April 6, 2010

Fried Banana Dumplings


Not too long ago I bought one of those bargain bags of bananas at the grocery store. You know, the five pounds of super ripe bananas that are ready to use for whatever you have in mind for them. This bag-o-bananas is such a good deal that I always tend to buy now and worry about what to do with them later. So I got to that point...banana bread (check), Ooo so cute mini banana cupcakes (check), banana pancakes (check)....ok now what?!


I had about 4 remaining bananas getting extra ripe, waiting for their calling but a girl can only handle so much. I was out of ideas, no inspiration and tired of the same old desserts. So I moseyed on over to my ever-so-trusty epicurious and started browsing. So many things looked very tempting but when I got to this recipe I stopped in my tracks. I have to say...I'm a sucker for a fried dessert, guilty. I was curious, and a little skeptical, but I figured all I had to lose were a couple of bananas and I wouldn't shed a tear to have them taken off my hands.

 
Hesitantly I bought the wonton wrappers, which happened to be on sale (see it was destiny) and headed back to the kitchen. Earlier I had won a bet against my husband, so at the very least I had a guinea pig. I have to tell you...that first little test dumpling didn't even survive halfway across the kitchen. Tester, what tester? Nope, not ready yet darling - back to the counter I couldn't get those little suckers into the hot oil jacuzzi fast enough.
 
 
This recipe wound up being super easy to make, only requiring five ingredients (6 if you're an extra nutty person). I would gladly make this one again, only next time I'll wait until I have more people to serve, only because I don't want to eat the whole batch by myself again. Ok, so maybe I want to...but I really shouldn't (and neither should you). I did find that the vanilla custard sauce in the original recipe was a bit much too sweet matched up with these crispy little lovelies. Next time I won't serve it with the sauce, but perhaps some dark chocolate or berry preserves (yes those are both sweet, but nothing compared to the custard sauce).
 
 
My Perfect Little Helper was so eager to lend a hand that I couldn't even catch up with her beating the ever livings out of those graham crackers. I guess four year olds need a little stress relief sometimes too.
 

 
I worked with just six wonton wrappers at a time, keeping the others covered with plastic wrap so they wouldn't dry up...and they will. These were a bit easier to fill and seal than I had anticipated, the key is to not over-fill them (otherwise a big bursting mess will ensue).
 



You want to make sure your oil is really nice and hot before you start frying, otherwise you're going to get soggy dumplings (no fun). After draining mine on paper towels I just tossed them all on a big plate next to a bowl of the vanilla custard and called it a day. Enjoy.

So crunchy, mmmmm.



Fried Banana Dumplings (adapted from epicurious.com)


1 C diced peeled ripe bananas (I used 2 medium-sized bananas)
1/4 C dark brown sugar
1/4 C graham cracker crumbs
2 Tbsp finely chopped walnuts (add 2 Tbsp finely chopped pecans if you're extra nutty)
16 wonton wrappers
1 large egg, beaten to blend
veggie oil (for frying); about 2-3 inches

In a medium bowl combine the bananas, brown sugar, graham cracker crumbs and nuts.

Working in stages, lay 4-6 wonton wrappers on work surface (or as many as you can fill before they dry out) and brush edges with egg. Place 1 1/2 teaspoons banana filling into center of each wrapper. Fold wrappers diagonally over filling, pressing the edges to seal.

Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat to 350°F. Add the dumplings, in two batches, and cook just until golden brown. Remove dumplings to a paper towel lined tray to drain.

Serve hot, with or without the vanilla custard sauce, and enjoy!

**FYI: Dumplings can be filled and sealed 6 hours in advance. Just cover with plastic and refrigerate until ready.

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