Yesterday we showed you reader Catherine's impressive Baked Alaska, and it reminded us of bananas foster, another famous flaming dish that we made quite a bit when we were kids...OK, I didn't make it alone. My dad made it for dinner parties, but he always allowed me to ignite the rum in the pan, using a (very) long fireplace match.
Bananas Foster is a simple dish with a spectacular ending- perfect for a Valentine's Day menu. You caramelize some banana slices in brown sugar and butter, then pour on some rum, light it, and simmer down the flame. It was created at Brennan's restaurant in New Orleans in the 1950s and it's still a staple dessert on menus across the city. Usually the server flambes the bananas tableside before scooping them over vanilla ice cream.
The Brennan's recipe (below) calls for banana liqueur, which I don't think is essential. Rum is plenty to get the flame going and add flavor.
• Get the recipe: Brennan's Bananas Foster
Related: Recipe: Braised Bananas in Brandied Caramel
(Images: Flickr members Zeetz Jones and allegri, licensed under Creative Commons)