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  1. MMMMM-- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.04

  2. Title: BANANAS FOSTER-New Orleans

  3. Categories: Desserts, Fruits, Cajun

  4. Yield: 4 servings

  5. 4 tb Butter (1/2 stick)

  6. 1 c Dark brown sugar

  7. 2 Bananas

  8. 2 oz Banana liqueur

  9. 4 oz Dark rum

  10. Ground cinnamon

  11. Vanilla ice cream (opt)

  12. A quintessential New Orleans dessert, and a favorite among most

  13. locals. This dish cannot be prepared in the kitchen. It must be

  14. performed, in front of your guests. Use a chafing dish, and some kind

  15. of portable heat like Sterno. Don't be sloppy, and keep a fire

  16. extinguisher handy. There's no need to burn the house down just for dessert, but this really must be done right. I learned to cook this

  17. dish from Chef Joe Cahn at the New Orleans School of Cooking, and he

  18. spun dire tales of what befell those who dared sequester themselves

  19. in the kitchen when making Bananas Foster. Seriously, bad gris-gris

  20. will befall you if you deprive your guests of the spectacle. Plus,

  21. they'll talk for years about how cool you are to have made this for their dessert.

  22. First, you should make some preparations. Peel a thin strip of peel

  23. from the bananas, and use your knife to slice the banana crossways

  24. into coins. Then replace the banana peel so that it looks untouched

  25. (as best as you can, anyway). This way, you can pretend to "peel"

  26. your bananas, and dump them into the put already cut, as if by magic.

  27. Cheesy, you ask? Well, it still looks cool, particularly if you're

  28. really nonchalant when you do this in front of your guests. If you

  29. insist, you can slice the bananas the classical way, quartering them

  30. by slicing thm lengthwise and then in half. I still think the other

  31. way is cooler.

  32. Put your ground cinnamon into some kind of non-standard container, or even a little muslin bag, the better to "convince" your guests that

  33. it is, in fact, not cinnamon but voodoo dust, scraped from the tomb

  34. of Marie Laveau at midnight on All Soul's Day ... some kind of

  35. delightfully corny junk like that. Also, I recommend taking a

  36. cinnamon stick and grinding it fresh in a spice or coffee grinder

  37. instead of using pre-ground cinnamon. Sieve the result through a tea ball strainer to remove the larger pieces which won't grind finely.

  38. This will maximize the fresh, aromatic cinnamon flavor. If you use

  39. your coffee grinder, it'll also make your coffee taste great.

  40. Now, to business ...

  41. Melt the butter and add the brown sugar to form a creamy paste. Let

  42. this mixture caramelize over the heat for about 5 minutes. Stir in

  43. the banana liqueur and rum. Heat until the liquor is warmed, about three minutes. Add the bananas, cook for about 1 - 2 minutes, then

  44. ignite with a flourish. Here's the best way to do this:

  45. Using a long, bent-handled ladle, scoop up some of the warm liquor.

  46. Hold it a foot or two above the chafing dish and ignite the liquor in

  47. the ladle. VERY CAREFULLY, pour the liquor into the dish. A column of

  48. flame will descend from the ladle into the dish, which will ignite

  49. with a marvelous *poof*! Keep a pal nearby, subtly wielding a fire

  50. extinguisher. Try not to become a human torch in the process.

  51. Agitate to keep the flame burning, and add a few pinches of "voodoo

  52. dust" to the flame. The cinnamon will sparkle orange in the blue

  53. flame, and looks really neat.

  54. Let the flames go out. Serve over ice cream if you wish, but some

  55. hardcores like me like it just like it is. Yum.

  56. Variations: one may substitute any fruit for this dish that has a

  57. correspondingly flavored liqueur -- peaches, pears, whatever. Walt MM

  58. MMMMM


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