Monday, April 06, 2009

Green Curry Banana Bread

On Friday night I decided to bake M. a treat. There were browning bananas in the fruit bowl and an open container of buttermilk in the fridge. My mind started to wander towards banana bread, but I wanted it to be special banana bread. M. had been on the road all week in Santa Barbara and was due to roll back into town at close to 9 o'clock at night. We had a busy weekend. I wanted something tempting but not decadent. Something that would make the house smell good but that would also be interesting.

When we were in New York in December M. was completely blown away by the Green Curry Banana Bread at Momofuku Milk Bar. On my most recent visit, in February, my girlfriends were equally besotted with the dense banana bread with just a hint of green curry. I was a bit more nonplussed. Apparently I am a bit of a purist. I like my banana bread chock full of bananas and not much else. Maybe a walnut or a pecan, but that's it. No need to mess with perfection.

But this foray into baking was not about me, and I was curious to see if I could create something that rivals, even a bit, the Momofuku treat. I did not, however, think that I would be successful. I found a recipe that would allow me to use buttermilk and then gently stirred a teaspoon of green curry paste into my batter, hoping that this was the right amount.

An hour later, the house was smelling great, M. had arrived home, and I pulled the bread out of the oven. I cut it while it was still steaming hot and brought him a slice with butter. He pronounced it "Good. Really good." Then he went back to watching re-runs of House. I wasn't convinced. I tried some hot, then some cold the next morning, and finally a bit last night.

This is a quick bread but it is not a sweet bread. Because of this, it is good for a not-to-sweet breakfast, snack, or even dessert. It is dense but not overly buttery or greasy. It is perfect for toasting and eating warm, slathered with butter.

I am still surprised M. liked it so much. Ever the connoisseur, he has mild criticism for just about everything food related. I was hardly expecting to conquer this food challenge so quickly. Maybe he was tired, maybe he's in love, or maybe, just maybe, I really did nail it.

But I sort of doubt it.

So here it is, my first try at the Green Curry Banana Bread. If there are others, and if they are good, I will let you know.

2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar (I used only 1/2 cup brown sugar)
1 cup mashed bananas (2 to 3, roasted in skins in 425 degree oven for 12 minutes)
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 tbl. butter, melted
1 tbl. vanilla
1 tsp. green curry paste
1 and 3/4 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Beat eggs and sugar well. Mix in melted butter, buttermilk, vanilla, green curry paste, and bananas.
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until well blended.
Pour into greased and floured loaf pan, bake for about an hour.


Maggie said...

I live right by the Milk Bar and have always wondered how this bread is...should I try it?

Anne Zimmerman said...

Everyone I know likes it. The green curry is not too strong. The first time we were there you could just buy a slice. A few weeks ago you had to commit to a whole loaf -- so maybe search out someone you know likes it and beg for a taste?
Lucky you, fun neighborhood!

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