March 8, 2011
I love New Orleans.
I love New Orleans cooking.
I love gumbo, crawfish, king cake… to name a few.
I especially love Bananas Foster.
For Christmas I received the amazing Encyclopedia of Cajun and Creole Cuisine. I had big plans for Mardi Gras. I was going to tackle something big, something serious, something pure creole for y’all.
Life doesn’t always work out the way you expect. But I couldn’t let Mardi Gras pass us by. So, instead, I whipped up one of my favorite desserts of all time: Bananas Foster.
The good thing about this turn of events is that you can whip this up as quickly as I did. You can make this tonight to celebrate Fat Tuesday with your family. It’s ridiculously easy.
Start with a few key ingredients: butter, dark (or light) brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves (optional), orange juice (you can use banana liqueur if you have some around or even just water), bananas and dark rum.
Then get to work. It’ll take all of 10 minutes.
Melt the butter.
Add the sugar, cinnamon and cloves.
Add the orange juice and then lay the bananas in a single layer, cut side down.
Cook, cook, cook. Bubble, bubble, bubble. (Don’t taste yet. I know it’s hard!)
Then add the dark rum and FLAMBE!!
Forgive the messy circle, but I had to prove that I really had a flame going. See it?!!?
Then eat: plain, over waffles or crepes, over ice cream, over all of the above. Lick up the sauce. Eat more. Yum, yum, yum!!!
Happy (get) Fat Tuesday!
(can be shared with kids 12+ mos)*
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 dark brown sugar (you can substitute light)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash ground cloves, optional
1/4 c freshly squeezed orange juice (traditionally banana liqueur, you can also substitute water)
4 bananas cut in half lengthwise, then again crosswise
1/3 c dark rum
1. Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat.
2. Add sugar and spices. Cook, whisking, until the sugar dissolves.
3. Take the pan off of the heat and add the orange juice. Whisk to combine thoroughly. Lay bananas in the pan, cut side down. Return pan to heat and cook until bananas are soft and browned on the bottom. While they are cooking, spoon the bubbling sauce over the top of the bananas to coat them well all over.
4. Remove the pan from heat again and add the rum. Quickly — but carefully! — return the pan to the stove tilting it away from you the whole time. The rum should ignite. Keep moving and shaking the pan until all of the vapors cook off and the flame subsides. Take off heat and serve!!
*Note: I recommend this starting at 12 months due to the high sugar content. Also, obviously, this recipe contains alcohol, which you may not want to serve to any child. It’s said that enough alcohol burns out to make a dish like this safe for children and pregnant women, but check out this great article to learn more. It looks more specifically at how much alcohol actually burns off during cooking.