Ayesha Curry's Bananas Foster Porridge Is the Oatmeal Upgrade We Didn't Know We Needed
Ever since banana bread-palooza 2020, I've had a consistent stock of at least a few bananas in my kitchen. Even though it's been a few months since I've made a loaf (turns out there can be too much of a good thing!), I still have a habit of grabbing a couple on every supermarket run.
The affordable, portable fruits are also great for so much more than bread. I've been freezing them to and blend into my daily smoothie (which I added to my routine thanks to this hot tip from EatingWell dietitian and Digital Deputy Editor Victoria Seaver) and to blitz up for nice cream. I've sliced and stacked 'em atop a slice of nut butter-schmeared toast, and often take one to-go with a mini nut butter packet (buy it: $12.90 for 10 packets, Amazon) for between-meal fuel.
And now, thanks to Ayesha Curry, I have a delicious new idea to put those bananas to use at breakfast. (ICYMI, Curry is an actress, cookbook author, TV host, designer, mom of three, wife to basketball player Steph Curry and the founder of Sweet July magazine, and she lost 35 pounds during the pandemic without cutting out her favorite comfort foods).
"As the weather cools down, our food is heating up! With a buttery rum sauce and pecans that pack a punch, this Bananas Foster Porridge is the perfect meal to keep in rotation as the temperatures start to drop," Curry and co. explain in the Instagram caption.
With a consistency similar to oatmeal, this decadent morning meal is inspired by bananas foster, a classic New Orleans dessert recipe originally created in 1951. It's said to be named after Richard Foster, a member of the New Orleans Crime Commission who helped make the French Quarter a safer place in the '50s. A chef at one of his favorite local restaurants, Brennan's, developed the dish in honor of Foster as a way to help promote the fact that New Orleans was such a prolific port for the import of bananas from South and Central America.
Curry's twist takes some of the elements of that beloved dessert—including brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, rum (which is optional) and bananas (naturally!)—and combines it with a spiced cornmeal porridge that's reminiscent of oatmeal.
"A buttery rum sauce complements the sweetness of the bananas in the best possible way. Serve this with some chopped pecans to layer in some crunch," Curry and her team explain on the recipe page for her Bananas Foster Porridge.
It's surprisingly simple to make: Combine cornmeal and water in a medium pot, bring it to a boil, then stir until it begins to thicken. Whisk in your favorite kind of milk, a scoop of dark brown sugar, a couple bay leaves, some vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and a pinch of salt. Simmer until this mixture resembles the texture of oatmeal. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in a pat of butter, and your porridge is all set.
Then it's time to tackle the caramel-y banana sauce: Melt some butter in a pan, then add more brown sugar and stir until it is saucy. Toss in several sliced bananas, toss to coat in said sauce, and bring this all to a simmer. If it's the weekend and you're feeling spirited, now's the time to add the spiced rum. Carefully tip the pan to set the rum aflame and allow the alcohol to burn off a bit. (Psst...that fire part is only necessary—and possible—if you add the rum, so skip it if you pass on the liquor.)
Spoon the bananas foster mixture over the porridge, crown each bowl with chopped pecans and flaky sea salt, and grab a spoon!
After spying the dish on Instagram, fans are raving, "Adding this to the rotation," and "Wow that looks good!!!"
I couldn't agree more. Admittedly, this recipe is quite rich and something I'll probably save for holiday weekends—Curry's 2-minute Blueberry Smoothie is more my speed for enough protein and vitamins for weekday energy—but it's a dish I can see myself turning to all fall and winter long to share with family and friends who are staying for a special occasion weekend.