Banana Ketchup

Cooking

Banana Ketchup! Say what? The husband is at it again. He shared with me another interesting topic. Banana Ketchup.

According to Wikipedia, Banana Ketchup is a Philippine fruit ketchup that is made from mashed bananas, sugar, vinegar, and spices. It is naturally brownish-yellow in color but is often colored red to resemble the tomatoe ketchup we are familiar with. Banana Ketchup was first produced during World War II in the Phillipines. Bananas were used instead of tomatoes because of their abundance in the Philippines.

As I am partial to bananas I decided to try making banana ketchup from scratch. Here is the recipe I used…

Pelago’s House-Made Banana Ketchup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 2 ounces tomato paste
  • 4 bananas (Saba if possible)
  • 2 ounces white vinegar
  • 2 ounces water
  • 4 ounces brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Sweat garlic, shallot and ginger for 5 minutes.
  2. Add tomato paste and cook for another minute.
  3. Deglaze with vinegar and water.
  4. Add brown sugar and bananas; cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Puree mixture until smooth, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Recipe from: http://www.foodrepublic.com/2015/09/02/banana-ketchup-the-philippines-answer-to-a-lack-of-tomatoes/

My take on banana ketchup…

I cut the above recipe in half and it made about 10.5 ounces of ketchup. This was more than enough! I served the banana ketchup with hamburgers. It was good but sweet. I think that the banana ketchup would go better not as a ketchup per say, but as a sauce. I can picture making beef ribs and using the banana ketchup as a kind of barbecue sauce on the ribs and serving it on top of rice. This sounds really good to me. As for on a hamburger, I would prefer mayo. On French fries…probably not. It is made with bananas so it does taste of banana. Having said this, anything that would taste good with fruit might be a good possibility. Chicken, pork, and shrimp could be good candidates. I think I will try some of the leftovers as a dip for fried shrimp…

Give banana ketchup a try; and be sure to let me know what recipe it was used with. As always, Happy cooking!

Leftover Banana Treat Obsession

Cooking

In a previous post, I shared how I make frozen chocolate covered bananas. These soon became a hit with my children. I have become obsessed with them! But there is always room for improvement.

I have changed how I make the chocolate covered bananas slightly. Now, I make them without the stick. I found I really did not need this and I make the bananas without sticks and just pick them up and eat them with my fingers. Messy? Oh yes! It is messy, but honestly, it seems easier than eating them off the stick.

I also do not try to make them in the peel any more. I can get more chocolate on them this way. I peel them, throw the peel away and spread the melted chocolate over the banana, even on the ends. Messy? Again…yes! But it is worth it!!!!

My favorite version of the chocolate covered frozen banana treat is covered in coconut flakes. I lay out some wax paper and sprinkle it with coconut flakes. Then I spread the melted chocolate on half the banana, lay it down on the coconut and then continue to spread chocolate on the other half and sprinkle coconut on top and then freeze.

I have also changed the quantity I make of the banana treats. I stock-up and freeze a few halves at a time so I can go get one without having to make one every day. I still only make them in halves. Even if I use a whole banana I will cut it in half and make two treats out of one banana. (See my original post – Leftover Banana Treat – for a more detailed description.) Happy Snacking!

Leftover Banana Treat

Cooking

This may seem weird but sometimes I only want to eat half a banana. The problem is what to do with the other half. It can be stored in the fridge for a little while, but the very end usually turns brown. It can be frozen and added to a breakfast shake or made into banana bread. Why not make it into a little after dinner treat?

I left my banana half in the peel while making my treat. The peel served the purpose of keeping my hands clean. I then dipped the banana half into melted chocolate chips and spread the chocolate around evenly with a knife. I thought I would add a bit of color and shake some sprinkles on top. Then I popped it out of the peel and onto waxed paper, poked a stick in the bottom and set it in the freezer.

Of course the topping options are endless. Coconut, nuts, Rice Krispies, graham crackers, etc. would all be good toppings. This would be a semi-healthy after school treat as well. The banana is not wasted and can be enjoyed at a later time in the day. Oh Yum!

The Salton Sea

Travel

Planning a day trip in Southern California? The Salton Sea may be a destination to consider if you enjoy photography, bananas, and don’t mind the smell of rotting fish.

Actually, I rather enjoyed my trip to the Salton Sea, which was a resort town in the 50’s but was basically deserted because of the condition of the sea. I was skeptical considering what I had read about walking on fish bones and the polluted water. However, I really enjoyed the sea, which was quite beautiful. It was sort of like a treasure hunt. What would be found at the next location? The run down, deserted graffiti filled buildings, the skeleton of a ship, a lounge chair, fish bones, birds nesting in trees in the water….. I did not run out of subjects for my photographs.

Another surprise was the International Banana Museum. Apparently, they are in the Guiness Book of World Records. It is a tiny little building loaded with banana memoribilla. My kids enjoyed it and as I collect banana stickers, I found it amusing. They do make and sell banana drinks there as well.

A bit of advice if you are planning to go…there are not a lot of places to eat so you may want to pack a lunch. There are picnic tables at the Yaht Club that made for a nice place to stop and look around as well as have lunch. Go with an open mind and you will return with a new appreciation for a place abandoned by many.