Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Jazz It Up with Bananas Foster

Bananas Foster
Last night the mood was right for a little sweetness to balance the savory jambalaya we had for dinner. The grocery store had bananas on sale for $0.52 a lb! I typically keep a small stash of bananas on the kitchen counter, grabbing one on the way out the door for work each morning. But what could I make with bananas that would rationalize my impulsive decision to buy 4 lbs? Enter in Bananas Foster - a dessert that originated at Brennan's restaurant in New Orleans. If you like banana splits, I imagine you would like Bananas Foster. Dark brown sugar, rum, vanilla ice cream, chopped walnuts...perhaps I should have a second helping having made my mouth salivate now.

I chose to feature a Jazz beat with today's eat. Jazz music has this ability to sound classic and hip at the same time - it can be both sophisticated and sexy in tone and lyrics. I'll admit that prior to her Grammy win for Best New Artist this year, I had not heard of Esperanza Spalding. The dark horse beat out Bieber, Mumford and Sons, Florence and the Machine, and Drake! Having listened to her latest album, Chamber Music Society, she is quickly becoming my go to artist for easy listening jams on the way to work and cooking in the kitchen.

Hearing her song "I Know You Know", visions of sipping Cosmopolitans at a chic lounge in New York City or Chicago fill my head. Or in this instance, the song accompanied me in Memphis as I made bananas foster. Other songs I'd recommend by this artist: Little Fly and Overjoyed.

Tonight I'm finally going to see the film Black Swan. Can't wait! Disclaimer: I will partake in a few cocktails before seeing a movie by director Darren Aronofsky. I'm fully prepared to be mentally disturbed and emotionally drained by the time I leave the theatre, so hopefully a little vino takes the edge off from the start.



1/4 cup butter

2/3 cup dark brown sugar

3 1/2 tablespoons rum (I used 1.5 tsp of rum to 2 tsp of water)

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 bananas, peeled and sliced lengthwise and crosswise

1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1 pint vanilla ice cream

In a large, deep skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in sugar, rum, vanilla and cinnamon. When mixture begins to bubble, place bananas and walnuts in pan. Cook until bananas are hot, a few minutes. Serve at once over vanilla ice cream.

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