Why This Recipe Works
- Mixing coarsely chopped bacon with the peanut butter distributes it evenly and makes for a tidier, more cohesive sandwich.
- Sautéing banana slices with brown sugar in rendered bacon fat and flambéing them with bourbon deeply caramelizes the fruit, adding an extra level of decadence.
There are two types of people in this world: Beatles people and Elvis people. I am definitely of the latter clan. I've always thrilled at the slick puffed-up 'do, the shimmying, the swiveling, the shake, the rattle, the roll. I'm not a screamer at concerts, but I can see how that crooked smile and drawl made those fans shriek themselves into near-seizures. And of course, only The King could pull off gold lamé.
Elvis's tastes in food are known to have leaned heavily towards the rich, the sweet, the deep-fried, the downright filthy and bad—BBQ bologna, folks? And though in later years his cravings showed quite dangerously around his middle and medical charts, I can't help but marvel at the genius of his namesake sandwich.
"The Elvis" is a grilled sandwich oozing out peanut butter, bananas, and bacon. People unfamiliar with it blanch when they discover what the ingredients are, but one bite proves the combination to be fit for a king.
While not wanting to stray too much from the simple construction of the original, I did add a few steps to enhance its flavor—since it was over-the-top already, why not fully rock it?
My Elvis sandwich starts with fried coarsely chopped bacon that's stirred into creamy peanut butter to ensure even distribution of crunch and smoky taste. Since the sandwich will be grilled, the exterior of thick-cut brioche loaf slices are spread with butter, a bit of rendered bacon fat, and granulated sugar; the combination produces a salty-sweet, golden, caramelized crust. Rather than mash or simply add sliced bananas to the sandwich, the ones in this recipe mimic bananas Foster: fried in bacon fat and brown sugar, then flambéd with bourbon for an extra kick. This one'll get you all shook up.
The Elvis Sandwich (Grilled Peanut Butter, Bacon, and Banana) Recipe
A sandwich fit for The King.
8 strips thick-cut bacon, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
8 (1 inch-thick) slices brioche loaf (see note)
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons bourbon
4 ripe but firm bananas, sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
Cook bacon in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. With slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel lined-plate and cool to room temperature, about 5 minutes. Stir into peanut butter; reserve.
Transfer rendered fat to small bowl.
Combine butter and granulated sugar in small bowl. Stir in 2 tablespoons reserved bacon fat. Spread on 1 side of each bread slice.
Heat 2 tablespoons fat in now empty skillet over medium-high heat. Add bananas and brown sugar and cook until caramelized, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat, add bourbon, and ignite with match. When flames die down, transfer to plate.
Spread each sliced of bread (on the plain side) with about 3 tablespoons peanut butter mixture.
Distribute banana slices evenly among 4 bread slices, then invert remaining 4 slices over them and press gently to adhere.
Heat skillet over medium heat. Cook sandwiches, 2 at a time, until crisp and golden, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to cooling rack and allow to set about 3 minutes prior to serving. Serve warm.
Large nonstick skillet, cooling rack
Day-old bread is best for this recipe. If you can't find brioche, substitute with challah.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 85g||108%|
|Saturated Fat 29g||144%|
|Total Carbohydrate 100g||37%|
|Dietary Fiber 10g||36%|
|Total Sugars 42g|
|Vitamin C 10mg||51%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|