Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ham Banana Rolls with Cheese Sauce

I don't want to know what Freud would say about this dish...

When I started looking through my recipe books, I knew I'd have to try this one.  Surely, no one would dare to combine ham, mustard, bananas, and cheese into one oddly phallic appetizer unless it was secretly delicious, right?  Surely the Homemakers Research Institute would not be so cruel!  

What if Homemaker Sally is hosting a dinner party and her husband, Bill, wants to invite his boss?  Sally turns to her trusty Mary Margaret McBride Encyclopedia of Cooking from the Homemakers Research Institute and selects the Ham Banana Rolls to impress her guests.  She lovingly bakes them and sets one before each of the dinner guests.  

The ladies from the church sewing group giggle into their napkins.  

The boss' wife gasps in horror.  

Bill's boss stares at his plate and has sudden, intrusive thoughts about Ken, the strapping new fellow who works in the mail room.  

This gaffe has just cost Bill the promotion he was shooting for!  There is nothing left for Sally and Bill except a slow spiral into Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf -style loathing and alcoholism!  I HOPE YOU'RE HAPPY, MARY MARGARET MCBRIDE!  YOU ARE THE DESTROYER OF DREAMS!!!

[Ahem] Moving on...

This recipe tastes exactly how you suspect it might taste: like a warm, mushy banana that, for reasons only Mary Margaret McBride can fathom, has been wrapped in mustard-covered ham, and smothered in a congealed cheese sauce.  I'm guessing that the effect the author of this recipe was hoping for was for the sweetness of the banana to be a counterpoint to the savoury ham-mustard-cheese combo.  It misses the mark.  The flavour of the banana overpowers everything else and the texture is mushy and unappealing. I wouldn't recommend the Ham Banana Rolls for any use other than novelty food at a bachelorette party for very drunk ladies with no tastebuds. 

You have been warned.

Ham Banana Rolls with Cheese Sauce
4 thin slices boiled ham
Prepared mustard
4 firm fully ripe bananas
11/2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
1 cup cheese sauce (below)

Spread each slice of ham lightly with mustard.  Wrap a slice of the prepared ham around each banana.  Brush tips of bananas with butter or margarine. 
Place ham banana rolls into a greased shallow baking dish, and pour 1 cup cheese sauce over them. 
Bake in a moderate oven (350°F) 30 minutes, or until bananas are tender, easily pierced with a fork. 
Serve hot with the cheese sauce from the baking dish.  Serves 4.

Cheese Sauce
11/2 tablespoons butter or margarine
21/2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup milk, scalded
11/2 grated sharp American cheese

Melt butter or margarine in saucepan; add flour and stir until smooth.  Stir in milk slowly.
Add cheese and cook, over low heat, stirring constantly until sauce is smooth and thickened.  Makes about 1 cup.

This recipe is from the appetizer section of the Mary Margaret McBride Encyclopedia of Cooking, published  by Homemakers Research Institute in 1959.

1 comment: