A last-minute masterpiece.
From social media pages to people wanting to cook more at home, more and more people are making meals, desserts, and baked goods. Sometimes it’s hard to find a unique dish that is fun to make and also something different. Enter Bananas Foster.
The story of Bananas Foster is a pretty well-known one. Bananas are a relatively new product to the United States, not being seen much until the end of the Civil War. According to Brennan’s restaurant in New Orleans who invented it, the story goes like this.
New Orleans at that time was a large hub for importing Bananas. With so many on hand, they wanted to find a good way to use them and get some publicity while doing it.
The dish was named for Richard Foster, a friend of Owen Brennan and the chairman of the New Orleans Crime Commission, on which Brennan served.
Brennan’s opened in 1946. In 1951, before dinner, Brennan challenged his chef Paul Blangé to create a dish featuring bananas that would help with promotions by impressing Mr. Foster. The flambe' banana dessert was a huge hit and to this day, even if tourists eat at another restaurant, some will come into Brennan’s just for the Bananas Foster.
Tips for a Great Bananas Foster:
The first mistake many people make is that they use ripe bananas. If the bananas are too ripe, then they will get too mushy when you flambe' them. Chefs say to use slightly green bananas so they will hold up during cooking.
Let’s be honest, most of us do not have banana liqueur on hand. The original recipe does use it but don't avoid making the dessert just because you don’t have it. For the kids, you can use it without rum or liqueur. These are two great recipes I love. The first does NOT use banana liqueur and the second is the actual Brennan’s original recipe that does use it. Do the flambe' tableside with the lights low and you will have your wow factor.
With ANY flambe’ recipe do NOT pour alcohol from the bottle into the pan. Put the alcohol in a spoon or ladle when adding it for safety.
Salt doesn’t just make things salty. Some recipes don’t use it but a pinch of salt enhances flavors as long as you don’t use too much.
Easy Bananas Foster (no banana liqueur):
· 2 tbsp butter
· 2 bananas sliced in half
· 1 cup light brown sugar
· 1 tsp vanilla
· 1⁄2 tsp cinnamon
· 1 pinch salt
· 2 scoops ice cream (vanilla or something more exotic like praline or wattleseed)
· 1 oz of Rum (optional; obviously don't use it for children)
· Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
· Add sliced bananas and stir for 2 minutes.
· Add brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt.
· Lower heat and continue cooking, stirring constantly for 2 more minutes.
· Serve over a scoop of ice cream.
· Note: 1 oz of booze may be added during the last 2 minutes of cooking (Rum works well or brandy) add alcohol with the pan off of the heat- Beware of flaming.
Original Brennan’s Bananas Foster Recipe:
-1 Ounce Butter
-½ Cup Light Brown Sugar
-¼ Tsp Cinnamon
-1 ½ Ounces Banana Liqueur
-1 ½ Ounces Aged Rum
-½ Banana Per Person
Combine butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a flambe pan. As the butter melts under medium heat, add the banana liquor and stir to combine. As the sauce starts to cook, peel and add the bananas to the pan.
Cook the bananas until they begin to soften (about 1-2 minutes) Tilt back the pan to slightly heat the far edge. Once hot carefully add the rum, and tilt the pan toward the flame, to ignite the rum. Stir the sauce to ensure that all of the alcohol cooks out.
Serve cooked bananas over ice cream and top with the sauce in the pan.
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