One of the things I felt obligated to do (and wanted to do) when my parents were out to visit was take them to a few of the popular tourist attractions. I've already told you about our excursions to Pike Place Market, the Dahlia Lounge (though I certainly wouldn't define it as "touristy"), and the Space Needle, but we also took half-day trips to Snohomish for antiquing, and to Snoqualmie Falls to see, well, the falls. I'm not really an outdoorsy person. Camping and hiking don't interest me much because, though I certainly appreciate the opportunity to admire nature's grandeur, I don't feel the need to hang out in it for extended periods of time. Snoqualmie Falls, however, welcomes impatient visitors like me. When you arrive, you can park your car and then walk just 50 yards to a large covered deck that overlooks the waterfall. If you're feeling particularly motivated, you can also hike one-half mile down to the base of the falls. If not, you can go back to the car (stopping at the gift shop on your way) or walk just another 50 yards to the lovely Salish Lodge and Spa for one of their famous country breakfasts. This, friends, is my kind of outdoorsy experience.
I've got to be honest, I really thought I'd be better at making pancakes. After all, people who don't cook manage to make pancakes from a box all the time. I DO cook, so even homemade pancakes should be a breeze for me, right? Apparently not -- I churned out some pretty ugly pancakes. The ones you see above are the very best of bunch, and even they are misshapen and have wrinkled edges or the occasional slightly burnt section (all made less noticeable with careful stacking for the picture). The recipe, thankfully, needs far less work than my pancake flipping skills. The banana flavor was a little underwhelming, but the flavor of the macadamia nuts really came through and was, I think, spot-on. My favorite part, however, was the orange butter. It took all of two seconds to stir together, but it really made the pancakes noteworthy. Even if you aren't inclined to try the pancakes, at least make the orange butter and use it on toast! (Meanwhile, I will look for another opportunity to improve my flapjack flipping....)
Oh, and I should also note that these pancakes were made possible by my new friend, Tommy, who recently went to Hawaii and was thoughtful enough to bring me back some macadamia nuts. Thanks!
[This recipe was submitted for the second edition of Recipe Remix.]
Banana Macadamia Pancakes with Orange Butter
A recipe from Gourmet - December 2002
Makes 15 4-inch pancakes
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 1 tablespoon for cooking
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ripe large banana, mashed
1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) salted, roasted macadamia nuts, chopped
Pure maple syrup for serving
To make the orange butter:
Stir together butter, zest, juice, and salt until thoroughly combined.
To make the pancakes:
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together buttermilk, melted butter, eggs, vanilla, and banana until well combined. Add flour mixture and whisk until just combined. Fold the nuts into the batter (it will be very thick).
Brush a 12-inch nonstick skillet with some of remaining tablespoon melted butter and heat over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Working in batches of 3, pour 1/4 cup batter per pancake into hot skillet and cook until bubbles appear on the surface and the undersides are golden brown, 1-2 minutes. Flip pancakes with a spatula and cook until golden brown and cooked through, 1-2 minutes more. Transfer to a large plate and loosely cover with foil to keep warm. Repeat with remaining batter, brushing skillet with melted butter between each batch. Serve with orange butter and pure maple syrup.