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Old 04-15-2011, 12:47 PM   #1
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Banana Leaf

Hey all,
I am buying some banana leaves (frozen) to experiment with. Does anyone have experience cooking with them? If so, pass along your recipes please!!! :) :) :) Also, what kind of taste do they infuse the food with, for example when steaming fish inside.
I haven't experimented with a new food in a LONG while! Excitement happening right here!

Saph

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Old 04-15-2011, 01:01 PM   #2
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They don't infuse any flavor, but I used them to, as you said, simply steam foods wrapped in them - when I lived on the islands. They're pretty when properly wrapped, and lend themselves to a tropical theme when entertaining, but to use them for any culinary purpose... I'd use parchment first before using a banana leaf.
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:31 PM   #3
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Aww :( I was hoping they were like lotus leaf. I love lotus leaf and I can't get them ANYWHERE :(

Anyway, I made a roasted red pepper sauce with garlic, oregano from the mountains in Greece that mother in law brought back (she has family) and olive oil from the same island as the oregano.
To go with tilapia.. it smells to die for. I'll make the fish tomorrow in the oven.
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:32 PM   #4
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We have a new Mexican restaurant in town that uses them for tamales. They are huge, a little sweet (the guy says it's from the leaf) and to die for! Sorry, no recipe, just another idea ...
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:34 PM   #5
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I've never had a tamale J.. I've heard of them though! They aren't very popular up here.
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saphellae View Post
Hey all,
I am buying some banana leaves (frozen) to experiment with. Does anyone have experience cooking with them? If so, pass along your recipes please!!! :) :) :) Also, what kind of taste do they infuse the food with, for example when steaming fish inside.
I haven't experimented with a new food in a LONG while! Excitement happening right here!

Saph
Hi! I heard you can make a traditional tamale wrapped in banana leaves as opposed to corn husks. I just buy a bag of masa and add some corn oil, broth, salt, baking powder. I add about a teaspoon of salt and baking powder and the oil and broth a little at a time until its firm yet spreadable. As for the filling, I roast or boil a whole chicken(you can use that broth in the mesa mix) and add onions, chiles, and salsa verde. But you can use pork or chicken and whatever youd like to add. Then I steam them for 25 minutes.
Id like to hear what you wrap in the banana leaves
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:23 AM   #7
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Hi Amanda, thanks for the tips on Tamale's, I may try them sometime but I"m really not a fan of mexican type foods. I pretty much just bake fish in the banana leaves.
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saphellae View Post
Aww :( I was hoping they were like lotus leaf. I love lotus leaf and I can't get them ANYWHERE :(

Anyway, I made a roasted red pepper sauce with garlic, oregano from the mountains in Greece that mother in law brought back (she has family) and olive oil from the same island as the oregano.
To go with tilapia.. it smells to die for. I'll make the fish tomorrow in the oven.
Saph your husband has Greek blood, the Island Greeks are crazy like all people who live on Islands in the Med, I will get shot if my wife reads this I prefer Santorini to Hvar where we have a home.My closest friend in the world is from Kalamata.
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:35 AM   #9
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Hi Amanda, thanks for the tips on Tamale's, I may try them sometime but I"m really not a fan of mexican type foods. I pretty much just bake fish in the banana leaves.
Oh ok :-D I dont eat fish, but my oldest son does. I might try wrapping fish for him :)
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:52 AM   #10
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I think they do impart flavor. If not, then at least aroma (maybe only when fresh?). Everybody had banana trees in their backyard growing up on the Gulf coast so for us they would actually have been pretty convenient. If you starting with fresh ones, you have to hold it over a hot stove burner or microwave it a little to soften it so it won't rip.

You could wrap some whole tilapia or some other pan fish with ginger, garlic, onions and sliced tomatoes and bake them. You can also use them to line casseroles.
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