- MMMMM-- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.04
Title: BANANAS FOSTER-New Orleans
Categories: Desserts, Fruits, Cajun
Yield: 4 servings
4 tb Butter (1/2 stick)
1 c Dark brown sugar
2 oz Banana liqueur
4 oz Dark rum
Vanilla ice cream (opt)
A quintessential New Orleans dessert, and a favorite among most
locals. This dish cannot be prepared in the kitchen. It must be
performed, in front of your guests. Use a chafing dish, and some kind
of portable heat like Sterno. Don't be sloppy, and keep a fire
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
dish from Chef Joe Cahn at the New Orleans School of Cooking, and he
spun dire tales of what befell those who dared sequester themselves
in the kitchen when making Bananas Foster. Seriously, bad gris-gris
will befall you if you deprive your guests of the spectacle. Plus,
they'll talk for years about how cool you are to have made this for their dessert.
First, you should make some preparations. Peel a thin strip of peel
from the bananas, and use your knife to slice the banana crossways
into coins. Then replace the banana peel so that it looks untouched
(as best as you can, anyway). This way, you can pretend to "peel"
your bananas, and dump them into the put already cut, as if by magic.
Cheesy, you ask? Well, it still looks cool, particularly if you're
really nonchalant when you do this in front of your guests. If you
insist, you can slice the bananas the classical way, quartering them
by slicing thm lengthwise and then in half. I still think the other
way is cooler.
Put your ground cinnamon into some kind of non-standard container, or even a little muslin bag, the better to "convince" your guests that
it is, in fact, not cinnamon but voodoo dust, scraped from the tomb
of Marie Laveau at midnight on All Soul's Day ... some kind of
delightfully corny junk like that. Also, I recommend taking a
cinnamon stick and grinding it fresh in a spice or coffee grinder
instead of using pre-ground cinnamon. Sieve the result through a tea ball strainer to remove the larger pieces which won't grind finely.
This will maximize the fresh, aromatic cinnamon flavor. If you use
your coffee grinder, it'll also make your coffee taste great.
Now, to business ...
Melt the butter and add the brown sugar to form a creamy paste. Let
this mixture caramelize over the heat for about 5 minutes. Stir in
the banana liqueur and rum. Heat until the liquor is warmed, about three minutes. Add the bananas, cook for about 1 - 2 minutes, then
ignite with a flourish. Here's the best way to do this:
Using a long, bent-handled ladle, scoop up some of the warm liquor.
Hold it a foot or two above the chafing dish and ignite the liquor in
the ladle. VERY CAREFULLY, pour the liquor into the dish. A column of
flame will descend from the ladle into the dish, which will ignite
with a marvelous *poof*! Keep a pal nearby, subtly wielding a fire
extinguisher. Try not to become a human torch in the process.
Agitate to keep the flame burning, and add a few pinches of "voodoo
dust" to the flame. The cinnamon will sparkle orange in the blue
flame, and looks really neat.
Let the flames go out. Serve over ice cream if you wish, but some
hardcores like me like it just like it is. Yum.
Variations: one may substitute any fruit for this dish that has a
correspondingly flavored liqueur -- peaches, pears, whatever. Walt MM