Friday, May 13, 2011

Camp Bananas Foster(ish)

I can't lie. There is no true recipe to this dessert. I've made many versions of fried, caramelized, or otherwise fattened bananas. For some reason my brain wants me to use different ingredients and a different cooking approach each time I make the dish. I've also never once measured the ingredients. Not that this is a bad thing. Experimentation has taught me much of what I know about cooking. (It has also brought on its fair share of kitchen disasters.)

Usually when I get an idea, I just can't seem to let it go. This Saturday I was dead set on keeping ice cream frozen in the trunk of our car for two and a half hours. I don't know whether I wanted ice cream that badly or if I just wanted to prove a point, but somehow it worked. Nestled among cold beer and packed on ice in a hot/cold bag, my vanilla ice cream managed to stay just the right amount of frozen through a car ride from Cambridge to Foxboro and on into an hour of tailgating.

I think it was the ice cream dream that inspired the caramelized bananas, but it didn't hurt my cause that we had a brand new grill equipped with side burner. Which I was dying to test out. 

And test out I did. In a tiny camp saucepan, no less!

Due to the proximity of this saucepan to both a can of propane and several idling vehicles, I opted to forgo the traditional flambe procedure (and with it, the rum). Hence the "ish" in the recipe's title...

Camp Bananas Foster(ish)

 Four bananas, sliced lengthwise and halved
 3 tablespoons butter
 A handful (2/3 cup?) brown sugar
 A smaller handful (1/4 cup?) granulated sugar
 A splash of vanilla extract
 Several pinches (3/4 teaspoon?) ground cinnamon

 1. Melt butter in saucepan or deep skillet over hot grill surface or burner.
 2. Stir sugars vanilla and cinnamon in to saucepan
 3. When mixture begins to bubble, add bananas and cook, tossing gently, until hot and lightly browned.
 4. Serve immediately with a scoop of vanilla ice cream

You can add rum, caramel, chopped walnuts, or anything your heart desires to this dish to make it extra special. 

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