Posts Tagged ‘bananas’

Chutney Is A Tasty Sauce; You Can Have It With Your Poppadums Or With Your Main Course

Kitchen Sink Chutney

It occurred to me the other day that despite the fact that I’ve spent several years perfecting my doubles technique, I’ve never really given much thought to the condiment that fits so naturally with a double; the chutney.

For a long time, chutney was just a saccharine sauce to compliment curries, top a roast or become a sticky compote on which to rest a chunk of cheese.  So, after my most recent dinner of double-y goodness, I began to consider the idea of crafting my own chutney.  Not being a huge fan of mangoes though, I knew it would not be a chutney in the traditional sense, but rather a more interpretive version.

After much thought, what I came up with was a melding of the exotic and the everyday, combining the traditional mangoes with some spring rhubarb, a spare banana and several hibiscus flowers in syrup.

It might be light years away from what any self respecting Indian would consider chutney, but I think it suits my purposes perfectly.

Foodie’s Kitchen Sink Chutney

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The King, In Cake Form

King Cakes

Several months ago, the Everyman and I took a shine to a British cooking show called Come Dine With Me.

Come Dine With Me’s premise is to get 4-5 strangers together and let each of them host a dinner party over the course of a week to compete for a $1000 prize.  The guests at each dinner party secretly vote on how each other has done once the parties are over, and whomever’s party has the highest score at the end of the week is the winner.  As you can imagine, hilarity often ensues.

One of the segments of the show that occurs with some regularity is the wandering around the house bit.  While the host is busy assembling appetizers, the guests are typically left to roam free around their house, being nosy and poking into private things.  It was during one such segment that the Everyman and I saw a guest pull an Elvis cookbook off one of the host’s shelves.  I’m not sure what it was about the book that captivated him so much, but the Everyman was absolutely enthralled by it.  At that moment I secretly took it upon myself to try and find him a copy.

After a few weeks, I managed to surreptitiously find Fit For A King in England (it’s long since been out of print) and presented it to him on a recent weekend.  Little did I know at the time of purchase that he had no intention of actually cooking from the book, but rather thought it was an interesting coffee table curiosity.  Generally speaking, I didn’t intend to cook anything from it either, being that Elvis wasn’t exactly known for his healthful lifestyle.  Then, one day when the Everyman was paging through the book reading me tidbits of various recipes, he came across one for peanut butter buttermilk bread.  I was immediately intrigued by the idea, and filed it away in the back of my mind for later.

This past weekend I decided to revisit the idea, but instead of baking it as a bread I opted to make a dozen mini cakes.

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Mrs. Foodie, You Make Good Cookies

Baked

More than just about anything else, I love cookies.

I like big ones, small ones, chewy ones, crispy ones, and my own patented brand of cookie, the “fookie“.  For those of you not in the know, a fookie is a fuckin’ big cookie, usually chocolate chip, that is made by taking a batch’s worth of cookie dough and forming it into one gigantic, deep dish pizza-sized cookie.  Yum!

Since the Everyman and I were planning on visiting his very awesome grandmother, it seemed only fitting that I should make a batch of baked goods to take along.  I knew she was a fan of my oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, but I felt like doing something a tiny bit different this time.  After all, I like people to know I am more than just a one trick pony.

Since it’s been quite humid in Toronto this week, the bananas have been ripening faster than normal, so I had half a bunch on my hands that needed to be dispatched with, ASAP.  Combining the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with bananas seemed like the perfect way to kill two birds with one stone, and sounded like they would produce an awesome hybrid of cookie/bread, while also allowing me to reduce the fat content.

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Breakfast Innovations

Figgy Pudding

One of my favourite breakfast noshes is a slice of my father’s homemade banana bread.  The taste memories associated with this wonderful baked good take me back to my childhood, and messily helping him to prepare a batch or slurping the remnants of batter.

Unfortunately, my dear old dad lives halfway across the country now, and has for years, so I don’t often get to taste his personal version anymore.  Instead, I use his banana and butter-stained recipe with a few extra tweaks of my own.  It must be pretty decent too, because I’ve seen the Everyman turn down offers of banana bread solely on the assumption that it won’t measure up to mine (how sweet!)

Yet sometimes the tastebuds get tired, possibly even a little bit bored.  As I sat at my desk and munched a slice of loaf yesterday, I started to ponder interesting flavor combinations and devise experimental opportunities.  Then, out of nowhere it hit me like a ton of bricks; figs.  Why had it never occurred to me before?  Bananas are smooth and sweet and creamy and coincidentally, so are figs.  I saw the potential immediately, so I googled fig bread to see if anyone else had thought of it before, and came across a handful of iterations.  Bolstered by my discovery, I resolved to make a loaf that night (and I did, prior to my run in with the mandolin).
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