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
Taking a Break From the Group to Learn Something New
Me Sporting a New Hat, Thanks to My Baby!