Food Geekery: Bananas Foster

In a fit of new food pique, I decided I needed to try out Alton Brown's bananas Foster recipe--bananas, booze, and fire--what could be better? I had the new grad student over for dinner, and made it for dessert--the recipe turned out quite well, and was pretty fun to make. (Incidentally, she found my blog here--not sure if she's still reading, but hi R.!)

Well, now that I have this bottle of dark rum, I had to find excuses to cook this dish again. So later on this weekend, I went over to a lovely dinner at Dan and Daniel's (including soy/ginger/honey glazed chicken wings, and mashed sweet potatoes with maple/scallion butter--very yummy); this was followed by a repeat performance of Bananas Foster. Photos here courtesy of Daniel's flickr posting.

Managed not to set their kitchen/house on fire, and I still have my eyebrows. And the finished product:


Anyway, whenever I flambé something in the kitchen, I chuckle and think of an appropriate anecdote from Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential. (Incidentally, it's probably a passage that would explain why people either love him or find his gonzo food journalism really annoying. I find him vastly amusing, myself.)

When the restaurant opened, we'd begin every shift with a solemn invocation of the first moments of Apocalypse Now, our favorite movie. Emulating the title sequence, we'd play the soundtrack album, choppers coming in low and fast, the whirr of the blades getting louder and more unearthly, and just before Jim Morrison kicked in with the first few words, "This is the end, my brand new friend... the end..." we'd soak the entire range-top with brandy and ignite it, causing a huge, napalm-like fireball to rush up into the hoods--just like in the movie when the tree line goes up. If our boobish owners and newly hired floor staff weren't already thoroughly spooked by our antics, then they were by this act.

Uh oh... now I'm worried now that there might be some tEp undergrads reading my blog, and they might think that this might be a good idea...


At 9:38 PM, Anonymous Death said...

It's important that the fire extinguisher system gets tested from time to time, right?

At 1:06 PM, Anonymous Christy said...

It looks like you're making another Instructable! (The bananas Foster, not the fireball, though that would also be cool.) I'd be psyched for it, since I don't ever see Alton Brown.

At 4:44 PM, Anonymous aj said...

No Alton?! Oh, Christy, I'm so sorry...

1) Bats should give an in-person demonstration of the Banans Foster Technique when you come to Boston. I can [selflessly] provide the kitchen. And maybe some plates. And lattes.

2) I used to do a far more humble technique by cleaning my lab bench with ethanol and lighting it with a bunsen burner. The lab TA's made me cut it out, though. But nobody ever stole stuff off my bench.

I must be turning into a wino, because I couldn't help but think "Hey! that's a lot of brandy you're burning up! You could be drinking that!" Maybe they aren't using the good stuff. Plus, I don't know if there's anything else that gives you such a lovely red flame.


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