Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Special Breakfasts for Cold Mornings
I was recently watching an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives where they mentioned but did not prepare a breakfast of Bananas Foster French Toast. I've always had a fondness for Bananas Foster, the dessert, so this sounded pretty good to me. I didn't look up a recipe but just whipped up something that fit the description last weekend and it turned out deliciously.
Now I will offer a caveat on this recipe and that is that I rarely use bananas in anything anymore. If you've read anything about the banana industry you will feel the same - unless, of course, you have no conscience. Slave wages and terrible working conditions are just a part of the problem. The amount of fuel engaged in bringing these modern bananas from Central America to a grocery store near you is astronomical. There is also the fact that we've created a sterile banana (the Cavendish), and halted it's evolutionary growth allowing it to become less and less resistant to disease. Already it is being attacked by a soil fungus that makes the banana the most pesticide sprayed fruit on the market. Women working in the packing houses in Central American have double the average rate of leukemia and birth defects, while the men in fields suffer from sterility because of the pesticide. These problems may correct themselves if the modern banana goes extinct which is a very real possibility.
Okay, so now we can talk about this recipe. I found small, green, organic, and Mexican bananas at Trader Joes thus allowing myself to feel better about the whole banana thing. I tried to keep the calories down by reducing the amount of butter, etc. The recipe is for a breakfast for two.
BANANAS FOSTER FRENCH TOAST
6 slices stale french bread or very crusty firm bread
1/2 cup 2% milk
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 bananas, peeled and sliced
2 T butter, plus a T for cooking french toast
1 T brown sugar
1/2 cup real maple syrup
2 tsps lemon juice (or to taste)
2 T rum (if desired)
Preheat oven to 250. Mix egg, milk, and nutmeg in pie plate. Place bread slices in mixture until thoroughly soaked. Cook bread in butter in frying pan until golden brown on both sides. Place french toast in oven to stay warm.
Add 2 T butter to same frying pan until melted, add brown sugar, bananas, maple syrup, lemon juice, and rum. Cook until sauce is slightly thickened and bananas are soft. Pull french toast out of oven. Place 3 slices on plate and then pour 1/2 of banana mixture over toast. Repeat for 2nd plate. Enjoy!