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Brennan's Bananas Foster
|4||ea||Thoroughly Ripe Bananas|
|2||oz||Banana Liqueur (Galliano)|
|1||cup||Dark Brown Sugar|
|4||tbls||Unsalted Butter (½ stick)|
|4||scoops||Vanilla Ice Cream (Ben & Jerry's)|
This dish cannot be prepared in the kitchen. It must be performed, in front of your guests. You'll need a chafing dish and some kind of portable heat, like Sterno, or an alcohol burner, or do it outside with the Bar-B-Que.
First, you should make some preparations. Put your ground cinnamon into some kind of non-standard container, or even a little muslin bag, the better to "convince" your guests that it is, in fact, not cinnamon but voodoo dust, scraped from the tomb of Marie Laveau at midnight on All Soul's Day... play it up.
Second, the banana... slice the peel of the bananas on one side, carefully open the banana (like a purse) and slip the banana out of its skin. With a knife slice the banana crossways into coins. Then reassemble the banana and return it to its peel so that it looks untouched (as best as you can, anyway). Then, when you are ready to prepare the dish, hold the banana so that the split that you made earlier is facing the palm of your hand, cut the end of the banana peel off and pretend to peel the banana as you usually would. The banana "coins" will fall out into the dish as if by magic. Cheesy!? Well, that depends on how you play it.
Otherwise, just cut the bananas up the traditional way, by quartering them. (lengthwise & crosswise)
Place the butter, brown sugar and banana liqueur into the cold chafing dish. Stir as it heats up and once the mixture begins to bubble add the bananas. Let it caramelize over the heat for about 5 minutes. When the sauce is caramelized add the rum while the flame of your heat source laps over the edge of the chafing dish. While agitating the liquid to keep the flame burning, add a few pinches, or pat the pouch, of "voodoo dust" over the flame. The cinnamon will sparkle orange in the blue flame, for that little touch of mystery. As soon as the rum burns out it's ready to serve.
When the flames subside, lift the bananas out of the pan and place four pieces over each portion of ice cream. Then generously spoon warm sauce over the top of the ice cream.
* You really want to use a good cinnamon. Chinese Cassia or Vietnamese Exra Fancy would be a good choice. If you want to go whole hog, Ceylon from Sri Lanka would be the ticket. Just go easy... it's the real thing, and it's pretty strong.
Variations: one may substitute another fruit in this dish that has a correspondingly flavored liqueur -- such as peaches or pears.