Miami Vice bananas

It is summer and the glowing coals of the barbecue are not reserved for chunks of blackened meat and clever things on skewers. There is always room for a bit of fruit. Spurred on by the cheesier bits of the 1980s, Petra Hoyer Millar gets over her unreasonable objections to cooked bananas.

Words & Pictures: Petra Hoyer Millar

No banoffee pie. No banana éclairs. No banana loaf. No banana ice cream. No, merci.

With much fastidious struggling of my inner soul, I admit to the world that, in my opinion, bananas don’t belong in any dessert or pastry. There, I’ve said it.

A moral contortion to many a nana lover I’m sure, but baking and bananas are a complete no-no, chez nous. Don’t get me wrong I love bananas, in fact they are a family favourite, but only when eaten raw just as nature intended. My grandfather referred to them as the most ‘sympatique’ of fruit as they’re easy to peel, easy to eat and come with their very own biodegradable tupperware. No pips, no fuss, delicious. Granted, there is always some argument as to the degree of ripeness when best to eat, but scrumptious nonetheless.

However, when used in baking or desserts, the mushy texture is all wrong and that all encompassing flavour, simply smothers everything, just like the dreaded coconut. Don’t get me started on coconut ‘desserts’….

Retro recipe

Anyway, back to bananas. There is one teeny tiny exception to the strict no-nanas-in-puds rule as they are rather good on the BBQ. Hence, in the summer, when the sun is out and the BBQ is on heat, a few lucky bananas make it as a dessert. This is an embarrassingly simple recipe, invented in that marvelous era of the prawn cocktail, chicken kiev, the black forest gateau, vol-au-vents and the almighty tequila sunrise; the 80’s. Not too long ago, the Flashdance-leg-warmer decade was gladly forgotten, but now oh so fashionably dubbed – retro.

So, for this uber trendy recipe you will need;

  • A slick, tanned dude in a white double breasted suit, white loafers worn without socks and pastel coloured t-shirt, to expertly man the BBQ. Or better still, Crockett himself.
  • Ripe bananas – one per person
  • Icing sugar
  • Generous sloshings of Cointreau

Method

  1. After you’ve had your fill of firecracker drumsticks and canapĂ©s, place your bananas on the BBQ. Just like that. No fuss. Chill dude….
  2. Turn them until they blacken and the skin starts to split
  3. Remove from the grill, and carefully (they’re hot) slice them open to reveal the delicious hot banana inside. Note, try to keep the peel as intact as possible.
  4. Pour Cointreau (generously) over the banana – to taste but ensuring you are doing Crockett & Tubbs justice.
  5. Sprinkle with some icing sugar – again to taste.

There you go. Totally awesome, bitchin’ nanas.