Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes

We came back from our weekend away to a very brown and spotted banana that had been left on the counter when we headed out of town. It looked especially forlorn next to the new bananas we had picked up on the way home.

One banana isn’t enough for making bread or pudding but it is a perfect amount for making a small batch of pancakes. The recipe below is perfect for 2 or three people as it makes 8 pancakes. You can easily double the recipe if you have more diners (and more over ripe bananas). Freeze any leftovers and rewarm in a toaster oven.

The riper the banana, the sweeter the pancakes will be. We hardly needed any maple syrup as our banana was so ripe!

Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes

1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼  teaspoon salt
3/4 cups milk
1 egg
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large ripe banana, mashed
½ cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate morsels

In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients and whisk together.

Place the milk in another bowl and add the egg, oil, vanilla extract and mashed banana. Whisk until well combined.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Whisk until just combined, then scrape down the sides to make sure all the flour is incorporated and whisk again. There will be some lumps, just no really large ones. Try to avoid overworking the batter.

Heat a griddle or skillet to medium hot and spread some butter on it. Using a 1/3 cup measure, pour a serving of batter over the buttered area of the griddle. Sprinkle a few chocolate chips over the pancake. Flip once the top bubbles start to pop and the edges look dry. Cook until the other side is golden brown. Repeat until all pancakes are made. Keep cooked pancakes warm in a 200 degree F oven while fixing the rest.

Serve with maple syrup.

Pancakes with Self Rising Flour

My friends Charlotte and Thomas recently had a trip to Vermont and they brought me back some maple syrup. So, of course, I had to have pancakes for breakfast.

I used a recipe that uses self-rising flour, as I usually have some on hand for biscuit making. But the leaveners don’t last forever, so it does need to be used up and replaced regularly.

This is a recipe that is easy to scale up or down, depending on the numbers of folks expected to be eating. The batter can also be made and refrigerated overnight, so you’re ready to go as soon as you’ve warmed up the griddle.


Pancakes with Self Rising Flour

2 cups self rising flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs
2 cups milk
¼ cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
chopped nuts or sliced fruit, optional

Stir together flour and sugar.

Beat eggs lightly then add milk and butter. Stir. Add in vanilla. Add liquid to the flour and beat until smooth.

Use 1/3 cup measuring cup to portion out the batter for the griddle. Pour out on a well oiled, hot griddle, sprinkling on the fruit or nuts while the first side cooks. Bake until edges look dry and bubbles on surface pop. Flip and cook through.

Batter can be refrigerated overnight. Remove from the fridge while griddle warms. Stir vigorously before using.

Scotched Eggs

Taking bulk breakfast sausage and using it to envelop eggs is my new favorite thing. They’ve got all sorts of goodness going for them – creamy eggs, lots of hearty sausage, lovely seasoning and a crunchy coating.

They can be made to the breadcrumb stage and stored for later cooking or cooked and the leftovers rewarmed in a mix of microwave and toaster oven (to recrisp them).

When making more than four at a time, I recommend placing them in a muffin tin to bake. Otherwise, they will be okay on a rimmed baking sheet.

I used Grey Poupon Country Dijon Mustard but any good stoneground mustard will work.

Scotched Eggs

6 eggs, divided
1 lb bulk breakfast sausage
1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
flour, for dredging
1 cup breadcrumbs

Place 4 eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and turn off heat. Let sit for 5 minutes for slightly more than softboiled eggs or 9 minutes for hardboiled eggs. Run cold water over the cooked eggs and peel them, rinsing them again in cold water to stop the cooking.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Use your hands to mix the sausage and the mustard. Divide the sausage into 4 equal pieces. Wet your hands, and then take up one portion of meat. Pat into a thin patty from your fingertips to palm. Roll the egg in flour and then set near your fingers and fold the sausage around it, pinching the ends to seal it completely in sausage. Continue until all are enrobed in sausage

Beat remaining two eggs in a shallow dish. Dredge sausage balls in flour, then in beaten eggs and then in breadcrumbs. For an added crunch, use a breakfast cereal like Rice Krispies or Corn Flakes instead of the bread crumbs.

Set on a rimmed baking sheet or in a muffin tin. Bake for 30 minutes until crisp and golden.


Breakfast Skillet for Hungry Gals

I burned a huge pile of debris from Michelle’s yard on Saturday and was utterly wiped out afterwards. It isn’t June yet but Mississippi’s heat index was well into the 90’s. I woke up starving the next morning and decided to make a hearty meal for us to start the day.

I used Michelle’s 8 inch cast iron skillet. It gave us two hearty slices for breakfast plus two for eating the next day. If you have more people, double things and use a 12 inch skillet instead.

For the bulk sausage, I cut the tube in half and sliced one of the halves. I browned those sausage patties first and set them aside to serve with biscuits later in the week. I then browned the rest of the sausage.

I didn’t add salt to the recipe. The potatoes are cooked in salted water and the cheddar cheese and sausage are salty but definitely taste for seasoning.

Breakfast Skillet

1/2 lb bulk breakfast sausage
2 medium potatoes, diced (or 1 1/2 cup frozen hashbrowns)
1/2 small onion, sliced
1/2 medium red bell pepper, diced
5 large eggs
1/2 cup 2 % milk
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
On the stove top in a 8-inch cast iron, brown the sausage. Remove from the skillet to paper towels to drain, reserving the drippings in the pan. Meanwhile, place diced potatoes in a saucepan with cold water and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes.
Add the onion to the drippings and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper. Sauté for 3 minutes or until softened. Season with black pepper to taste.
Add the parboiled potatoes or shredded hash brown potatoes to the pan. Cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring periodically until lightly browned and heated through.
Spread the potato mixture evenly across the bottom of the skillet, then sprinkle the browned sausage over the top.
Whisk the eggs with the milk. Stir in 3/4 cups of the cheddar cheese. Pour on top. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining shredded cheese and cook for 5 to 10 minutes more, or until the eggs have set. Put under the broiler for just a minute or two to brown the top.
Remove from the oven and let stand for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Bacon Cornmeal Waffles

I’m still on a cornmeal kick and have been craving waffles, too. I went to the Joy of Cooking I inherited from my paternal grandmother, circa 1953. They have a variety of waffle recipes that looked promising, although most needed a little updating.

The original recipe called for 5 tablespoons of melted bacon fat. That would have made them too greasy, so I used mostly melted butter instead with a single tablespoon of bacon fat for flavor. Like most good Southern girls, I keep a jar of bacon fat in my fridge for just a use. I also bake the entire package of bacon (on a baking sheet for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees F) and then freeze what I don’t eat. This way, I usually always have bacon ready to eat and it was easy to pull some out and chop it for this use.

The cornmeal gave the waffles a bit of nutty taste, with bacon in every tender bite. Definitely a recipe to repeat. Good thing I have extras to freeze and just pop in the toaster oven for a quick meal.

Bacon Cornmeal Waffles

2 eggs
1 3/4 cups milk
1 cup all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cornmeal
4 tablespoons butter, unsalted
1 tablespoon bacon fat, melted
4-6 slices bacon, cooked and chopped into small pieces

Beat the eggs in the milk.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Whisk together with the cornmeal. Stir in the milk. Mix in the melted butter and bacon fat. Stir in the bacon pieces. There will still be some lumps but everything should be incorporated.

Let batter stand while the waffle iron heats up. Brush lightly with vegetable oil. Add batter in 1/3 cup measures to each side of the waffle iron. Wait two minutes after most of the steam has escaped to check for doneness. You’re looking for even golden color and crispy to the touch. Place finished waffles in a 200 degree F oven while cooking the rest.

Breakfast Egg Muffins

My sister introduced me to the concept of these when she and her husband were here for the first weekend of Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans. They are a healthy, hearty breakfast (or snack) for anyone on the go.

The world is yours when deciding how to fill these – we had both ham and bacon in the one’s Kathy made and Michelle craved spinach so we added that to hers. Feel free to add diced bell pepper or sautéed sliced mushroom (about 1/2 cup each) or even different cheeses. Because we were primarily working with regular size muffin tins, we had to cut back on the additions.

Best part is, they freeze beautifully for almost two week’s worth of breakfasts at a time.

Breakfast Egg Muffins

24 or 36 tater tots, thawed
12 rashers bacon
12 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 cup baby spinach, finely shredded
salt and pepper, to taste

Cook the bacon to almost done on a baking sheet in a 350 degree F oven. Set aside to cool slightly, leaving the oven on.

Really well oil the cups of a 12 hole muffin tin. Seriously – if you want these to come out, oil the cups well. Mash the thawed tater tots in the bottom – if you have regular size muffin tins, use 2 tater tots per cup. Otherwise, use three per. You want a layer of potato covering the bottom, so press them well.

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and milk. Add in remaining ingredients and mix together.

Break up bacon into pieces and set around the sides of muffin cup. Scoop about a 1/3 cup of the egg mixture into each regular sized muffin cup. If using larger cups, use 1/2 cup egg mixture per.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the center of the muffin is completely cooked.

Let cool slightly before removing from pan. You can serve these immediately or save for quick meals.

If going to store them, let them cool completely before individually wrapping each in plastic wrap and place in a zip top bag. Store in the freezer until ready to use. Microwave for 30 seconds and then for 10-15 second intervals until warm all the way through.

Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole

None of us really wanted to cook breakfast, so we started the breakfast casserole the night before by thawing the tater tots. Hash browns would work as well, as we were trying to create a potato crust.

Adding a few eggs, milk, salsa, cheese, bacon and seasonings and putting it all to bake first thing in the morning, had a lovely casserole by the time everyone was up and about.

Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole

about 30 tater tots, enough to cover the bottom of a pie plate
6 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup salsa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 cup (about 6 slices) bacon, diced
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

The night before, butter a deep dish pie plate. Place a layer of tater tots to cover the bottom of the plate. Put the plate in the fridge for them to thaw overnight.

In the morning, mash the tater tots with a fork to form a bottom crust.

Scramble the eggs together with the seasonings, milk and salsa. Sprinkle half the bacon over the tater tots and pour half the egg mixture over. Sprinkle on half the cheese. Pour the rest of the eggs into pie plate and then sprinkle over remaining bacon and cheese. Let sit while the oven comes to 325 degrees F.

Bake 45 minutes to an hour, or until top is golden and bubbly.

Serves 6.