THE ELECTRIC KITCHEN
‘Finger’ bananas make appealing lumpia
Living in Hawaii gives us easy access to a good variety of bananas: From the Cavendish group of bananas come Williams, Valery, Hamakua, Grand Nain and Chinese varieties; the Brazillian group gives us the varieties we call "apple" bananas. Starchy cooking bananas, or plantains, are also found here, with names of Largo, Maia maole and Popoulu. (All these names come courtesy of a Web site called "Knowledge Master," maintained by the University of Hawaii's Extension Entomology and Integrated Pest Management programs.)
A new kind of banana showing up in Chinatown and at several farmers' markets is the "finger" or "baby" banana, with a taste and texture more like the Cavendish bananas. These little bananas are the perfect snack size for keiki -- no more half-eaten bananas to deal with.
We wondered how they would work in our banana lumpia recipe -- their small size would eliminate the need for cutting the bananas in thirds or halves as the recipe instructs.
Julia Cabatu, one of our retired home economists, always recommends using apple or plantain bananas in lumpia. The Cavendish varieties, she said, sometimes pop or "explode" while cooking, and the texture, after frying, tends to get mushy.
So we tested our recipe using baby bananas and were relieved when none of the lumpia exploded. But how was the taste and texture? We all gave it a "thumbs up!"
4 firm-ripe apple or cooking bananas
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 lumpia wrappers
Oil for frying
Cut bananas lengthwise into thirds. (If using baby bananas, don't cut.) Combine sugar and cinnamon.
Place 2 banana pieces on each lumpia wrapper; sprinkle with sugar mixture. Wrap like an envelope, sealing edges with water.
Heat oil and fry lumpia until golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper and serve immediately. Makes 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis, per lumpia: 200 calories, 5 g total fat, no saturated fat, 3 mg cholesterol, 200 mg sodium, 37 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 12 g sugar, 4 g protein.
Fluffy Banana Tea Bread
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-2/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed bananas
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan.
Cream butter with sugar, eggs and vanilla at high speed for 1-1/2 minutes.
Sift flour with baking soda and salt. Add flour and remaining ingredients to creamed mixture. Mix at low speed 30 seconds. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 1 hour. Makes 1 loaf (12 servings).
Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving (using walnuts): 280 calories, 14 g total fat, 7 g saturated fat, 60 mg cholesterol, 300 mg sodium, 35 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 19 g sugar, 4 g protein.
Banana Split Dessert
1-1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 cup chopped nuts
1/2 gallon ice cream
1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple, chilled and well-drained
2 to 3 bananas, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chocolate syrup
1 container (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
Chopped nuts for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix flour and sugar. Cut in butter; add nuts. Press evenly into 13-by-9-inch pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown; cool, then place in freezer until cold.
Cut ice cream into 1/2-inch thick slices and place on cold crust. Spread crushed pineapple over ice cream layer. Layer bananas over pineapple. Drizzle with chocolate syrup. Top with whipped topping and nuts. Freeze until ready to serve. Serves 20.
Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving (not including optional nuts): 350 calories, 22 g total fat, 12 g saturated fat, 55 mg cholesterol, 100 mg sodium, 38 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 26 g sugar, 5 g protein.
Note: To make serving easier, allow dessert to sit at room temperature 5 minutes before cutting.
Hawaiian Electric Co. presents this weekly collection of recipes as a public service. Many are drawn from HECO's database of recipes, accessible online at www.heco.com