I forgot to mention in the Rack of Lamb post that we made dessert after dinner. Bananas Foster is made with bananas that is drizzled with a dark sweet sauce made from butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, dark rum and banana liqueur, and is served with vanilla ice cream. This is a very classic dessert most notable in Southern cooking. In fact, the origins of this recipe dates back to 1951 in New Orleans by Chef Paul Blangé at Brennan’s Restaurant.
Daniel has made Bananas Foster once before for me and some friends a few years ago, so it was nice that we got to make this again for dessert after our nice hearty meal. My aunt gave me some Manzano bananas from her backyard (which by the way, we also grow, and just the other day we noticed we are having our very first bunch of bananas growing in the tree! So excited!), so we used these bananas to make our Bananas Foster. Of course, you can use any kind of bananas to make this – like the Chiquita bananas (also known as Cavendish banana).
According to some research, the Manzano banana is short and chubby with a mild strawberry-apple flavor, and the skin is black when it’s ripe. It has a chunkier and heavier appearance than traditional banana. This banana is usually grown in Asia, South America, Mexico, Caribbean, and Africa, which is also known as Apple banana. My parents have a lot of these bananas in their backyard, too. The texture of the Manzano bananas is very firm when you bite into it, which is great for me, because I actually can't stand eating mushy bananas!
To make the dark sauce, we melted a 1/2 stick of butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Add in the halved lengthwise bananas... and then.....
To flambé, add in the alcohol: we poured in 1/4 cup dark rum and 1/4 cup Grand Marnier (in replacement of the banana liqueur). The alcohol creates a burst of flames to the pan. Wha-lah!
When the flames subside, the Bananas Foster is ready to be plated with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The incorporation of the sweet sauce, warm bananas, and cold ice cream really distinguishes this dish. I really like the hot/cold combination of desserts - like Peaches a la mode. Give Bananas Foster a try sometime - it's really easy and doesn't require any baking!
Visit Brennan’s website for the original recipe: Bananas Fosters from Brennan’s New Orleans