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Bananas unlikely source in recipes

I am, by nature, someone that adores having company. I’m talking lots of company.

My significant other, not quite so much. So, for the most part, we compromise and have lots of company. When I first start to plan the menus for the weekends, one of the first things I have to determine is whether or not said company falls into or out of the banana category.

So, what, you ask is the banana category? Well, the banana category is if the guests I have to feed like to snack on fruit and if that fruit is likely to be bananas. Inclusion in said category determines the amount of bananas to be purchased and approximately how much time it will take for any leftover bananas (and trust me, there’s always leftovers) to get mushy after the company leaves.

There truly is a reason for this banana madness. Bananas are actually one of the few foods for which I don’t have a lot of recipes. Not because I don’t like them, but rather, because both my children and husband are highly allergic to them in the raw state. I eat them with pleasure when we have company and cook them for the family after the company leaves.

I have always tried to make really different and exciting recipes because I never know when the next banana company will arrive. The following recipes are all delicious and have come to me from a variety of sources.

Banana Fritters

I love this recipe, tore it out of one of my mom’s magazines years ago.

5 to 6 firm bananas

1 cup light rum

1 large egg, beaten

4 cups cornflake crumbs

2 cups oil for frying

Peel bananas and cut crosswise into 1 1/2 -inch pieces. In a bowl, cover bananas with rum. Marinate for 30 minutes.

Heat the oil in a deep sauce pan. Remove bananas from rum and dip them in the beaten egg and then roll them in the corn flake crumbs. Place the coated bananas on wax paper. You will need to cook them in two to three batches as you don’t want to crowd the pan. With a slotted spoon, gently put some of the coated bananas into oil and fry, turning them occasionally, until golden brown, about 2 minutes.

Drain the cooked fritters on paper towels and repeat until all the bananas are cooked. They can be served as is, warm with chocolate sauce drizzled over them or with ice cream and berries. Serves 5 to 6.

Banana Split Bread

1 can (8 ounces) unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained, liquid saved

1 package (14 ounces) banana quick bread mix

2 eggs

1 banana (very ripe)

2 tablespoons oil

1/3 cup Maraschino cherries, chopped

1/3 to 1/2 cup semi-sweet miniature chocolate chips

1/3 cup pecans, chopped

Glaze:

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons semi-sweet miniature chocolate chips, melted

4 teaspoons milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour bottom only of a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Add water to reserved pineapple liquid to make 3/4 cup. In a large bowl, combine all bread ingredients. Stir 50 to 75 times with wooden spoon until mix is moistened (don’t over mix).

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 55 to 65 minutes or until toothpick placed in the center comes out clean. Cool in a pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan to cool for 45 minutes or until completely cooled.

For glaze: In a small bowl, combine glaze ingredients. Stir until well blended. Pour over loaf. For gift giving you can use 3-by-5-inch pans and bake 35 to 40 minutes. Store in refrigerator to slice when chilled. Serves 6 to 8.

Deluxe Banana Pancakes

1 3/4 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/4 cups milk

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 ripe bananas, sliced

3 tablespoons chopped pecans

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar and set it aside. In another bowl combine the eggs, milk and melted butter and whisk to combine.

With a wooden spoon add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just to combine, then add the bananas and nuts. Stir gently to combine. Do not over mix.

Heat your griddle or fry pan. You’ll know it’s hot enough when you sprinkle a few drops of water over the surface and they bubble and evaporate. Use a pastry brush and brush a little oil or melted butter on the griddle. Using a 1/2 cup measuring cup, gently pour a scant 1/2 cup of batter into the pan. Spread the batter slightly to even out the circle it forms. When bubbles appear all over the pancake, it’s time to flip it over. Once it’s flipped, it should only need a minute or more to finish cooking. Makes 6 large pancakes.

– Modified from Gourmet, 1998 – From Southerncooking.com – Modified from Foodnation.com Slice of Life is a food column that offers recipes, cooking advice and information on new food products. It appears Sundays. If you have a question about cooking or a food item, contact Eileen Goltz at eztlog@gmail.com or write The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802.

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