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Goin' Bananas: Banana Nirvana with Coconut-Mango Cream

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The Islands, they are a world within themselves. Walking the beaches and looking out at the vast blueness, one forgets their troubles and worries. Laying under the swaying palms and feeling the warm ocean breezes, one comes to the full realization why this is called paradise. Then a coconut hits you on the head, you realize your credit cards are maxed-out and reality gives you that all-to-familiar bitch-slap!

I created this recipe when I was island-hopping the Caribbean, being fired from one job after the other. I blame Captain Morgan for my Caribbean demise. I also blame Jimmy Buffett because without Jimmy Buffett there wouldn't have been Captain Morgan and without Captain Morgan, there wouldn't have been Jimmy Buffett. Yes, it was a vicious circle of rum, waves and tropical transgressions!

So I was working at this dank little beach eatery when the Chef threw some bananas at me and said "make something." It was a rare sober moment and I created Banana Nirvana. The only difference between the original and this dish, is that when I decided it was time to grow-up and open my own place in San Francisco, I added cherries to this dish right before its presentation.

The real key to this dish is not cooking the bananas! You just want to heat them through so they keep that wonderful banana texture and not that phlegm texture most cooked banana dishes have which is nothing short of disgusting!

Ingredients needed to make Banana Nirvana with Coconut Mango Cream:

  • 2 bananas, peeled and halved
  • 1 mango, peeled, pitted and pureed
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2 Tbs. honey
  • 1/2 cup cherries, pitted and quartered
  • grated lime zest

Steps:

  1. Squeeze some lime juice over the bananas to keep them from browning (oxidizing).
  2. Into a medium saute pan or skillet, heat the coconut milk, nutmeg and honey over medium heat just to the point where it begins to simmer.
  3. Add the bananas and remove the pan from the heat. Let the bananas heat through 5 minutes.
  4. Spoon some of the coconut/mango cream onto serving plate. Place 2 pieces of banana onto the plates and add some cherries.
  5. Just before serving grate some lime zest over the dish.

The new cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards, "Edwardian Cooking: The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook" is now available worldwide and features 80 dishes from the era of the most acclaimed television show in the history of PBS, Downton Abbey.

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