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Elvis Presley's Fried Peanut Butter & Banana SandwichCompiled by Vicki McClure Davidson
What in the world HASN'T been written about Elvis Presley?
He remains a musical icon, the "King of Rock 'n Roll," a man who is impersonated by hundreds of entertainers through out the world, even now, more than 30 years after his death. He is a cult figure who has touched the lives of millions through his music and his life. With hits ranging from "Jailhouse Rock," "Love Me Tender," "If I Can Dream," "A Little Less Conversation," "It's Now or Never," and "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" and more than 30 hit musical films under his belt (most were poorly reviewed, as they had predictable plots and countless forgettable songs, but the public loved them), Elvis ruled in the entertainment world for years. He was charming, good looking, charitable, well mannered, and sensual, and he took the music world by storm. Elvis was an inspiration and a trailblazer in the infant genre of rock.
In 2005, Forbes magazine named Presley, for the fifth straight year, the top-earning deceased celebrity, grossing US$45 million for the Presley estate during the preceding year. While Kurt Cobain of Nirvana took that honor in 2006, Elvis shot back to the Number 1 deceased celebrity spot in 2007.
Elvis was born in Tupelo, Mississippi and loved simple Southern cooking. His mother, Gladys, prepared and fed him all the Southern basics (pot roast, fried chicken, breakfast grits, savory collard greens, scrapple, sliced tomatoes, country-cured ham, corn bread, meat loaf, macaroni and cheese, black-eyed peas, potato cheese soup, red-eye gravy over biscuits, fruit cobbler, pecan pie, sweet potato pie, cornmeal mush) when he was growing up. As an adult, he was known and adored throughout the world (and was now wealthy beyond his wildest dreams), but these inexpensive, homestyle dishes made by his mother during his childhood were still his preference.
One dish that was his now-famously (or infamously) favorite treat was Fried Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich, which still tickles fans (but horrifies others). The recipe for this outrageously fattening dish is provided below, with a glowing preface, from Brenda Butler's love-tribute cookbook, Are You Hungry Tonight? Elvis' Favorite Recipes. I saw a TV cooking demo years ago on how to make this Elvis favorite, and I remember it being cited somewhere around 2,000 calories. Based on the measurements of ingredients below, I'm guessing that the cookbook editor scaled way back on the butter and the peanut butter Elvis used, because this doesn't seem to come anywhere close to 2,000 calories. Which, while maybe not 100 percent authentic, is not the fat-loaded, heart-attack-waiting-to-happen sandwich I recall. Still high in calories, but healthier.
Elvis made it famous. He made it part of American folk cuisine. He referred to it as a peanut butter and 'nanner sandwich, and his love for this treat helped to transform this simple delicacy into his signature dish. He loved these sandwiches and would ask that they be prepared for him at all hours of the day and night.
As the basis for a good, hearty lunch, or even as an energy-packed snack, nothing can beat this crunchy grilled sandwich. These step-by-step instructions will insure an authentic peanut butter and 'nanner sandwich.
Elvis Presley's Fried Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwich
- 1 sm. ripe banana
- 2 slices white bread
- 3 T. peanut butter
- 2 T. butter
In a small bowl, mash the banana with the back of a spoon.
Toast the bread lightly.
Spread the peanut butter on one piece of toast and the mashed banana on the other.
Fry the sandwich in melted butter until each side is golden brown. Cut diagonally and serve hot.
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Butler, Brenda Arlene, Are You Hungry Tonight? Elvis' Favorite Recipes, Gramercy Books, Random House Value Publishing, Inc., NY, NY, 1995.
Wikipedia.org website, "Elvis Presley," (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elvis_presley).