Sunday, February 27, 2011

Bananas Foster - A New Orleans Necessity!

Nothing in this post is remotely close to light or healthy....

One of our favorite places to go is New Orleans, there really is no place like it.  If you like seafood (or food period) like we do, then you will be in food heaven!  Here are a few pictures from our last trip to new Orleans:

The above picture is of Jackson Square, in The French Quarter.  It's where people congregate to sell "art", give palm readings, dress up and play music, all with a bucket for you to put money in. 

This is our shadow picture, the white powdery stuff is powdered sugar from Beignets.  Beignets are deep-fried dough (I think it tastes like a funnel cake) covered in powdered sugar, they are pretty good. They are best enjoyed on the banks of the Mississippi in the early morning with a cup of coffee and loved one!

This picture is us at Commander's Palace (another New Orleans tradition and must do). Don't you love the bow-tie? 

One of our favorite places to go for brunch in New Orleans is Brennan's.  Now, you have to make sure you are hungry, because you will eat a lot, you will make yourself miserable and you will enjoy every second of it (that's what is great about New Orleans, you eat and then walk it off on your way to your next stop of culinary indulgence). I usually start out with Strawberries and Cream (yes, heavy sweetened,whipped-cream), then move on to the Eggs Benedict, and the meal culminates with the infamous Bananas Foster (yes, a 3 course meal for brunch) ohh, and don't forget the delicious french bread that comes prior to the food.  Kent wanted to mention that they have some of the best Bloody Mary's around too!

Not that it makes it any healthier, but we usually skip a formal lunch when we have this big of an early morning meal.  

I was inspired to make this dish because I learned it was one of my husband's favorite desserts and I had never made it for him (he also mentioned an ex-girlfriend made it for him and it was "delicious"), so I took it as a challenge.  

One of the Chef's at Brennan's created Bananas Foster in the 50's, I got the recipe off of the Brennan's website, but there are also many variations online. It's up to you, but I would recommend the original. You will need the following ingredients: 

¼ cup (½ stick) butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup banana liqueur (we used Cruzan Banana Rum)
  • 4 bananas, cut in half lengthwise, then halved
  • ¼ cup dark rum (we used Sailor Jerry's)
  • 4 scoops vanilla bean ice cream 

*This is definitely enough for 2 people to share

Combine the butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a flambĂ© pan or medium-large sized skillet (I used a smaller skillet, I should have used a bigger one; I think it would have caramelized better). Place the pan over low heat and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. 

Stir in the banana liqueur, then place the bananas in the pan. When the banana sections soften and begin to brown, add the rum. 

Continue to cook the sauce until the rum is hot, then tip the pan slightly to ignite the rum (we used a lighter). 

When the flames subside, lift the bananas out of the pan and place four pieces over each portion of ice cream (make sure your ice cream is really frozen, it melts very quickly). Generously spoon warm sauce over the top of the ice cream and serve immediately.

The picture may not look all that appealing, but rest assured it is amazing and you will be planning a trip to N'awlins before you know it! 

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