Bananas are not my favourite fruit. I put it down to an ill-advised visit to a…(please don’t let my mum be reading this)… “show” in Amsterdam when I was, younger and more prone to
drunkenness peer pressure than I am now. It took many a year before I could even look at a banana (or anyone dressed in a Batman costume) without an inward cringe and a slight sense of shame.
But, even a banana-phobe like me could not resist trying out the recipe for Rhubarb and Banana Pie in Good Cooking For Everyone. Here is a sneak peek at how that turned out before we turn to some less appetising uses.
OMG that pie was good!!!
I’m conquering my fears in more ways than one this week – bananas and homemade pastry! If only Christian Bale would drop by we could go for the hat trick. Anyway, I had a little flick through Good Cooking for Everyone whilst I was waiting for my pastry to chill and there seemed to be a lot fewer recipes containing bananas than I remembered.
Here is what was listed:
However, my eagle eye soon discovered out the recipes Mary Meredith tried to hide. So, today, allow me to present the Banana File of Shame (and a really, really, good pie recipe)!
Mary Meredith seems to have had quite the predilection for bananas and bacon as they feature in three recipes. I had no idea this was a thing but Niki Sengit gives the combination a stamp of approval in her Flavour Thesaurus (one of my favourite food books) so I guess it must be. Like Mary, Niki also gives a recipe for Bacon Wrapped Bananas. However it is the cheese sauce in Mary Meredith’s recipe that moves it from what Niki calls “fun” to what I call “Ewww”!
Then there are Bacon, Kidney and Banana Kebabs. I have never cooked with, or even knowingly eaten, kidneys. And after reading the second sentence in this recipe which made me gag, it will probably stay that way! The faint of stomach may want to skip recipe.
There is also a sneaky use of bananas in the Sunrise Breakfast. I initially thought the things on the serving platter with the tomatoes were sausages. But who ever heard of people eating sausages for breakfast? Crumbed bananas make far more sense. If you’re insane.
Mind you, I’m obviously a bit slow because I made the same mistake with the Sunday Chicken which also features bananas cunningly disguised as sausages.
Another combination I would never have thought of but Niki assures me that breaded chicken with banana was served on the Titanic and features in F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s novel Tender is the Night! Mary Meredith also features chicken and bananas in her recipe for Stuffed Boned Chicken.
I would have included the pages on how to bone a chicken. Unfortunately, the 13-year-old boy whose sense of humour I stole was snickering so hard at the phrase “boning a chicken” that I had to let it go.
Mary is also not afraid to take food from other climes and destroy them with the inappropriate inclusion of the banana.
A recipe called Flamenco Rice should invoke Spain. It should bring up images of a glamorous Spanish woman, holding the edge of her brightly coloured ruffled dress and twirling, or clicking her castanets to the tune of a classical guitar. Or, at the very least, Paella.
Fried eggs and fried bananas on a bed of rice served with tomato sauce is not flamenco. It’s not even the Macarena.
France also does not fair well. Bananas as an accompaniment to Fondue? No thanks.
Fabulous copper fondue pot though!
Finally, the hidden gem in the shape of a Rhubarb and Banana Pie. This was awesome!
I made a few small changes to the recipe as given. I wanted a really short, almost a shortbread, crust so I used the Almond Sweetcrust Pastry in Alan Campion and Michelle Curtis’ In The Kitchen instead of that suggested by Mary. If you are scared of large quantities of butter look away now.
I mastered the pastry only to discover my pie dish had disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle that hovers over my house. But, in the spirit of keep calm and carry on, I crossed my fingers and rolled the pastry into a soufflé dish.
I added 1 teaspoon of Orange Flower Water into the mix before I loaded it into the Pie Crust. I love the mix of rhubarb and orange!
The pie was fabulous, the flavours worked beautifully together and the pastry was light and crisp. I kept my rhubarb and my banana relatively chunky which made for an interesting mix – one mouthful would be heavily rhubarb in flavour, the next would be almost entirely banana. If you wanted less sharply defined flavours, you could cook the rhubarb to soften it, then mash be bananas in.
I may be biased but I think mine looks pretty good, despite the use of a soufflé dish!!!
They say the best way to get rid of your phobias it to face them. So, this week I’m going to be spending a lot of time looking at pictures of Christian Bale on the internet.
And no, it’s not pervy. It’s therapy!
Enjoy whatever catches your eye this week.