- Food and Cooking
Deconstructed Banana Oatmeal Recipe
Wylie Dufresne, the owner of WD-50, deep-fried his Hollandaise sauce, encrusted it with English muffin crumbs, served it with columns of hard poached egg yolks and declared the dish his version of "eggs Benedict." How audacious was that? He is absolutely one of a few chefs who made deconstructed food so popular in the world of fine dining nowadays. Well, I'm neither dreaming of becoming the next Wylie Dufresne nor attempting to show off my skills in avant-garde cuisine. The truth is I just woke up one morning with unfathomable boredom, and the thought of having a bowl of the same old banana oatmeal almost pushed me to the brink of attacking my own head with the closest skillet. My usual way of preparing oatmeal was to cook it with chocolate milk then add either sliced or mashed bananas to the bowl. On that morning of dreariness, however, I decided to use my creativity and mediocre cooking skills to turn oats, bananas and chocolate into something more interesting than a simple bowl of sweet oatmeal. I pan-fried the bananas, turned quick oats into crispy crusts and upgraded chocolate milk to bittersweet chocolate pudding. All the components went together quite beautifully, and my creative oatmeal quickly lifted my foul mood. Does my version of banana oatmeal involve any advanced kitchen science or contain several jaw-dropping factors like Wylie's deconstructed food? No, not really. But the good news is this deconstructed banana oatmeal recipe can be made in just about 15 minutes, and it looks pretty darn cute on a plate!
Deconstructed Banana Oatmeal Ingredients (for 1 - 2 servings)
- 2 large bananas, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
- about 1/2 cup quick oats
- 2 tbsps maple syrup or honey
- 1 tbsp butter or margarine
- Put maple syrup into a bowl. Add banana slices and toss the syrup all over them. Besides adding flavor to the bananas, the maple syrup also serves as a nifty "glue" that allows the oats to easily stick on the bananas.
- Lightly cover each banana slice with quick oats.
- Melt butter or margarine in a shallow saucepan or small skillet over medium heat. Once the skillet is hot, add the crusted bananas and cook for about a minute. Flip all the banana slices and continue to cook for about a minute, or until the oatmeal crust turns light brown and crispy.
Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding Ingredients (for 1 - 2 servings)
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- 3 tbsps sugar
- 2 tbsps cornstarch
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- tiny pinch of salt
How to Make Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding
- In a small saucepan, whisk together milk, cocoa powder, sugar, salt and cornstarch until smooth. Make sure there are no lumps.
- Heat the mixture on the stove over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally. Once it starts to bubble, turn the heat down to simmer, then add vanilla and bittersweet chocolate chips.
- Whisk together until thick and well-blended, then remove from stove. Serve warm with the fried bananas. (If the chocolate chips don't melt properly, microwave the mixture on high for about 30 seconds.)
One great thing about most deconstructed food is that it allows you to be more playful with the presentation. Think about a typical bowl of oatmeal. There's not much you can do to make it more tantalizing, is it? It will always look like a brown gooey mound no matter how classy your bowl looks or how many colorful toppings you add. With this deconstructed version of banana oatmeal, however, it is much more fun to plate! Here are some easy ideas:
- As shown in the above picture, I put chocolate pudding into a small bowl, draw some funky random lines on the plate with chocolate syrup, then arrange fried banana slices on top.
- If you have a long rectangular plate (like a sushi plate), you might want to arrange the banana slices in one straight line, making them overlap one another slightly. Spoon chocolate pudding onto one end of the plate or serve it in a small glass.
- Use a serving ring mold to create a perfect mound of chocolate pudding in the middle of a plate, then neatly surround it with banana slices.
- A rimmed soup bowl is another fancy container to utilize. Choose one with a very small bowl and an extra large rim if possible. Just put chocolate pudding in the middle and place fried banana on the rim!
- Fill a banana-split bowl with 2 - 3 beautiful dollops of chocolate pudding. Arrange banana slices on both sides.