I knew that I had officially fallen in love with Brian when, approximately an hour into our meeting on Monday, he looked me straight in the eye and said to me, “You need to cut out this healthy shit.”
I’m sure I laughed in some sort of adorable way, especially because I know that he loves vegetables almost entirely as much as I do. But I knew what he meant. Butter is the spice of life and there is no two ways about it.
It must have really resonated with me, though.
Because I came home and, without even realizing what I was doing, baked a loaf of peanut butter banana bread. Cut myself two slices. Covered them with more peanut butter and more bananas and some chocolate and raspberry jam. (For good measure. And because my thighs were too sore to protest. I am so not morally opposed to kicking them when they’re down.)
And called it lunch.
Well I’ll be damned. So. Satisfying.
While I would like to say that this all came about through some kind of divine intervention and that around mile 21 of the marathon a higher power whispered the idea into my ear in some kind of sordid and downright dirty attempt to push me through to the end. Well. I can neither confirm nor deny that. (The last thing I need right now is for “schizoid personality disorder” to weasel its way into my medical records…)
Much more likely, it was the voice of Susan Russo, the author of the blog Food Blogga, who has been tempting me with this sandwich for weeks now. Ever since I got her new cookbook – The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches – to review, in fact.
This book is really a treasure trove for anyone who likes sandwiches. And even if you think you don’t like sandwiches…it’s just because you haven’t seen this book. It is written in encyclopedia format with the sandwiches listed from A to Z and a little historical note accompanying each recipe. Plus each sandwich gets its own picture. I love that in a cookbook.
From the instant I got it and flipped through it’s pages and tried to convince myself that if it was an encyclopedia, it was meant to be studied and thus it was totally reasonable for me to toss my medical boards review book aside in lieu of conquering this adorable tome. From that very first second. I knew that I wanted to make both a savory and a dessert sandwich. There was no two ways about it.
So first, there was the torta. Layers of avocado, eggs, chorizo (or soyrizo in my case), refried beans and hot sauce. All evened out by a cooling spread of crema on either end. It really does come together to be a beautiful amalgam of flavors and textures. The hallmark of a good sandwich, if you ask me. (And perfect for an Easter Sunday brunch! How timely!)
The dessert sandwich proved much more difficult to decide upon. I woke up in cold sweats. Many nights in a row. Trying to decide between the banana bread sandwich and the banana split sandwich.
So then in true Eats Well With Others fashion, and with a little bit of goading from Brian, I went the way of excess. And just had both. In one.
I would recommend that you have this for Easter brunch as well. But isn’t this holiday supposed to be about sacrifice? And, well. This sandwich involves nothing but gluttony. Beautiful, glamorous, gluttony.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
In case you’re looking for another Easter brunch treat, check out the Italian Easter Bread I made last year! So. Good.
Peanut Butter Banana Bread
Makes 1 9×5-inch loaf, adapted from Cooking Light via Joy the Baker
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup AP flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 (heaping) tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (I used three)
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
1/3 cup creamy all-natural peanut butter
3 tbsp butter, melted
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 350. Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, or in another medium bowl, whisk together the mashed bananas, Greek yogurt, peanut butter and butter. Whisk in the eggs and sugar. Blend until no sugar lumps remains.
4. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, stirring until just incorporated. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 55-65 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean (I use chopsticks). Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 20 minutes before running a butter knife along the edges and inverting it onto a wire rack to cool.
Banana Split Sandwich
Serves 1, adapted from The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches
2 THIN slices of banana bread
butter for greasing bread
1/4 banana, sliced on the diagonal
1 tbsp peanut butter
1-2 tsp chocolate sauce or hot fudge or one Lindt chocolate truffle, sliced
1 tbsp raspberry jam (or strawberry or pineapple or a combination!)
1. Grease both sides of the slices of banana bread with butter. Cook on a grill pan (or stove or George Foreman) for about 2 minutes/side or until nicely browned.
2. Spread peanut butter over one slice. Top with banana. Drizzle chocolate sauce on top or place slices of chocolate on top. Smear jam over the second slice of bread. Sandwich together. Enjoy.
(Vegetarian) Mexican Torta
Makes 1, adapted from The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches
1 tsp canola oil
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 link (soy)rizo (I used Trader Joe’s brand, you can also sub in 1/4 lb chorizo!)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tsp hot sauce
1 tbsp crema (I used Greek yogurt)
1 roll, preferably a telera roll if you can find it!
2 tbsp refried beans
2 slices ripe avocado
1. Warm oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and chorizo and saute about 5 minutes or until meat is browned and crisp. In a small bowl, whisk eggs, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Add to skillet. Stir frequently until eggs are cooked through yet still soft.
2. Spread crema or Greek yogurt on both halves of the roll. On the bottom half, add refried beans. Top with chorizo-egg mixture and avocado. Serve immediately.
DISCLAIMER – Although I received this product for free, I did not receive any monetary compensation for doing this review. My thoughts and feelings on it are entirely my own.