Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Cooking with Banana Leafs

There is nothing I love better than a good fresh banana , we grow our own , the banana trees after they have fruit will die , but they will send up a couple more little trees to grow and produce .The banana tree will  fruit once a year, BUT you can use the leafs for lots of purposes  year round , we use them just like tin foil, and they will add a great flavor to anything that you cook with them. Below is a post from the web site About .com , I thought you might like to read , thanks Darlene for the great article.

Cook with Banana Leaf

By Darlene Schmidt, Guide

Banana Leaf Boats - great for cooking and serving!

Banana leaves serve many purposes in Asian cooking, from adding flavor to foods cooked inside them, to simply being used as a colorful and exotic background for serving-plates and party platters. Banana leaves are beautiful, fun to use, and easy to cook with! Find out how to buy banana leaves, how to cook with them, how to decorate your platters with them, and how to store extra banana leaves for use next time.

1.Buying Banana Leaves

Banana leaves are very inexpensive to buy - roughly $3.00-4.00 for a large pack. Buy banana leaves fresh or frozen in large, flat plastic bags at your local Asian supermarket (check the freezer if you can't find them on the shelf or in the produce section).

2.Cooking with Banana Leaves

Banana leaves can be used for baking anything "wrapped" - in the same way you would use tin foil or parchment paper. However, note that banana leaves are porous (unlike tin foil), so some of the "sauce" or juices from your food item may seep through. It's therefore a good idea to place your banana leaf "packets" in a glass casserole dish, or a tray that has "sides" on it, so that the juices don't drip to the bottom of your oven.

3.Banana Leaves for Grilling/Barbecuing:

You can also use banana leaf as a kind of "mat" for barbecuing fragile fillets of fish, smaller shrimp, or vegetables that have a danger of falling through the grill. Simply lay a piece of banana leaf on your grill, then cook your food items on top of it (as you would with tin foil). The banana leaf will turn bright green at first, then brown as you cook. It will give a nice hint of flavor to your food that is very pleasant.

4.Banana Leaves for Serving:

Banana leaf also makes a beautiful background on which to serve various Asian dishes - excellent for party platters or finger foods. They can also be made into Banana Leaf Boats as pictured above - great for serving salads, rice, fish, and other dishes. Or, simply cut a banana leaf (rinse well with hot water and pat dry) and use it to line a platter, serving plate or bowl. Banana leaf dresses up the dish, adding an exotic touch to any Thai or Asian recipe.

5.Eating on Banana Leaf!

This is perhaps the "funnest" part of using banana leaves in cooking - eating off of them! Any dish that has been cooked in banana leaf can also be served in/on it - in fact, this makes the dish even more beautiful to serve and to eat. It also makes for a wonderful conversation-starter at dinner parties!

6.Storing Banana Leaves:

Usually you will have leftover leaves after you've finished making your recipe or serving your food, as they are sold in large packs. To keep the rest for use later, simply wrap up in plastic (a plastic bag will do, secured with elastic), and keep in the freezer. Banana leaves only require about 30 minutes to thaw, so this is a convenient way to keep them fresh. If using within a week, store them (wrapped in plastic) in the refrigerator

Here are a few pictures of banana leafs and their uses . These picture are gleamed from the net and I saw no copyrights attached ----  so enjoy

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