Libbie Summers’ BFF Breakfast
We started our Great Minds Eat Alike series in order to mix up the usual BGSK offerings with interviews and submissions by cooks and eaters whose mentality towards cooking and eating meshes with ours. Today we are incredibly excited to bring you a psychoanalysis of breakfast and a great morning recipe from Libbie Summers, who wrote a cookbook called The Whole Hog Cookbook: Chops, Loin, Shoulder, Bacon, and All That Good Stuff, which is about, well, the whole hog, and which the New York Times dubbed an “aggressively pretty” book. From grilling and frying to braising and pickling, Libbie has a special way with pork, taking comfortable dishes and updating them with a stylish twist and making you laugh with her musings along the way. Visit Libbie’s food-inspired living blog here and her professional portfolio here.
How can someone hate cooking breakfast? This early morning culinary angst is a recurring theme among my girlfriends. One colorful friend actually said, “Cook breakfast –I’d rather shop for tires!” (anyone who’s spent even a minute smelling a “new tire” aroma mixed with cheap cologne and dirty fingernails knows how powerful that statement is).
The thing is, breakfast is my favorite meal to cook – there’s just something about the scent trifecta – coffee, bacon, and oranges – that sends me into a dreamlike state each morning. But, how could all these women, whom I love better than sisters, have the same visceral disdain for a meal so happy as breakfast?
I was determined to find out, so I invited them all over for a proper breakfast. What they didn’t know was this was a proper psychoanalytical breakfast. As the girls were devouring their Pumpkin Pie Pancakes with Molasses Bacon Butter and Green Mango Fool, I slyly asked leading questions that I hoped would help me figure out what all the negative breakfast press was about. Over and over the answer was the same. Breakfast wasn’t the bad guy here. It was the boyfriends, husbands, girlfriends and kids (slowly eating said breakfast) that cut into my friends morning “me” time. “Me time”? Luckily, my own mother never felt this way: she continued to smile at me across the Formica breakfast table as I slowly ate my biscuits and gravy before school every day.
Oh, I should mention: Mother was an actress.
Pumpkin Pie Pancakes with Molasses Bacon Butter and Geen Mango Fool
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
pinch ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
3/4 cup pumpkin, mashed
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon organic vanilla
1/2 pound bacon, cooked crisp, drained and roughly chopped
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon molasses
Green Mango Fool:
2 Green Mangoes, cut from seed and diced
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream, cold
In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, ginger, salt, and baking powder. In a medium mixing bowl, add sugar, eggs, butter, pumpkin, milk and vanilla. Slowly pour wet mixture into dry and whisk until combined. Do not over mix. Heat a griddle or skillet to medium-hot and spray with a non-stick cooking spray. Pour pancake batter by the 1/4 cup and cook until the pancakes form bubbles and the edges look dry. Flip the pancakes and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes. Transfer to a serving platter to keep warm. Repeat with remaining batter until all pancakes are cooked. Serve warm with Molasses Bacon Butter and Green Mango Fool.
Molasses Bacon Butter:
In a small mixing bowl, stir together bacon, butter, and molasses just until combined.
Green Mango Fool:
In a medium saucepan, stir together mangoes, sugar and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil, and simmer until mixture thickens (approximately 20 minutes). Remove from heat and allow to cool.
In the bowl of a standing mixer with a whisk attachment, add heavy cream and beat until stiff peaks are achieved. Fold in cooled mango mixture.
Recipe courtesy of Libbie Summers from her cookbook, The Whole Hog Cookbook (Rizzoli)
Photography by Chia Chong; Headshot by Cedric Smith.