BOOK REVIEW: On a Stick! by Matt Armendariz

by - October 02, 2011

I love food on sticks. Give me a line of arrosticini, barbecuing on their own special holders and I'm a happy girl. Heck, I'll admit to getting a tad excited over a cheese and pineapple party hedgehog. Yes really.

So imaging a whole book on the subject from Corn Dogs to Bo La Lot (ground meat in betel leaves). Even sweet treats like Margarita Jelly Shots and Homemade Marshmallows are in here.

There are some very sophisticated canape options for your cocktails like Coconut Shrimp and Deep Fried Pickles as well as some really kooky options. Not sure how I feel about Spaghetti and Meatballs on a stick but I could really get down with a stick or two of fried Mac and Cheese!

Kookiest of them all, however, would have to be the bacon and peanut covered bananas. Yup. Ladies and gents, I give you the Frozen Elvis. The "Elvis" is a er, classic, sandwich named after its biggest fan with lashings of peanut butter, banana and bacon. The Frozen Elvis is an iced treat version of this sanie and if you like salted caramel then you'll love this, the recipe is at the end of this post. Go on you know you want to.

From the same publishers as the Encyclopedia of Sandwiches, it is another slightly quirky food book but in a market saturated with the same old, same old, these books offer something different. Irritatingly, like
Encyclopedia of Sandwiches, all measurements are US. Which if like me you can't get your head around cups of things can be a bit of a hindrance but the recipes are interesting none the less. I think these books could really warrant with a UK measurement print run.

Anyway, this would be a great book for entertaining if you wanted "finger food" (that term always creeps me out) that was slightly more interesting than your standard sausage on a stick. Even for kids parties, I could see the quite a lot of the recipes going down really well.

So plenty of inspiration to help you think beyond the stick.

Frozen Elvis Recipe (which I've "translated" for the UK)

I used 2 bananas and cut them in half, which, for me, makes them easier to manage and eat but below is the full size version. If you choose to do the same just adjust the other ingredients. Also I found that dipping the bananas in chocolate didn't work as they would freeze again instantly so the peanut and bacon wouldn't stick so I applied the chocolate with the back of a spoon and coated and dipped the bananas quickly in small sections.

Serves 4

4 Lolly sticks
4 Medium bananas, peeled
4 Rashers of chopped cooked bacon (cook until really crisp)
Large handful Dry roasted peanuts, chopped
150-200g dark chocolate chips

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Insert a lolly stick in bottom of each banana and put on prepared baking sheet. Freeze at least 1 hour.
  • Mix bacon and peanuts in shallow dish and set aside. Melt chocolate chips in a bowl sat on a pan of boiling water. Stir occasionally. Dip each frozen banana in melted chocolate and allow excess to drip off.
  • Roll in bacon/peanut mixture and then return to parchment lined baking sheet. Refreeze at least 1 hour. Keep frozen until ready to serve.

On a Stick! by Matt Armendariz is published by Quirk Books and costs £11.99.

Many thanks to The Publishers Group for this copy to review.

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