Take your brown bananas a step beyond bread with crispy fritters
What about those brown bananas on the counter? Banana bread is always an option, but for something different, try banana fritters. They're a crispy fried treat with a soft, sweet center.
These fritters come from southeast Asia and are especially popular in Malaysia. They are great with vanilla ice cream (dairy or soy), or sprinkled with toasted coconut and sugar. The recipe is from "In the World Kitchen" by the California Culinary Academy.
Toasting coconut is easy. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and bake, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes, or until lightly browned. This also can be done in a skillet over a medium flame.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 very ripe bananas, peeled
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 tablespoon crumbled palm sugar or firmly packed light brown sugar
Lime wedges, for garnish
In small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, combine bananas and lime zest and mash to a chunky puree with a fork. There should be about 1 cup of banana puree. Add just enough of the flour mixture to the bananas to form a soft dough. Don't overmix or the fritters will be tough.
Preheat the oven to 200 F. Dust your palms with flour. Scoop about 2 heaping tablespoons (the size of a golf ball) of the fritter mixture into your palm and press to form a small patty, about 2 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick. Repeat until all the dough is used, making about 12 patties. The dough will be soft and a little sticky; flour your hands between each patty.
In large skillet over a medium flame, heat 1/4 inch of oil until the surface ripples and small bubbles rise slowly around a chopstick inserted into the oil. Place several of the fritters in the oil at a time, leaving about 1 inch between them on all sides. Cook the fritters until they are golden brown on the bottom, about 3 to 4 minutes. Lower the heat if the fritters brown too quickly, or if the sugar in the bananas begins to burn before the insides of the fritters are cooked through.
Use a slotted spoon to turn the fritters and cook on the other side for 2 minutes. Drain the fritters on paper towels or a paper bag (great for absorbing excess oil). Keep fritters warm on a baking sheet in the oven until all are cooked.
To serve, sprinkle with the sugar, garnish with lime wedges and serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.