Are you hungry tonight? Try one of these Elvis inspired dishes: one is made for the King, while the other is better suited for we Queens!

by Crystal Cook

Elvis

Elvis Shrine at SicolaMartin Offices in Austin, TX.

Love is All Around, and so is Elvis!

Let’s face it, we all have a little Elvis in our lives. Whether it’s your leisure suit or just your grandmother’s table cloth….everybody owns a little gold lamé, right? And I mean seriously, who hasn’t used the line “Why thank you, uh thank you very much” at some point in their life? I know I have, possibly to the point of nauseum. I am sorry for that.

Then there are those who emulate his style, and there are those who know all of his music. Maybe you learned to dance by gyrating in front of the TV, or perhaps you have a natural snarl? Some folks like to collect, and some are still addicted to the hair tonic.

And then there are those like me. I apparently got Elvis’ love of southern food, and hefty appetite for all things fried. Today is the King’s birthday and he would have been 78. So while some will drink a Blue Hawaiian and play a ukulele in his honor – I have decided to eat like the King! Fried Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwiches anyone? I hope so, because I will need an army to stop me from eating an entire loaf of fried sandwiches and washing it all down with caramel sauce!

With that caveat, I invited over some friends and prepared two versions of this meal. One lighter version (The Skinny Elvis PB&B) to save my waistline, and one heftier version (The “Later Years” Elvis PB&B) to treat as a dessert and to share!

Let’s get started on the Skinny version, shall we? Start by gathering your ingredients.

Healthy 1

Combine peanut butter with honey and peanut granola. I recently got hooked on KIND brand Whole Grain Peanut Clusters, and thought they would add a nice touch of texture to this dish. Throw in some cinnamon and mix well!

Healthy 2 collage

Cut your bananas into 1/4-inch thick slices. Or, you could also mashup the bananas and incorporate them into the peanut butter mixture as well. I personally just prefer the slice. Don’t ask. It is a texture thing!

Healthy 3 chopping banana

Remove crusts from the bread.

Healthy 4 cutting bread

Assemble sandwiches by spreading the peanut butter mixture along the bottom of 4 pieces of bread, then add four banana slices (towards the center) of the bread.

Healthy 5 collage 2

Top with the remaining bread slices, press down and secure edges by crimping with a fork.

Healthy 6 pressing edges

To keep this version healthy, I prepared my grill with cooking spray. If you aren’t too concerned with calories, a little butter here would be a nice touch. I mean, when isn’t butter a nice touch?

Halthy 7 collage 3

Once browned and the center of your sandwich is hot, it is time to plate. Garnish with more Kind Peanut Clusters and drizzle with a little more honey. Aww, yea.

Healthy 8 collage 4

Now dig in and enjoy without the guilt!

Healthy 9 forks cheers

Healthy is awesome, but every once in a while you can’t help but indulge. On to the King’s preferred way…fried! (Hey, at least I left off the bacon, but I did add caramel didn’t I? Ooops!) Speaking of which, make your caramel sauce first! If you have never made caramel from scratch, you will ask yourself why you waited so long. In five easy steps, you will have created a sinfully delicious sauce. Not only is it the perfect topper for this sandwich, but it is also great for ice cream, and for dipping fruit and chocolate in!

caramel 1 ingredients

First, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add light brown sugar and granulated sugar, stir until dissolved. Add honey and bring to a boil. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring once or twice (watch carefully to avoid scorching). Remove the pot from the heat and swirl in the cream until it is fully incorporated. Be very careful when adding the cream, because the mixture will bubble up. Viola! Now you have caramel. (You can think me later!)

caramel 2 collage

Now it is sandwich time!

fried 1 ingredients

Mix together creamy peanut butter, honey and cinnamon until incorporated and smooth.

fried 2

We use white bread for this version, and not just any white bread,  but Texas Toast. A little thick slice of heaven! Remove crusts and chop bananas into 1/4 inch slices.

fried 3

Spread peanut butter mixture on 4 slices of the bread and add 4 banana slices towards the center. As you can see, I am getting very excited! Place tops to sandwiches, press down and secure edges by crimping with a fork.

fried 5

Prep your wet/dry ingredients. Mix together milk and eggs in a shallow dish. In a separate shallow dish, mix together flour and sugar. Dip each sandwich quickly into your well beaten milk and egg mixture and then into your mixed flour and sugar. Coat thoroughly.

fried 4

Prepare to fry, Elvis fans! Since we were doing PB & Bananas I chose to fry in peanut oil. Nice, huh? Ideally it would be best to have a deep fryer, but I won’t allow myself  to have one for reasons already mentioned, so I used a deep large pan. (And yes, I made a mess!) Once golden brown, drain on a bed of paper towels.

fried 7

Plate and sprinkle well with powdered sugar. Drizzle with caramel sauce. Dig in!

fried 8

Fried Final with Candles

The Skinny Elvis PB &B

Serves 4

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 4 tablespoons honey, plus more for garnish
  • ½ cup KIND Peanut Butter Whole Grain Clusters, plus more for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 8 slices wheat bread
  • cooking spray

In a small bowl mix together the peanut butter, honey, peanut clusters and cinnamon. Slice the bananas into 1/4-inch thick slices. Remove crusts from bread. Spread the peanut butter mixture on 4 slices of bread and cover with 4 banana slices, placed towards the center. Top with the remaining 4 slices of bread. Press down on bread, then use fork to secure edges. Prepare griddle with cooking spray on medium-high heat. Grill the sandwiches on the griddle (or large frying pan) until each side is golden brown and center is hot.

For plating, cut the sandwiches in half and sprinkle with additional peanut clusters and drizzle with more honey.

The “Later Years”  Elvis PB&B

Serves 4

For Sandwich:

  • 8 slices white bread, we like Texas Toast (if you are gonna go, might as well go big!)
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • Peanut oil for frying
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  •  ½ cup granulated sugar

For Caramel Sauce:

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

First make the caramel sauce. In a large pot set over medium-high heat melt the butter then add the brown sugar, granulated sugar and honey. Bring to a boil, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring once or twice (watch carefully to avoid scorching). Remove the pot from the heat and swirl in the cream until it is fully incorporated. Be very careful when adding the cream because the mixture will bubble up. Set aside.

Preheat peanut oil in home deep fryer (ideal method) to 350 degrees. Otherwise a large, deep fry pan will work. Prep sandwiches. In a small bowl mix together the peanut butter, honey and cinnamon. Slice the bananas into 1/4-inch thick slices. Remove crusts from bread. Spread the peanut butter mixture on 4 slices of bread and cover with 4 banana slices, placed towards the center. Top with the remaining 4 slices of bread. Press down on bread, then use fork to secure edges. Mix together milk and eggs in a shallow dish. In a separate shallow dish, mix together flour and sugar. Dip each sandwich quickly into your well beaten milk and egg mixture and then into your mixed flour and sugar. Coat thoroughly.

Drop your sandwich into your home deep fryer or pan and fry until golden brown. Drain on a bed of paper towels and then sprinkle well with powdered sugar. Drizzle with caramel sauce. Any leftover sauce can be stored in the fridge and re-heated for use on ice cream, or for dipping fresh fruit! Yum.

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