This is a healthy dessert recipe (for a change) that is really easy to make. It’s so easy to make that I felt kind of silly when I was done. Why did I feel that way? Because I first ate this dessert when I was fifteen years old in a small restaurant in Chichen Itza, Mexico. I didn’t even think to ask someone at the restaurant how to make it, because it was fried banana, how hard could that be?
When I got home I went straight to the kitchen and fried up my own banana for a snack. It didn’t turn out exactly the way it did in Mexico. Nor did it turn out the next fifteen times either and my mother and sister were complaining about the burnt banana smell in the apartment. My mistake? I didn’t put any oil on the pan, and it was probably on too high of a heat. Hey, I was fifteen years old, and not exactly an A student.
Twenty-five years later I’m older, wiser, and I can follow instructions. I started out with four bananas that were still a little green. Okay, maybe more green than yellow, but that’s all they had at the store. Besides, I think they’ll hold up better to being fried than yellow bananas. I peeled and sliced them into half inch pieces.
I put my cast iron skillet over a low to medium heat. While it warmed up I mixed equal amounts of honey and water in a small mixing bowl. One tablespoon of honey for each banana. I drizzled some olive oil in the skillet, brushed it over the surface and placed each banana piece in the oil. I let the banana cook for about a minute, then flipped each piece over and let them cook for another minute.
The next thing I did was remove the cast iron skillet from the heat, then added the honey and water mixture, deglazing the pan. I stirred the ingredients together and sprinkled a little cinnamon top.
The Fried Honey Banana dessert went over really well, my family really liked it. I think next time I might use bananas that are more yellow though. Frying the banana really brought out a sweet flavor that tasted good with the cinnamon, but a banana that’s a little more ripe would taste even sweeter. I wasn’t surprised that they tasted much like fried plantains, but not as starchy.
I bought my cast iron skillet to make a German Pancake several years ago. I needed a pan that I would be able to put into a 500F oven. There was no way I was going to put my non-stick frying pan into the oven because it had a plastic handle that I was sure would melt. What I like about the cast iron skillet is that it holds the heat very well (because it’s so thick). The omelets I make in my cast iron skillet turn out really good because I can get a very even heat in the pan. For me I can make an omelet easier in my cast iron skillet than I can in my non-stick pan. Another thing I like is if I’m cooking a piece of meat or potatoes I can cook them on the stove top to get a nice sear, then finish them off in the oven.
Adapted from Rachel Schultz