Beer and bananas? In pancakes? You bet!
There's something great about the flavor of bananas mixed with beer. The rule of thumb is the riper the bananas, the hoppier you can go with the beer, if your a hops lover like me.
Alas, this time around, I was fresh out of extra ripe bananas and so, instead of the usual IPA which is loaded with hops, I went with a slightly less boisterous Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Then, to intensify the banana flavor, I cooked two of the three bananas on the stove top. If your bananas are ripe, and I mean ripe like with big black spots, then this step is unnecessary.
Recipe for Beer Batter Banana Pancakes
1 cup AP flour
3-5 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg beaten
3 bananas, extra ripe is preferable
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups beer
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Beat egg in a separate bowl and add butter, vanilla and slowly pour in one cup of beer. Stir 5-10 times. Slowly add more beer until you achieve a batter consistency. What this means is when you stir the batter, it sticks to the side of the bowl and then starts to peel down it after a few seconds. Depending on the moisture and consistency of the flour, the size of the egg and the carbonation in the beer, the amount of beer you need will vary but it's usually right about 1 1/4 to 1/1/2 cups. If you've cooked 2 of the bananas, add those first and stir 5-10 times, trying not to over-stir since that will toughen the batter. Lastly add the last banana and scoop your batter onto your preheated, oiled, griddle or frying pan (medium heat please)!
To speed-ripen bananas
The recipe calls for 3 bananas, I'll "speed ripen" 2 of them and leave one as-is for texture. Slice into quarters lengthwise, then slice in rounds. Add to saucepan with 1 tablespoon water on the bottom of the pan to prevent scorching. Add 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar if desired. Cook covered on medium heat for 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat when you smell a strong banana smell telling you it's ready! Let cool 10-15 minutes.
After that, you cook it on the other side for 1/2 minutes.
To plate: Add a bit more banana (why not) and some real maple syrup because real maple is freakin' awesome with the hops/banana flavor and you've got one killer breakfast! Want to go really nuts! Add nuts and how about a little ground dark chocolate while we're at it!
Until next time...