Culinary Usage: Hot Bananas
Bananas are tropical fruits that are easily obtainable in most parts of the world, packed with flavor, loaded with nutritional value and quite versatile in terms of culinary usage. They are often eaten raw but they can be used to make delicious and nutritious hot desserts.
One of the easiest hot desserts to make is fried bananas. You can mix your own batter or just use a packaged pancake mix and use as directed. Coat slices of banana with batter and fry in hot oil until golden brown. While the bananas are still hot, sprinkle them with ground cinnamon and sugar, then serve.
Baked bananas are equally as easy to make. Peel and cut bananas in half, lengthwise. Place them in an oven-proof container and cover with a mixture of butter, brown sugar, ground cloves and orange juice. Then sprinkle the whole with shredded coconut. Bake until bubbly and heated through.
Banana fritters are a cross between fried bananas and baked bananas. They are cooked like fried bananas, only they are mashed and not sliced, and the coating has a few more ingredients than a simple pancake batter. Smash some bananas in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add this to the smashed bananas. Drop the banana batter by spoonfuls into hot oil and fry until they are browned. Drain and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
A more elegant, but still simple dessert is called Banana Flambeau. Sliced bananas are first coated with lemon juice and then sautéed in a bubbly mixture of butter, brown sugar and ground cinnamon. Once the bananas are cooked, they are soaked with rum. Flambeau means “flamed” or “burnt” as the rum is ignited and burned until the alcohol has burned off leaving a rum flavor on the cooked bananas. The result is spooned hot over ice cream and served.
Bananas Foster is a dessert somewhat similar to Banana Flambeau as both use rum in the recipe. But for this dish, the rum is mixed with butter, brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon and cooked until bubbly. Sliced bananas and chopped walnuts are then added and cooked for a couple of minutes until the bananas are hot, then poured over ice cream and served.