All of the recipes in this post were inspired by a lovely little book called Midnight Feasts, by Charmain Ponnuthurai. ( Subtitled An Anthology of Late-night Munchies.) The author has collected recipes and recollections of midnight snacking from chefs, food writers, and actors, among others. I’m a bit confused by Gwyneth Paltrow’s contributions to the book, Capon, Grandma’s style, and Chinese Duck(which cooks for 3 hours!) But I do intend on trying the chocolate cake recommended by HRH The Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, although perhaps a bit earlier in the day. She guarantees that everyone who tries it will ask for the recipe! I’ll let you know how that turns out. The three recipes that I have chosen to represent here are all 5 minute affairs because that would be the extent of my dedication to a late night foray into the kitchen. And, I do believe that these quick fixes are far superior to standing in front of the freezer eating ice cream from the carton.’
Gillian Anderson’s Peanut Butter and Banana
When I tried these little frozen treats, I got the same slightly guilty feeling that I get when I let myself pinch off a bit of cookie dough. But it’s just peanut butter and banana…nothing else!
Take a banana and slice it end to end down the middle. Take some peanut butter, smooth or crunchy, your choice, and lather it down one side of the banana as thick as your taste desires. Place the other half of the banana on top like a sandwich. Slice four or five times to create little sandwiches and wrap them in plastic wrap, twisting to close and place the whole lot of them in a plastic container in the freezer. Then, in the middle of the night, open the freezer, and there you have a surprisingly delicious snack!
Goat’s Cheese and Runny Honey on Toast
This snack is based on several recipes in the book that use the grilled cheese concept. I think that I could eat this at absolutely any time day or night.
Heat up a ridged grill pan on your stove top. Drizzle olive oil onto a thick slice of good crusty bread. Grill the bread on both sides pressing with a spatula. Remove the pan from the heat and top bread with slices of goats cheese. Let sit for a minute or two to let the residual heat melt the cheese then drizzle with a couple of teaspoons of honey and sprinkle with fresh cracked black pepper. Yum!
Of course it isn’t cheesecake, but it does give you a similar satisfaction. The crunchy grahams with the sweet/tart and creamy filling and the dollop of sweet fruit preserves. Fresh fruit or nuts might be a nice addition as well. This is my version of Rachel Johnson’s Instant Cheesecake. She suggests a cup of sleepytime herbal tea to accompany.
Take 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt and mix in 2-3 teaspoons of light brown sugar and a teaspoon of lemon juice. Stir well and serve in a small teacup with graham crackers and a bit of your best fruit preserves. Serves 1