Up until very recently, whenever someone mentioned Elvis’ favorite sandwich, I thought to myself “well, no wonder he died young!” Once I actually took a moment to consider it though, the sandwich really isn’t so bad. The basic Elvis sandwich is just bananas and peanut butter, fried like a classic grilled cheese. I’d say that the grilled cheese sandwich is far worse for you. Oh, except sometimes Elvis liked to add bacon, which, okay, is a little over the top.
I realized a few months ago that I like bananas a lot more if they’re served with a bit of peanut butter (or Nutella). That reminded me of Elvis’s favorite sandwich, but I wasn’t interested in pan-frying it. Instead, I thought it would be great as French toast.
I had never made stuffed French toast, but there are plenty of recipes for different versions of it, so I was confident that it would work. First I made the basic sandwich by smearing one side of each bread slice with a thin layer of peanut butter. I wanted peanut butter on both slices so it would glue the bananas to the bread, keeping the sandwich together. I recommend a very thin layer because peanut butter can be overpowering, as well as sticky in your mouth. I used my favorite French toast recipe for the batter, but made it a little thinner because it would only be absorbed through the non-peanut butter side of the bread slices.
It worked out pretty well. I should have let the sandwich soak in the batter a little longer, and I should have cooked them on higher heat, but the flavors were really good. And there’s really nothing unhealthy about it except for a bit of butter to fry the sandwiches. I’m guessing the drug dependency was a bigger influence on Elvis’ early demise than banana sandwiches.
Elvis French Toast (adapted from Cooks Illustrated’s French Toast recipe)
4 slices sandwiches bread (I used Country Crust Bread)
2 tablespoons peanut butter (approximately)
1-2 bananas, sliced ¼-inch thick
1 large egg
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon butter
1. Spread a thin layer of peanut butter on one side of each slice of bread. Place slices of banana in a single layeron peanut butter-covered sides of two bread slices. Top with the remaining bread, peanut butter side down.
2. Heat medium nonstick skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, beat egg lightly in shallow pan or pie plate; whisk in milk, vanilla, sugar, and salt and salt, continuing to whisk until smooth. Soak sandwiches without oversaturating, about 1 minute per side. Pick up bread and allow excess batter to drip off; repeat with remaining sandwiches.
3. Swirl 1 tablespoon butter in hot skillet. Transfer prepared sandwiches to skillet; cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes on first side and 1 minute 15 seconds on the second. Serve immediately, dusting with powdered sugar.