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Archive for September, 2011

I love it when a delicious recipe is beyond stupid easy.  It makes me happy.  Why should good food have to be difficult?  This banana bread recipe is as easy as it gets when it comes to baking.  The best part is you can add goodies like chocolate chips and walnuts to it to add flair.

When baking with bananas you want them to be over ripe, but not yet rotten.  It’s a fine line.  But a banana with lots of brown spots usually is perfect for baking.  You want it to be super ripe and soft so that mashing it is easy.

 

Banana Bread – ½ rolling pin

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter (plus additional to grease the pan)
  • 1 1/3 cup brown sugar (you can also use regular sugar instead)
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 cup bananas (about 2 large bananas)
  • ½ cup chocolate chips (optional)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Prep:

  1. An hour before baking set out the butter to soften.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
  3. Using spare butter grease a loaf pan (about 8 x 3½ x 4 inches) on all sides.
  4. In a bowl mash the bananas with a fork until they are well mashed and gooey.  Set aside.
  5. Break the eggs into a small bowl, making sure no shells fall in with the eggs.  Then beat the eggs with a fork and set aside.
  6. Measure out the yogurt and set aside.

Bake:

  1. In a large bowl beat the butter with a fork until creamy.
  2. Add the sugar and stir to combine.
  3. Add the eggs to the sugar and butter and mix until fluffy.
  4. In a separate bowl combine the flour and baking soda.
  5. With a spatula stir in 1/3 of the flour to the butter and sugar and mix until incorporated.
  6. Next add the yogurt and stir until mixed in.
  7. Add another 1/3 of the flour and stir until mixed in.
  8. Add the bananas to the bowl and stir until well incorporated.
  9. Add the last of the flour and stir until well mixed.
  10. Add to the bowl the chocolate chips and/or walnuts if you are including them and stir until they are mixed in.
  11. Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan and bake in the oven for one hour.
  12. Allow the bread to cool in the pan before serving and enjoy!
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I have a confession to make.  I don’t cook hamburgers.  I just don’t.  I don’t know why this is, but never once at home have I ever wanted to make a beefy, juicy burger.  I only ever order them at bars.  I do however make the occasional turkey burger.  The other night my friend Kate and I made really great burgers for my mom and I thought I would share what we did.

First, a note on turkey burgers.  Like all poultry these have to be cooked 100%.  That means absolutely NO pink in the middle of the burgers.  For this I recommend thinner patties, but also putting a lid on the pan they’re cooking in to help accelerate the cooking process.  Also you should cut into them to check doneness when they are almost complete.   No one wants to get sick from an undercooked burger.

Also because poultry comes with all kinds of nasty germs I’ve intentionally ordered the steps so you touch everything in your kitchen but the meat first.  It’s important to be safe around poultry.  So if you are touching other items in your kitchen while working with the uncooked meat make sure to wash your hands.  Spreading germs around is bad news all around.

 

Turkey Burgers – 2 Knives

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • ½ cup Italian bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3-4 tablespoons of canola or vegetable oil

Optional toppings:

  • Cheese
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Sautéed onions
  • Sautéed mushrooms
  • Condiments like ketchup and any kind of mustard

Prep:

  1. Remove the peel from the garlic and chop into a fine mince, or use a garlic press to mince the garlic.  Place in the bowl you plan to mix the burgers in.
  2. In a small bowl separate the egg white from the rest of the egg and discard the yolk and shell.  Add the egg white to the bowl with the garlic.
  3. If you are not using pre-shredded cheddar, shred the cheese and place in the bowl with the garlic and eggs.

Cook:

  1. In the bowl with the garlic and egg white add the bread crumbs, cheddar (if not already added), salt and pepper.
  2. Add to the bowl the turkey meat.  Mix well until all of the ingredients are well incorporated.  This may mean using your hands. 
  3. Place a large pan (that has a well fitting lid) on medium heat and add the oil to warm it up.
  4. Form the meat into four even patties and add them to the hot pan.
  5. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes with the lid on, checking on them part way to make sure they aren’t sticking to the pan.  If they are sticking carefully loosen the bottoms with a spatula.
  6. Flip the burgers to allow them to brown on the other side and cook for another five minutes with the lid on until the burgers are cooked all the way through.  If you are unsure if they are done cut into one to make sure the center is not pink.
  7. Once the burgers are finished place on a bun, top as you like and enjoy!

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