Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sautéed Honey Bananas

Faced with a number of bananas that appeared shortly before dinnertime (see previous post on the largesse of neighbors), I was inspired to make up come for dessert. I got to thinking back to my childhood and to fried or honey bananas, something a bit like this.

Dessert in restaurants was always special – our family might have eaten out often, but dessert was not a regular part of our dining experience. Once in a while, when I was truly lucky, we ate at a fancier-than-some Chinese restaurant and could order the banana dessert. I don’t remember its name, or really much more than that the bananas were fried, perhaps shocked in cold water, and coated in some very sticky honey. The insides were warm and gooey; the outsides were crisp and sweet. And my chocolate-preferring little self loved every fruity bite.

Without the energy to research this childhood treat, I threw some items together to make sautéed honey bananas:

Melt some butter in a non-stick frying pan, perhaps a tablespoon.
Let it melt (but I bet brown butter would be awesome).
Add a good amount of honey, a little cinnamon, and a smidge of nutmeg.
Let it all heat into a gooey sauce.
Add some halved and quartered bananas, heat them through for about 5 minutes and turn them to coat.
Serve warm in a bowl. Or over ice cream. Or under ice cream that’s been topped with homemade chocolate sauce…

Banana Nut Muffins

Long-awaited rainy day. Quiet with a kid off to a birthday party, and here I am avoiding most of the to-do list. Perhaps because of the bananas. A neighbor bought 40 (yes, 4-0, forty) pounds of bananas the other day for $2. We graciously accepted some of her frugal bounty.

Two days later, we've had banana-yogurt smoothies and sautéed honey bananas. And another pound still sat on the kitchen counter, begging to be useful. Well… there’s always the peel, freeze, and forget about them option.

Cool, wet weather and quiet afternoons tend to make me think about baking. For some reason, muffins have been on my mind. And then I thought, OK, muffins are quick and easy.

Presto! What I did with my weekend:

This recipe can be found in the Joy of Cooking as Banana-Nut Muffins. For giggles, I swapped out the AP flour for whole wheat pastry flour and the walnuts for toasted pecans. And since 3 people cannot (should not?) eat a dozen muffins within 24 hours, I used vegetable oil and baked in muffin liners to keep them a moist for at least a day or two. Leftovers will be frozen and, hopefully, not forgotten.