Sunday, November 29, 2009

Recipe #15: Banana Egg Rolls

I know the title of this sounds weird. When you think of "egg rolls," you generally think of the type you'd get at a Chinese restaurant -- filled with cabbage, carrots and either pork, chicken or shrimp. Why mix that with bananas? Have no fear -- no weird mixing here.

When I lived in California, someone I worked with used to bring something similar to this in to share (generally with me, because I would eat... a bunch). She called them "banana fritters," but when I picture fritters I think of the apple or clam variations -- tiny balls of fried dough. These aren't those. I never knew what was in her recipe for her "banana fritters," except banana, but I never forgot them.

So I came up with this dessert dish. Not to toot my own horn, but my husband, who hates bananas, LOVED this recipe. This makes seven egg rolls and while that might not sound like much, they are so sugary and rich that it will take only one to fill you up. Enjoy!

Banana Egg Rolls

3 bananas
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons salted butter
7 egg roll wrappers*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts*
pinch of salt
vegetable oil (for frying)
whipped cream (for garnish)
raspberries (for garnish)*

food processor
non-stick skillet
pan with 2-3 inch sides (for frying)
pie plate or any flat pan/plate

Combine sugar, brown sugar and salt in pie plate, use fork to stir together and break up brown sugar. Cut bananas in half or in thirds length- and width-wise. Roll each banana gently in the sugar mixture, to coat both sides.

Heat butter in skillet. When melted, place sugar-coated bananas in pan. Cook on medium-high heat until sugar has melted. Turn bananas over, allow other side to cook for 3 minutes or until the bananas have turned golden and the sugar has all caramelized.

Remove from heat and place bananas (and any liquid/caramel from the skillet) in a food processor. Add cinnamon and vanilla, puree. Once pureed, stir in chopped walnuts.

Heat vegetable oil in larger pain, allow to heat until oil is rippling, or responds to a drop of water hitting the surface.

To fold egg rolls... place wrapper diagonally so corners are pointing up, down, left and right. Place about two tablespoons of the banana mixture in the center of the wrapper. Fold the bottom up over the mixture. Fold the sides in (I wet the points so they'll stick), and then roll towards the top point. Moisten point, stick to body of the egg roll.

When finished folding, place egg rolls into oil. Fry about 3 minutes on one side (or until golden brown), turn over.

When both sides are golden brown, remove from oil, drain on a paper towel.

Serve warm, garnished with whipped cream and raspberries.

-Egg Roll wrappers: I only ever use Nasoya brand wrappers. They are readily available at pretty much any grocery store, and they are consistently a good quality.

-Walnuts: If you prefer, you can also use pecans or almonds in place of the walnuts. I happened to have those on hand, but it could easily be substituted, and delicious.

-Raspberries for garnish: You could serve this garnished with banana slices, but I prefer the raspberries. The reason is that these egg rolls are so incredibly sweet, I think the raspberries add a little bit of tartness to the dish, and balances it out better. For the same reason, I use whipped cream instead of drizzling chocolate or caramel over them. You could definitely do that, but I just think the whipped cream -- aside from being great to "dip" the egg rolls in -- gives something that would be heavy because it was fried, a light airiness.

A special note on egg roll wrapping... Mine were not perfect, but that's okay. You're frying these, so as long as the end of the wrapper sticks to the rest of it, you'll be okay. It's similar to wrapping a burrito, but as if you were using a pointy tortilla instead of a round one. Make sense? For a better explanation than mine on how to properly roll an egg roll, check out the back of a Nasoya wrappers package. They have a visual on how to do it, and it really helps.



Karine said...

Original recipe! It looks delicious :)

AudreyO said...

I've had these and they are delicious. I've never made them though. Yum!!!

SoCal_Suz said...

I had this not too long ago at a Thai restaurant- drizzled with chocolate and a nice dusting of powdered sugar. It was absolutely amazing! I'm very tempted to try your recipe :)Mmmmm!

Michelle said...

This sound so yummy!