raichlen's book, that I will be blogging about soon. I made a new recipe using grilled asparagus that I will also be blogging about soon. We enjoyed the company of our neighbors, Jim and Herme. Jim just got downsized, and he was very appreciative of a night of fun. The weather was close to perfect, 80 degrees, low humidity (first night this week without the Kansas August soul sucking humidity). And the flies were a pain in the ass. OK, not everything was perfect, but it was still pretty good).
I got to pondering dessert. I talked to my wife earlier in the day, and she wanted to make chocolate brownies (maybe in honor of Woodstock's 40th anniversary, but probably not). At any rate, I didn't give it another moments thought, as she said she would take care of it. She got home from work about an hour before our guests arrived. She puttered a bit (I don't have to tell you how women are), and about 30 minutes prior to the start of the party decided it was time to make the brownies. When what to my wondering ears should occur, but a hideous screech (and 8 tiny reindeer). I ran to the window, threw open the sash (actually, I was on the patio, doing prep work to get the grill ready), so I did run to the window between our kitchen and the patio to see what was the matter.
I am sure you all figured out, we were out of the stuff to make the brownies. She was beside herself. Probably had something to do with it being Friday, and she has that inconvenient job thing that gets in the way of food prep and pantry stocking. Somehow, her committing to make brownies, telling me not to worry about it because she was going to take care of everything; then not having proper supplies became (male readers will know what is coming)... All this became my fault! There were tears, anger, and if I was not armed with a spatula, I am sure there was the possibility of violence. I was given no option, no choices, only told that since all this was my fault, I was expected to make a dessert for 8 people, and it better be fabulous.
So, we switched places, and she was delegated to slicing tomatoes and onions, while I checked the pantry to see what I could make. Actually, taking the tongue out of my cheek for just a second, this turn of events did upset my wife, and I wanted to make her something special. Also, this was my take on the previous five minute rant (discussion) she (we) had. Her version might be slightly different, but hey, this is my blog, if you want to hear her version, try to find her thoughts in the web.
I checked around, and we had everything to make her very favorite dessert... Bananas Foster.
Bananas Foster is a wonderful dessert, rich, lots of layers of flavors, served flaming (fire...Good). It is most often credited with being served in New Orleans (7 weeks and counting til our vacation in the Big Easy). This would get me back in good graces with the little woman!
So I gathered together everything we would need...
1 stick of butter
2 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 cup banana liqueur
8 bananas, cut in half, and those halves cut in half again, lengthwise
1/2 cup brandy
GREAT, we were set. Everything was in the pantry, and I would look like a genius...Except we were nearly out of ice cream. True Bananas Foster is served over a scoop or two of ice cream. We had 8 people attending, and less than a quarter gallon. Certainly not enough to serve 8... What to do, what to do.
Viola, invent the wheel again, and come up with a new twist on a classic...
I did have some whipped cream, I could give everyone a half scoop, and top with whipped cream, and the volume would look right.
I had a bag of Pecans. The goop of Bananas Foster is similar to the goop you make Pralines from. So adding pecans made sense.
I also had 4 granny smith apples. I shoved that apple cutting device down them, which cored them and made 32 apple sections! Dipping the apples in the goop would taste similar to caramel apples.
Finally, I had some gingerbread cookies (a Christmas gift we never opened...pour the goop on top, and who's to know how fresh they are).
OK, here's what I did...
Combine the butter, sugar, Cinnamon and banana liquor in a heavy pan, put this over the burners of the grill (or the hottest part of your coal grill)... Or you can cook these on stove top, but this is "My Year on the Grill", not my night cooking over a stove, so I put them over the burners of my gas grill.
Stir continuously for about 5 minutes, getting everything hot without boiling. Then add the bananas, and cook for another 5 minutes, til the bananas are soft, and just starting to turn brown.
Keep stirring, and have your wife, significant other or Suez chef get the bowls ready with 1/2 a scoop of ice cream (full scoop would work better), 1/4 cup of pecans, and a scoop of whipped cream. I am sorry, I didn't take a photo of the prep bowls, but I was busy stirring. I also had a small plate with 4 apple slices that the bowls set on.
Just prior to serving, add 1/2 cup of brandy (or rum) to the pan with the cooking bananas. It flames best if you pour around the edge of the pan. Take a match and light where you poured the most in the pan. Whoosh... a nice little flame, that will flair up a bit, as you stir. Very satisfying for the caveman in all grillers, and looks dramatic anytime you can serve anything flambe!
Here I am, you can just see the flames under the slotted spoon. And yes, I still have all the hair on my arms. BTW, the camera adds 10 lbs. I believe that there were 7 cameras pointed at me when this photo was taken.
Start pouring the goop and the bananas into each bowl, and just wait for the thrill of the crowd.
It all worked very well. The Granny Smith Apples were a terrific addition. The pecans added a crunch, and the cookie was a real treat. The ice cream melts fast, so I enjoyed, and did not photograph, but it was loved by everyone. And I was loved by my wife. Marital bliss returned!
This was a real winner, tasted great, looked fabulous, and it pulled my wife's butt out of the fire she created (or pulled mine out, depending on who you listen to). This is very easy, dramatic, and I highly recommend you all giving it a try!