Some of you may think that I've lost my mind. This isn't your usual sandwich. A while back I was talking to an American friend of mine and the subject of peanut butter came up. He mentioned one of Elvis Presley's alleged favourite things to eat was peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwiches. My mom used to pack peanut butter and banana sandwiches when I was a kid. I loved it then and I love it now. I'd never tried it with bacon before. At first I was a little turned off by the idea, but the more I thought about it the more intrigued I was. Bacon is salty, crispy and meaty; all qualities which peanut butter and banana are not. Those elements could really balance out the profile of the sandwich. I kept meaning to try it. One of the reasons it's taken me so long to try is because since the new year I have hardly eaten much that contains wheat. I've been really fitness and health focused this year. I thought, what would it be like with grilled cauliflower steaks instead of bread...
If you're no stranger to the blog, you will know that I love grilled cauliflower. In fact cauliflower has been used in many different applications in the last year. What can I say? I'm all about the colla! Recently I shared a technique for grilled cauliflower with a jalapeño cheese sauce which is also worth a look. Cauliflower takes on a smoky, meaty flavour when cooked on the grill and because it's so filling it makes a great steak substitute (although not a significant source of protein) when cut in a thick slice. You'll need one full head of cauliflower per sandwich. Cut the cauliflower in half down the center. Then slice a steak about 3/4" thick from either half of the cauliflower. The excess cauliflower can be broken into florets and used for another recipe. The reason why you only get two steaks out of one whole head of cauliflower is because the fibrous stem at the center is what keeps the cauliflower together. Anything further out toward the outside of the cauliflower is too likely to fall apart during cooking.
Each sandwich requires 1 head of cauliflower, 4 rashers of crispy bacon, 1 banana cut into slices and about 2-4 tbsp of peanut butter. Truth be told, 1 banana will be more than enough for one sandwich but not quite enough for two.
We've done grilled cauliflower steaks before, but here's a summary of what to do. Lightly coat the cauliflower steaks in olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Preheat your barbecue for a few minutes with the lid closed. Place the steaks on the grill over direct, high heat. Turn occasionally and keep an eye on them. I've had cauliflower steaks take anywhere from 6 to 15 minutes. Cook with your eyes, not your watch. You want a nice gnarly sear but not burnt. I recommend letting them cool for a few minutes before assembling the sandwiches. It will minimize the risk of the peanut butter melting and being a big mess.
First step is take one of your grilled cauliflower steaks.
Carefully spread about 2 tbsp (or to taste) of your favourite kind of peanut butter.
Then place down 4 rashers of crispy bacon.
Top with slices of banana.
Then finish it off with the second cauliflower steak. If you're a real peanut butter lover, spread another 2 tbsp or so on this steak too.
Behold, your very own Elvis Presley Cauli Sannie. That's all there is to it!
This is an odd combination you that might not make sense to some. It's hardly conventional but really good. It happens to be four things I quite like on their own that were really interesting together. It's crunchy, hearty, sweet, crispy, creamy, chewy, salty and smoky. Since we didn't use any bread this is gluten free and much lower in carbohydrates. I wonder if Elvis Presley would have liked one of these...
I'm a big cauliflower lover and a big nut butter lover so this was right up my alley. It was a little messy but you could always wrap the sandwich with parchment or wax paper to keep your fingers clean. To be honest, the fact that it was a little messy just made it more fun.
Feel free to add your own creative twist. Who says you need to use peanut butter, banana and bacon? You could use this technique to make a cauliflower steak sandwich of your own choosing. You may prefer to try this with bread. If you do this with bread, traditionally you would toast the bread. For a real treat, you could fry the bread in some of the rendered bacon fat. Yum!
I hope I didn't scare anybody off. lol! It's hard to explain but this was very tasty. You'll just have to see for yourself.
Until next time,