As the late May Bank Holiday draws to a close I’m sitting back to enjoy the plethora of expected instagram shots of late night pub selfies, painful sunburn shots and of course BBQ updates.
BBQ season is officially open and personally I’m thrilled to see so many people throwing themselves into the annual outdoor cooking tradition of our forefathers dating as far back as the mid sixties, too-short shorts and golf umbrellas included.
But there is more to BBQ these days than a charred sausage and tupperware box of salad served after May 1st in a suburban garden regardless of weather conditions. The American BBQ trend has well and truly landed bringing home smokers, hot sauces and complex cookery books to DIY stores and Amazon baskets alike. A slow rack of ribs is as likely as a blackened quarter pounder on the coals these days. Did I say coals? Let us not neglect the possibilities of gas, hot plates, whisky soaked wood chips, pizza stones and the like. You can be a stalwart traditionalist or an avant garde chef of the outdoors as you choose but you need to be there, the BBQ is back back and it is a full on event in these food happy times. And food events need desserts.
I don’t remember a time in my life when we didn’t have bananas on a BBQ. Yes, bananas, they are actually really good to consume hot and compliment all kinds of other wonderful things like chocolate and biscuits and bourbon. They provide a sweet, squashy treat to round off the ordeal of all that standing and turning and sweating over the grill- you’ll need to replenish your potassium levels after all of that. Also a lovely little sugar rush to give the kids before you send them home with the inlaws as payback for the murder they have wreacked on your begonias, what’s not to like?
I can’t in good conscience give credit to the creator of this as I don’t know but I should acknowledge both parental units for instructing me in this art, with a side note to the Older Male Sibling for coming up with the chocolate button technique. Get grilling.
You will need one banana per person, lots of strong foil and a good sharp knife. I would personally recommend a build-your-own approach with optional toppings of the crunchy and chocolatey variety- as an example chocolate fingers, cadbury flakes and a box of smashed up good quality cookies.
Before any cooking commences take your unpeeled bananas and slice off the ends. Using a very sharp knife run a cut down the length of the banana on the inside curve of the fruit, running to about halfway through. For the under 18s and designated drivers, carefully press some chocolate buttons into this slit, alternating milk and white if you feel particularly artistic. Wrap it up in foil, leaving nothing exposed and set aside at room temperature.
For the grown ups, put the banana over your piece of foil and gently pull back the edges of the cut skin before giving it a good dousing with the booze of your choice- bourbon or Jack Daniel’s work very well or try a slug of Grand Marnier for a fruitier finish. Wrap it up very quickly and make sure all the edges are sealed before cooking.
Finally if you like the purer things in life you might just go for a squeeze of lime juice applied before cooking or stay plain.
They should go on the BBQ just as you are sitting down to the meat feast when the coals are still at a low cooking heat but not at the power of a searing blast. Turn them every few minutes to keep the cooking even. They will take from 10-20 minutes depending how much heat is left on the BBQ, to test un-wrap the foil slightly, the skins should just be starting to blacken.
Turn them out to serve over icecream or simply scooped out of the skins to be topped with the aforementioned goodies- try to get a good mix of oozy chocolate and crunchy bits. If you have any leftovers, refridgerate and stick them in a smoothie the next day!