Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Don't Hurt Yourself Bananas Foster

I keep dark rum in my house for 2 reasons: Wes Cooksey, and bananas foster.

Last night, I decided that my World of Warcraft playing husband and I needed dessert. See how happy it made him? I'm such a good wife.

Now, you probably know that if you order bananas foster in a restaurant, you do so partly for the flashy presentation that involves lighting the dish on fire to burn off the rum in the sauce. In my house, though, we call such a move a "fire hazard," and given recent kitchen injuries (including the time I almost cut off the tip of my finger with a CAN OF CHICKPEAS), I tend to play it safe and stay away from anything that might physically harm me in the cooking process. Flipping omelettes? Not a problem. The worst that can happen is a big mess on the stove or floor. Broiling? Sure. Use your oven mitts and don't let your pita chips burn. Chopping vegetables with super-sharp Henckles knives? As long as I am not in a bad mood (apparently, I get aggressive and sloppy when I'm angry). Playing with fire and alcohol? That's a big no-no.

So, based on a Paula Deen recipe, I have come up with my own version of bananas foster that can be whipped up in a jiffy, usually at any given moment since I always have the ingredients on hand, and the shortcut technique I invented really can't hurt you at all. Not a rum drinker? I'm not either. I actually hate it. But, it's just not bananas foster without the rum, so go out and get yourself a small bottle to keep in the pantry for this one dish. Or incase Wes Cooksey happens to come over and wants to play Rock Band.

Don't Hurt Yourself Bananas Foster

1 banana
2-3 tablespoons butter
about 1/4-1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 splash vanilla extract
1/4 cup dark rum

In a small, nonstick saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. While that's melting, prepare the banana: slice into thin pieces, or (what I usually do) cut it in half, then slice it lengthwise, making 4 sections. Add brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla to the butter, stir to combine and make a thick, gooey sauce. Add the bananas, and toss to coat. Immediately pour in the rum (stand back! don't let it splatter on the gas) and stir to create a thinner sauce. Cook for 5 minutes, until the alcohol has burned off, and the bananas have soaked up some of the sauce. Remove from heat, serve over vanilla ice cream or with whipped cream.

There is nothing quite like tasty, warm rum sauce over vanilla ice cream. I'm a sucker for ice cream in general, but especially if certain things are paired with it, like warm cake or warm sauce. It melts together and is simply divine.

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