A few weeks back, I wrote an entry about my former roommate, Gerry, who is Ned's godmother and whom we sometimes visit when we are in Santa Barbara.
I mentioned in that entry that we found so many uses for bananas, that I put together a cookbook for her for Christmas when we lived together. I also said that I had lost my copy and that it would be fun to be able to look through it again and see what sorts of recipes I included.
Well...today when Walt picked up the mail, after having had it held at the Post Office while we were in Santa Barbara, there was a package from Gerry, and in it was a copy of the old Banana Cookbook! She had made a copy for me and said that she, too, looked at it with great fondness remembering our time together in our apartment.
I thought I'd share some of the more unusual recipes here, just to show you how versatile the banana really is.
Banana and Bacon Bits
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp honey
10 slices of bacon, cut in half
Peel bananas and cut in one inch cubes. Combine soy sauce and honey in a shallow baking dish. Marinate the banana chunks at least 30 minutes. Wrap each undrained chunk with bacon slice and fasten with a wooden pick. Brush with soy sauce. Arrange on a rack in a shallow pan. Broil 4" from heat 7-8 minutes until bacon is crisp.
Banana Meat Loaf
2-1/2 lb hamburger
2 cups bread crumbs
4 bananas, mashed
1/4 cup chopped onions
2 tsp prepared mustard
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Mix ingredients together. Shape into a loaf and top with strips of bacon. Bake at 350 for one hour. Ten minutes before the loaf is done, place thick slices of banana on top of the bacon.
Banana Spinach Fry
3 cups chick pea flour
3 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground thyme
1/2 tsp cayenne
2 tsp turmeric
Vegetable shortening for deep frying
2 half-ripe bananas, cut lengthwise (unpeeled) in 12 slices
2 medium onions thick cut in 12 slices
12 whole spinach leaves, washed and drained
Mix flour, salt, thyme, cayenne and turmeric in bowl. Add enough buttermilk to make a thick batter. Heat shortening in skillet. Dip banana pieces in batter to fully coat. Drop in hot shortening, brown three at a time, so they can rise. Turn once. Remove and drain. Deep fry onions dipped in batter until brown. Remove and drain. Thin out batter. Dip spinach leaves in batter, holding by the stem. Deep fry spinach leaves until crisp. Remove and drain. Arrange bananas, onions and spinach leaves on a platter in their own groups.
(I first had this dessert made by a neighbor, when I was still living with my parents)
Puree 6 bananas with 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup orange juice. Whip 1 pint of whipping cream until stiff. Fold into banana mixture and chill. Serve in sherbet glasses topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
Baked Banana Congo
Slit skins of 6 bananas with a sharp knife and remove the fruit without breaking the skins. Slice bananas crosswise in 1" slices without cutting all the way through the fruit. Marinate for 30 minutes in 1/2 cup each Madeira and brandy with 1/3 cup sugar. Return to bananas to skins and arrange in a baking dish. Open skins and pour melted butter, a little sugar, and 1 tsp marinade on each banana. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. Serve in skins, using remaining marinade as a sauce.
Now see? Did you know how many ways you could use bananas? This cookbook is 35 pages long. Think how long it would be if I had internet access back in 1964!!
I'm spending tomorrow night with the Pinata women, so the next journal entry will be posted late.