As I mentioned yesterday, I served lunch to some friends. It was a perfect day--breezy and around 72*F, so we enjoyed lunch outside. And I did serve the Asian Noodle salad, which went over very well, especially for a newcomer who spent many years in the orient.
The salad is, by nature, lighter fare and just right for summer. I really had to come up with a dessert that would work well after the strong flavors in the salad dressing.
What I made was just right.
These bananas were lightly sauteed in butter and sprinkled liberally with brown sugar substitute and served in a sweet coconut creme that had the lightest zing of lime and a hint of anise flavor.
I made the coconut creme the night before and had it nice and chilled on the plate, topped with the warm slices of bananas and garnished with grated lime zest, which became fragrant upon hitting the warm bananas. This is just the kind of dessert that I love.
Sauteed Bananas in Coconut Creme
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
3 tablespoons sugar (I used sugar substitute)
1/8 teaspoon lime juice
few grains kosher salt
1 star anise pod
2 large [just slightly green] bananas, peeled and sliced on a bias
3 tablespoons butter or ghee
about 2 tablespoons brown sugar (I used brown sugar substitute)
grated lime zest for garnish (optional)
star anise for garnish (optional)
For the coconut creme, whisk together coconut milk and sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until reduced by half. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice and kosher salt. Taste--you want a sweet creme with just the slightest zing from the lime. You may decide to add a bit more lime juice according to your taste. Add the star anise pod and set aside, stirring occasionally, until cool. Remove pod and transfer creme to a container and refrigerate overnight.
For the bananas, simply melt the butter in a large saucepan and add banana slices; sprinkle with half the brown sugar. When bananas start to look tender, turn them over and sprinkle with remaining brown sugar.
To serve, pool some chilled coconut creme on the bottom of a plate; top with three or four slices of banana. Sprinkle with grated lime zest and garnish with a star anise pod. Serve with spoons--otherwise you'll have people licking the plate to get the rest of that creme!