Spicy Pecan Banana Bread

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Yesterday, I shared some sriracha-maple pecans on my Instagram feed. The pecans are coated in a mixture of maple syrup and sriracha, making for a sweet-savory combination that is seriously addictive.

Seriously. I cannot stop eating them.

The pecans are delicious enough on their own, as a snack, but I had to put ‘em in some banana bread. This spicy situation began this weekend when we went to Salt & Straw for a waffle cone with Sean’s brother and girlfriend, who are visiting this week. This month at Salt and Straw they have a spicy banana walnut ice cream…gah! it’s so good! It’s so good that Sean and I both got a scoop. Which is major since we almost never order the same things–so we can share, obvs. As we were enjoying our treats, I immediately told Sean I wanted to make a bread version using pecans.  Thus, this banana bread.

Plenty of chopped pecans get folded into the banana batter–that also contains a bit of sriracha for a little background hint of savory-spice. The sriracha isn’t super pronounced here, it just brings a bit of salty-heat that plays so nicely with the sweetness of the bananas in the bread and the maple syrup on the pecans. Then, more of those spiced pecans stud the top of the bread so you get a bit of sweet-crunchy-spice in every bite.

[recipe]

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Spicy Pecan Banana Bread

Adapted from this recipe.

For the pecans:

2 cups whole, raw pecans

1 tablespoon sriracha

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

For the bread:

4 very ripe bananas

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 cup sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon sriracha

1/4 cup milk

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan with coconut oil spray or other cooking spray. Line the sprayed loaf pan with parchment, leaving an overhang on two sides, secure the overhang with binder clips. Set both pans aside.

In a bowl toss the pecans with the sriracha, maple, and cinnamon until evenly coated. Spread onto the prepared baking sheet and bake in the oven for 13-15 minutes. Remove the pecans from the oven and toss with the 2 teaspoons of sugar to coat, cool slighty. Chop 1 cup of the pecans coarsely and set aside while you make the batter.

In a bowl mash the bananas well and mix with the cooled butter, sugar, beaten egg, vanilla, sriracha, and milk until well combined. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. Fold in the chopped pecans. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and arrange as many whole pecans (from the remaining 1 cup of pecans) on top of the batter as you’d like. Bake in the center of the preheated oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. If the pecans begin to get too dark part of the way through, tent the bread with foil and continue to bake until done. Cool on a rack before slicing and serving. [/recipe]

Apple-Honey Quesadilla and a Giveaway!

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Hi, frens! Let’s do lunch, okay?

I love, love, love going out for lunch…probably more than any other meal. It’s social and a nice break from the grind of the day-to-day. I mean, what’s better than a long lunch with a friend and some good conversation? Well, maybe lunch with drinks…

My love of lunching out can only be eclipsed by my apathy for making lunch at home. When I was a kid, my mom always made my lunch and packed it up real cute in my My Little Pony lunch box with thermos. As an adult, I really struggle with coming up with easy, quick, and wholesome lunches. Often I find myself snacking on popcorn or hungrily devouring a stick of string cheese…or, skipping lunch all together. That’s why when Catherine of Weelicious asked me to review her book Weelicious Lunches, I was all over it.*

This books is FULL of super easy, healthy lunches that appeal to the palates of children and adults alike! With over 160 lunch ideas, there’s something for everyone. I chose to share this Apple-Honey Cheese Quesadilla with you because I love a melty, cheesy, quesadilla any day and the addition of honey and cheese intrigued me. I love apples with cheddar, so the leap to a quesadilla wasn’t that far of a stretch. The sweet honey in combination with the rich melted cheese, tart-crisp apple, and crunchy tortilla is a total win. I added a few dashed of hot sauce to the honey to turn it into a sweet-spicy drizzle and it paired wonderfully with the cheese and apples.

To enter the giveaway use the form below and leave me a comment telling me what your favorite, easy, go-to lunch is! Giveaway closes Wednesday 10/2 at midnight.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

[recipe]

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Apple Honey Cheese Quesadilla

From Weelicious Lunches by Catherine McCord

Aside from adding a few dashes of tabasco to the honey, I followed Catherine’s recipe pretty closely. 

1 Granny Smith Apple, sliced thin

4 whole wheat tortillas

1 1/3 cup grated cheese (I used sharp cheddar)

1 tablespoon honey, plus as many dashes of hot sauce as you like

Place half of the apples and half of the cheese on a tortilla. Drizzle with honey. Top with another tortilla and slide the quesadilla into a saute pan. Cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes each side. Cut into wedges and repeat with remaining ingredients. Serve warm with leftover spicy honey. [/recipe]

*I was provided with a copy of Weelicious Lunches free of charge to review. I was not compensated for this post and as always, all opinions are my own.

Chicken and Waffle Melts

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So…yeah…that’s a chicken and waffle with melted cheese all up on it. I made these rosemary-laced waffles with a decidedly savory slant for a project I was working on for Bisquick that didn’t end up getting used…and I couldn’t hold out on you and just let it whither away on my desktop. I had to share it! I mean, it’s crispy chicken and rosemary waffles meets cheesy melt, with a little sweet and spicy condiment, and it’s real good.

I’m a firm believer that most things are better with cheese. It’s just science, ya know? The waffles can be made with whatever your favorite, basic waffle recipe is with the addition of a heap of rosemary. It makes for a savory, herbal waffle that pairs perfectly with the super-crispy, Panko-crusted chicken. There’s a maple drizzle that’s spiced up with tangy Tabasco…it’s pretty amazing as a dipper for chicken fingers and makes total sense with this savory waffle concoction. The chives bring a little savory bite and the cheese does it’s magical, melty cheese thing. This crazy dish was intended to bring together breakfast and dinner to make everyones favorite meal: brinner! I think it works for a savory + sweet + cheesy + spicy breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner or brinner…it’s a versatile one.

[recipe]

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Chicken and Waffle Melts

Since these waffles were intended for a project using Bisquick, they are made with the mix. I have not included a recipe for the waffles here, but you should use whatever waffle recipe is your stand-by and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of chopped, fresh rosemary.  

4-6 rosemary waffles

1/2 lb. chicken breast cut into chunks

1 tablespoon flour

1 egg

1/4 cup milk

5 dashes of hot sauce, like tabasco

3/4 cup panko bread crumbs

1/4 cup flour

salt and pepper

canola oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

as many dashes of hot sauce (tabasco) as you like

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

3 tablespoons chopped chives

Mix the chicken with the 1 tablespoon of flour to coat. Place the egg, milk, and hot sauce in a shallow, wide dish and whisk to combine. Place the panko, 1/4 cup flour, a big pinch of salt and pepper in another shallow, wide dish and mix to combine. Dip the flour coated chicken pieces in egg mixture, and dredge through the panko mixture to coat. Set on a plate and allow to rest for about 10 minutes so the breading adheres well to the chicken. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat with about 1 inch of canola oil. Once the oil is hot, shallow fry the chicken in batches until cooked through and golden on all sides. Drain on a paper towel lined plate.

Preheat your oven’s broiler.

In a small bowl whisk together the maple and hot sauce. Place waffles on a baking sheet and layer with chicken pieces, and a generous amount of cheese. Place under the broiler and cook until cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from over, place on plates and sprinkle with chopped chives. Drizzle with the spicy maple and eat! [/recipe]