Monday, July 20, 2009

White Trash Cookery - The Elvis

My wife and I splurged and went to Hungarian Night at Grinder's this evening. Every Monday evening, Hungarian chef George Detsios cooks up an enormous pot of either beef goulash or paprika chicken, served with a succotash-like mixture of corn and red beans along with a rice-pasta pilaf. Bread is included, and you get all this for $8.99 - a real bargain.

You can eat either on the east or west side. Being aulde pharts, we prefer the quieter west side, but you can order from either menu on either side, so pick your poison.

Anyway, we were frugal and didn't spring for dessert, although we left our server a nice fat tip since we made her run next door in the rain for our chicken dinners. When we got home, spotting three rapidly ripening bananas in the kitchen gave me an idea that turned into one of the best desserts I've ever tasted. I thought I'd share it in celebration of the new blog.

One caveat: I recommend making this with the exact same ingredients I used. I can't guarantee it will taste as outrageously yummy if you substitute anything, but feel free to experiment and play with ingredients as long as you don't blame me for the outcome. If you make it like I did, you'll love it.

The Elvis, the King of Desserts

Serves 2 to 4 people or one real pig

5 minute prep time; 5 minute cooking time = total time 10 minutes

2 slices Oroweat Country Buttermilk white bread. (this bread is slightly sweet and has a cake-like texture crucial to the taste of the finished product - I don't recommend subbing anything else) Trim the crusts if desired to make it look prettier.

3 generous tablespoons of Skippy Honey Roast peanut butter. (you can sub other brands or styles, but it won't be as good)

1 well-ripened large banana, sliced longways into three flat slices.

~2 tablespoons butter (not margarine and particularly not that gawdawful I Can't Believe It's Edible or whatever they're calling it these days)

1 medium-size scoop of Breyer's French Vanilla ice cream for each serving. Something like Haagen-Dazs would probably work, too. Don't use that crappy supermarket-brand stuff.

Powdered sugar for garnish, if desired.

Assemble the sandwich - you did figure out this is a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich topped with ice cream, right? - by generously buttering one side of each slice of bread, then placing one slice buttered-side down in a skillet or griddle. Layer the bananas as evenly as possible across the bread, then spread the peanut butter across the top of the bananas. Top with the second slice of bread, buttered-side up. (the peanut butter should help hold everything together)

Cook (covered, if possible) over medium-high heat until each side is nicely browned - raise one edge of the sandwich to check for doneness before you (gently) turn it. You only want to turn it once, or you're liable to wind up with melted peanut butter all over the place.

Transfer to a cutting board, cut into 2-4 pieces (or just dump the whole thing in your trough, Porky) and place each piece on a dessert plate. Dust lightly with powdered sugar if desired, then top with ice cream. Best when sandwich is still hot, right off the grill, and ice cream is fairly cold - otherwise it melts too fast.

It's the combination of flavors, temperatures and textures that make it so good: the crispness and richness of the buttered toast, oozing hot and sweet melted peanut butter, the soft and gooey banana, the cold ice cream. It all comes together in a veritable symphony of deliciousness I couldn't believe when I first tasted it. Try one - do it for the King.

Sorry, no picture. We gobbled it down too fast for me to get one. I'll update with a pic next time I make it, since I can guarantee I'll be making it again. Just think of a grilled cheese sandwich with a scoop of ice cream on top and you'll have the gist of its appearance. And remember, appearances can be deceptive - it tastes much better than it looks.

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