Mention the city of New Orleans and you will conjure up a plethora of images in folks’ minds.
- Iron-work balconies with ferns
- Mardi Gras
- Saints Football
- Po Boy Sandwiches
- Jackson Square
- The French Quarter
- Bourbon Street
- Jazz Music
- Hurricane Katrina
- Beigniets at Café du Monde
- maybe even Arlo Guthrie’s “City of New Orleans”
There is yet another dish that is identified with The Big Easy–Bananas Foster.
Here is a little history I found on a New Orleans visitor’s guide.
In the early 1950s New Orleans was the major port of entry for bananas shipped from Central and South America. Owen Brennan, owner of Brennan’s Restaurant, challenged his chef, Paul Blange, to include bananas in a new dessert. It was Owen’s way of promoting the imported fruit. At the same time, Holiday Magazine asked Owen to provide a new and different recipe to include in an article on the restaurant.
And so was born Bananas Foster, a decadent dessert named for Owen’s friend, Richard Foster, a local civic and business leader. Today, Bananas Foster is served at Brennan’s and other fine New Orleans restaurants. Each year, Brennan’s flames 35,000 pounds of bananas for the famous dessert.
I recently had a wonderful dinner with my quartet and our spouses. (You can check out our Hyper Octave Facebook page here.)
Donna and Jim really put on a spread for us–complete with fresh flowers and candlelight.
Jim made Gumbo with delicious andouille sausage and shrimp. Our salad was mixed greens with avocado and orange slices. That’s Jim’s homemade Orange Vinaigrette you see on the table.
We all enjoyed the dinner and felt like we needed a crane to move from the table. Then, Donna announced dessert!
Could I stuff in any more food?!
Why,YES! Some room suddenly became available!
We all moved to the kitchen for the dessert “show”. I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to feature another guest chef!
Jim started by melting a stick of butter with 1/2 cup banana liqueur.
While Jim took care of the pan, Donna feverishly peeled and quartered 8 bananas.
Into the pan with the bananas!
Add a dash of cinnamon and the brown sugar–TWO cups!
Oops! Wait! The brown sugar was supposed to go in BEFORE the bananas! Donna moved fast to remove the bananas. The brown sugar needed to caramelize a little before adding the bananas.
Let that cook up in order to thicken a little.
Add about 1/4 cup of rum…
and light on fire!
Jim did move his pan out from under the cabinets–just in case.
Unfortunately, none of us thought to turn off the lights until the flames had disappeared. You can kind of see some blue flames in the picture above.
As if all the sugar and butter were not enough, a scoop of vanilla ice cream finished off the dish!
Oh! It was so good! I wanted to lick the plate!
I enjoyed every bite–all 490 calories, not including the ice cream!
Yeah–I went walking the next day!
Thanks so much, Donna and Jim. You treated us like royalty!
- 1 stick of butter (could probably get by with 1/2 )
- 1/2 cup banana liqueur
- 2 cups brown sugar
- dash of cinnamon
- 8 bananas, sliced into 4 quarters
- 1/4 cup rum
- Vanilla ice cream
Melt butter in pan with banana liqueur.
Add brown sugar and cinnamon. Allow to caramelize a bit.
Stir in bananas until warmed. (Not too long, you don’t want mushy bananas.)
Warm the rum for a few seconds in the microwave.
This is the time to turn off the lights for added drama!
Add rum to the bananas–immediately light on fire.
After alcohol burns off, serve with vanilla ice cream. Drizzle some of the sauce on top.