March 2, 2011

Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez: Bananas Foster

A Flaming Bananas Foster in New Orleans

Letting the good times roll is a way of life in New Orleans, even if you're attending a serious work conference. My Baby and I recently had the delightful experience of mixing work and pleasure when my organization sent me off to toil in The Big Easy.

Ready to Start Cooking

We happened to be there at the beginning of the Mardi Gras season, missing the first parade by a half-day. Purple, green and gold were flying all around, with Mardi Gras decorations and King Cakes everywhere. As always, the streets were alive and vibrant with revelers and street performers throughout the French Quarter.

Just Beginning to Caramelize

Other than a Hurricane Katrina museum exhibition, which My Baby visited while I was conferencing, there were no visible signs of the disaster. I'd been there before in 2000, and it is so very much the same spirited city now as it was then.

Bubbling, and Beginning to Flambé

It was my first trip to New Orleans when I fell in love with Bananas Foster, and was lucky enough to have a waiter there teach me how to recreate it at home. It has become a complete hit stand-by dessert, as welcome for party guests as it is for a solo late night jammie-clad indulgence. A once-every-couple-of-years purchase of banana liqueur and dark rum round out ingredients that are usually around the house, making this easy to make on a moments notice.

Sarah, Our Server at Brennan's, at the Foster Station

The big whoosh of flame can entertain a crowd for several moments, but I can attest that it is just as dramatic and endearing when done just for yourself. Which brings up a good point... Bananas Foster can just as easily be tailored to serve one person as eight. Don't let the flambé aspect intimidate you. It is as easy as lighting a match.

Bananas Foster Always Turns Heads

Bananas foster was first created in 1951 at the acclaimed Brennan's Restaurant in the French Quarter, to which a New Orleans visit just isn't complete without. Rather than write out the recipe, here's a link to Brennan's original Bananas Foster recipe, which they are kind enough to publish. My only note to add is that it is the rum vapors that ignite so beautifully, not the rum itself. Pour it on, wait just a minute for the vapors to develop, then light the whole mess up. Be prepared for applause, and don't miss the opportunity to take a bow.

Bananas Foster doesn't Look Like Much; Don't Let Looks Deceive

Here are some other charms the city held for us:

Pimm's Cup and Napoleon House

Full Moon Over the Mississippi with Riverboat, Our Dinner View

So Far Away From Home, Yet So Close:
One of Our Favorite Local Pinot Noir's on a Menu!!!

Street Performers Everywhere

This Man Stood Absolutely Still, In This Position, for Over an Hour

So Much Talent in So Few Blocks

Taking a Break From the Group to Learn Something New

Me Sporting a New Hat, Thanks to My Baby!

14 comments:

  1. Oh man, that looks amazing! And so intimidating to make! I've never been to New Orleans but it's definitely on my short list of places to visit. You look pretty in your hat :)

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  2. A great use of rum and fire! I took my husband to New Orleans when I went for a conference back in the 90s and we haven't had a chance to get back but would love to be on Bourbon Street again.

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  3. Very cute- love your blog and will be checking it out more very soon. Also love your profile info. I also love the hat- so '20's-ish. I always liked the flapper/20's styles.

    http://homestyleworldcook.blogspot.com

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  4. I would love to visit New Orleans one of these days. Your post brought back memories for me of my then high school brother deciding he was going to impress all of us by making Bananas Foster at home. Surprisingly my mother gave him the go ahead to do so. Not sure I would be so brave with my own child! Luckily, no one was injured and it turned out great.

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  5. Never had Banans Foster before and your pictures let me know what I've been missing.

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  6. Looks like such a wonderful time, and such a cute hat :)

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  7. Pam, thanks so much for paying tribute to banana's foster. I love the "old school" food and I appreciated you're pointing to their recipe. I've been debating about buying banana liquer just this week for banana pudding and now I will for my future flame up dish.

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  8. Love the hat. I have a ton of those. They're so perfectly dainty.

    Everything looks delish!

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  9. Haven't been to New Orleans in twenty years . . . good to hear that it's doing well. I'm a Bananas Foster fan myself. (And I love your hat.)

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  10. I love your pictures! The one that rings especially true is the one with everybody engrossed over the Bananas Foster preparation at Brennans. New Orleans is truly a magical place. Happy Mardi Gras!

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  11. My favorite city! My hubby's never been there and I so want to take him. YOu did a wonderful job of capturing the essence of the city via photos.

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  12. thanks for sharing! love bananas foster and love the pictures of the street performers : j

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  13. Love that town!
    Happy Mardi Gras!
    Cute hat.
    LL

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  14. I love bananas foster! I've only been to NOLA once, but I'd love to go back, as the food was seriously delicious. Also, I have a picture with that guy who stands still!

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