Not to put too fine a point on it, but next weekend is the Barrister’s Ball, aka Law Prom, and I am using this event as a motivating factor/excuse to eat, um, a smidge healthier next week. Who would have known that Iowa City in midwinter offers less opportunities for walking than Manhattan, even during the same season? Billy is gamely joining me on this carb-free romp, and being much more disciplined than I, did not share my pancakes yesterday morning.
(He didn’t share them Monday morning, either, but that doesn’t count. I didn’t set out to make pancakes then, they just sort of . . . fell together. I had to use up some ricotta. What would you have done?) Thursday, though, was definitely a set out day. And not only because it’s the last time I’m allowed pancakes for a long while.
I copied out the recipe from the White Dog Cafe Cookbook — a place which, incidentally, I had never heard of until yesterday, when we had the car serviced at White Dog Auto. No relation to the café (I think!?), but they have a copy of the cookbook in the lobby nevertheless. So while they changed the oil and replaced a headlamp, I drooled over this pancake recipe, dragged Billy to the store for some bananas and pecans, and, well, ate it all by myself the very next morning.
I’d call that a recommendation. And manifestly, if you’re brave enough, they don’t even have to be weekend food.
Banana-Buttermilk Pancakes with Maple-Pecan Syrup
(Adapted from the White Dog Café Cookbook)
Makes 12-16 pancakes (I halved it, give me some credit)
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups buttermilk (if you don’t have it handy, combine 1 cup whole milk plus 1 tbsp lemon juice and let sit for twenty minutes)
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 3 very ripe bananas, peeeled and mashed
Combine the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Add the mashed bananas and mix together.
Whisk together the wet ingredients in a smaller bowl. Add wet to dry, stirring sparingly. You want some lumps in there — that’s what’ll keep the pancakes light.
Put a nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-low heat and swirl a little pad of butter around. When it’s glistening, ladel some batter into the pan. Stay close. When little bubbles begin to appear in the batter, it’s time to flip. The other side cooks much more quickly, about a minute or two.
Keep the cooked pancakes in a warm oven, around 200 degrees, while you work on the second batch. Meanwhile, make some syrup . . .
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 tbsp butter
Toast the pecans in a dry saucepan over low heat. When they begin to smell aromatic, add the butter and maple syrup. Keep warm.