins cool for about 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to completely cool. (they're also great still warm from the oven)

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Sunday, February 08, 2009

Southern Cornbread

Back in December I bought some cornmeal from the Mount Vernon Grist Mill. I finally got around to using it and made the most delicious cornbread!Just look how moist it is and that crust! Oh my!

Being married to a true Southerner, there's only one way cornbread gets made in this an iron skillet using buttermilk and butter and good corn meal. And, no sugar. Sweet cornbread is the Nothern version. Since I'm a hybrid (growing up in the north but living in most of my life in the south), I like both versions.

A used a combination of recipes and came up with this:

Southern Cornbread

2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs, slightly beaten
4 tbsp. unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 425 and place a 10 inch iron skillet on the lower rack.

In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients and set aside. In a smaller bowl, combine the buttermilk and eggs.

Remove the skillet from the oven after 10 minutes. Place the butter in the skillet and let it melt, swirling it around to coat the bottom and sides. It may sizzle and brown (that's ok). Place the skillet back in the oven.

Pour the butter into the buttermilk and egg mixture and mix til blended. Remove the skillet from the oven.

Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until moistened (the batter may be lumpy). Remove the skillet from the oven, pour in the batter and return to the oven. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool 10 minutes then turn onto a large plate or a cutting board.