14 May 2012

Tris di Banana


Show me a tris di dessert (trio of desserts) in a restaurant menu, and I will never say no to it.  I love having different kinds of small desserts in one plate.  Dessert is the most pleasurable part of a meal and a tris is synonymous to laying back and being indulged with a succession of sweet little dishes. A little taste of everything is better than having a lot of a single thing. 


It's Mother's Day and I wanted to revel in sweet treats.  I had my eyes set on my basket of Asian fresh produce in the kitchen.   Inside that gold mine were some yellow plaintain bananas that were ready to be cooked.  I missed the banana desserts (or afternoon snacks) I had been eating in the Philippines and wistfully thought of having them again.  After speaking with my aunt for a long time the other day, speaking about food and how to cook some local dishes, my yearning for the Philippine cuisine multiplied. 

These banana desserts all use cooking bananas.  I used the kind that is available here which is the plaintain.  The kind used in the Philippines for cooking is saba or cardaba, which is much sweeter and tastier.   If you have access to it, please use it and think that there's someone out here in Rome who is envious of you. 


Let's start with the sweetened bananas in syrup (or minatamis na saging in Filipino).  They are sliced bananas cooked in water, brown sugar and vanilla.   They are usually dressed with the syrup they are cooked in.  I like having them with a lot of ice especially on hot days.  It's a very refreshing dessert or afternoon snack.

The second one is the boiled bananas with butter and lime zest (or nilagang saging in Filipino).  They are simply boiled with the skin on and when peeled, accompanied with butter on top that melts with the heat of the bananas.   I wedged some lime zest in between the banana slices while they were still hot to give a delicate lime flavor and fragrance.  Boiled bananas are represented in a multitude of ways.  Growing up in my parents' house, we used butter or no condiments at all.  In my house, I introduced lime in addition to the butter.  Some families roll them on sugar, or honey or whatever their imagination takes them. 


The third one is the fried caramelized bananas with cinnamon (or banana cue in Filipino).  The bananas, whether sliced diagonally or left whole, are fried and rolled on hot caramel melting in hot oil then skewered in wooden sticks.  This is the most popular way of eating the bananas and the most delicious among the three.  Sprinkling cinnamon was my option. 


These banana desserts are all popular street food in the Philippines.  They can be found everywhere and eaten anywhere.   It is one way of enjoying the country's kitchen.  If a street vendor passes with a container of warm banana cues, I know I won't be able to resist going for a stick. 

So here are samples of how the Philippines interprets the cooking bananas.  I wanted this tris to be an eyeopener for my husband and kids and for you too.

Have a good week ahead and Happy Mother's Day to all the tired but happy mothers out there.

I update my Facebook page frequently.  If you are interested in receiving updates or would just like to show support to my site, please click on this link.  Thanks again!



Tris di Banana

Ingredients:
Makes 2 serving plates
  • 3 plaintain bananas or 6 saba or cardaba bananas (Plaintain bananas are usually bigger than saba bananas.  So I am gauging 1/2 plaintain per person per recipe or 1 saba per person per recipe)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar + more for coating
  • zest of 1 lime
  • peanut oil or similar for frying
  • cinnamon powder
  • 2 knobs of butter
  • vanilla extract
Directions:

Fried Caramelized Bananas with Cinnamon
  1. Peel 1 plaintain banana (or 2 saba bananas).  Cut away about 2 cm. of both ends and spots where there are discolorations.  
  2. Slice diagonal pieces.  
  3. Coat with brown sugar & cinnamon powder. 
  4. Deep fry in hot oil until golden brown.
  5. If you want the caramel to coat the bananas well, warm up some oil in a saucepan then add about 1/4 cup of brown sugar.  When the sugar melts and the oil is hot, roll the bananas on the caramel until they are all well coated.  Pierce them with wooden skewers or serve them on a plate. 

Sweetened Bananas in Syrup
  1. Peel 1 plaintain banana (or 2 saba bananas).  Cut away about 2 cm. of both ends and spots where there are discolorations.
  2. Make round slices.
  3. Boil in 1 cup water and 1/2 cup brown sugar.
  4. When it boils, add a few drops of vanilla essence and the bananas.
  5. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the bananas are tender.
  6. Serve in a bowl or glass filled with ice.
Boiled Bananas with Butter & Lime Zest
  1. Boil a pot of water that's wide or tall enough to accommodate the bananas.
  2. When the water is boiling, put the unpeeled banana in the water.   Cook for about 10 minutes.
  3. Take away from the water and peel.  Cut away about 2 cm. from both ends.   Make round slices.
  4. Peel lime.  Cut them to uniform sizes.  Wedge one rind in between banana slices.  
  5. Place a knob of butter on top of warm banana.  Serve.



32 comments:

  1. Happy Mother's Day! I love a trio of desserts - it's fun to sample a few different things. The fried caramelized bananas remind me of a dessert I had in China - fried bananas served with sweetened condensed milk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think we will both enjoy eating desserts together. :-) Having a trio (or more even) of desserts is not only beautiful but also a better way to sample the food. There are so many interpretations of cooking banana desserts and I love all of them! The one you had in China should have been good.

      Delete
  2. Hope your Mother's Day was wonderful! Love this trio! The fried bananas look absolutely divine - need to make these very soon. Have a great day!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lisa. Thanks, I hope your Mother's Day was wonderful too.

      Delete
  3. Happy Mother's Day, again:))
    Wow, those are real eye opening kind of sweet treat! I love the idea, and that syrup sound sooo good! Stunning photos and beautiful presentation!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To receive greetings is always a pleasure Sandra. Thank you again!

      Delete
  4. Oh, surely would give it a try! really love your dessert recipe here, looks so yummy!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I hope you had a great Mother's Day! I also love a plate of small tastes of desserts. Yours all look fantastic! Thanks for sharing:)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hope you had a lovely Mother's Day! :) You had me on dessert and banana, and fried caramelized bananas with cinnamon sound heavenly! I love the idea of a plate full of different desserts... So beautiful arranged, and one can enjoy different flavours :) Have a great day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One way I enjoy food is to have them in little portions like this one. It's fun, isn't it? Hope you had a great day too!

      Delete
  7. I am a total banana fan and these are some great creative ways to eat them that I would not have thought of, thanks Rowena.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. New ways to try them. :-) Thanks Suzanne!

      Delete
  8. Opened my eyes! I wish that plate were in front of me now - I love small tastes and all three presentations look positively scrumptious.

    ReplyDelete
  9. yum, yum, yum! i just had deep fried bananas with honey in a Thai restaurant this weekend, and i started to wax poetic about our Filipino banana desserts! Love you images! So enticing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never tried bananas with honey. That's something to try next time. Thanks Jen!

      Delete
  10. I was over at Ira's site earlier and I have been craving for fried banana since then. I also eat fried bananas (with coconut ice cream) at Thai restaurant all the time, but never came across my mind to cooking it at home (Japanese don't have fried banana dessert). This is a must make for sure. You have generous 3 recipes here. Good thing bananas are pretty cheap. We can try all three recipes! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I saw Ira's fried banana fritters too and they look so delicious. There are so many Asian versions of banana desserts that I would like to try next time. Japan is too cold to grow bananas. :-)

      Delete
  11. You captured the sweet look of those banana cue. I love how you cut them into little pieces because to me, it works well on the composition. Great, great, great job!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Yum! What a great trio of desserts! They all sound amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I adore Plaintains and I love what you have done here; I can never pass up a trio of desserts either!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A trio of little portions really works like magic. :-)

      Delete
  14. Rowena, what a wonderful way to savor all the wonderful banana treats of the Philippines!!! I wish the Saba bananas were more frequently available here, though I am able to find them once in a while. Always a treat. I love this trio, it is gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lucky, you can find the saba there! I discovered the yellow plaintains that are much sweeter than the green ones. But saba is still saba. Thanks!

      Delete
  15. You're really speaking my language with these bananas. I've been craving banana desserts so much (as if you couldn't tell from my recent posts), the Filipino versions in particular. I haven't had bananas in syrup for eons and I also never knew how what it was called. Now I can make it myself thanks to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you enjoy your Filipino desserts Jean. Thanks!

      Delete
  16. What gorgeous photos and what a sweet, simple yet irresistable banana dessert! Thanks for sharing. Glad to have found your blob via @WokwithRay!

    ReplyDelete

I would love to read what you think!