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Big Banana Feat
Member Name: KirkcaldyDad
Date: 27/06/01, updated on 31/07/01 (139 review reads)
Advantages: Cheap, fun, slightly dangerous
Disadvantages: slightly dangerous
For me this recipe's got it all. I can't remember how it came about. There have been experiments with various substitute alchoholic beverages, but the one I'm about to describe beats all the others hands down.
Gourmet? Well, it's quick, easy, fun, exciting, slightly dangerous, and you don't have to seek out specialist shops or search those supermarket aisles you normally bypass. And everyone loves it. Even kids. Equally suited to a posh dinner party or a late night when you get home from the pub. What more could you want? Well, low calorie perhaps, but we're not doing that here.
First the bananas. One per person is a good number (but see notes at the end). Peel them and cut in half lengthways. Make sure you cut them so they will lie flat on the cut surface, not bow up. Understand what I'm getting at? No? Well you try to describe how to cut a banana without pictures or arm-waving.
Frying pan - reasonably big one, and mine is non-stick with a thick base. Put it on just above medium heat and melt some butter. Use a fair sized dollop of butter.
Swirl the butter around and when it is bubbling but before it starts to discolour put in the bananas. Carefully put each one in, flat side down. Don't crowd them in; you will come to regret it big time if you do.
Cook for a few minutes, and carefully turn over. You may need two fish slices to turn them without breaking. Add a bit more butter if it looks too dry. The bananas should cook until they just go soft and translucent. Try to avoid getting little burnt - sorry, caramelised - bits on them, but it doesn't really matter if you do. If some cook faster than others swap them around a bit.
Ready for the exciting bit now? Amaretto. Comes in a knobbly rectangular bottle with a big square top and tastes like marzipan. Nice on its own as well.
Ensure that the kitchen door is open and your guests have a good v
iew. They are bound to be impressed.
Make sure the pan with the bananas is nice and hot. Turn up the heat a little but don't overdo it. Now you have to work quickly. Slosh in a good dose of Amaretto. When you think you've done enough put in a little more. Keep the pan flat for three or four seconds then draw it half off the ring and tip it slightly. That should be enough to set the Amaretto alight. And did I say, don't lean over the pan at this stage if you value your eyebrows? Initially you will get flames rising a good two or three feet above the pan, but don't worry; they quickly die down. As soon as it's lit, bring the pan back to level over the heat and keep moving it a bit - just shoogle it gently backwards and forwards - to keep the flames going. Honestly, it's more complicated to describe than to do.
When the flames die down you are ready to serve. Carefully lift the bananas onto plates or wide bowls and over each pour a little of the buttery sugary yummy sauce from the bottom of the pan.
Add a splodge of whipped cream (you did remember to whip it earlier didn't you?) or vanilla ice cream.
Variations and notes:
You can try using any other liqueur or spirit you fancy. Brandy is quite common for this sort of thing, but in my opinion Amaretto really is the best.
I once wrapped the cooked bananas in hot pancakes, then poured the sauce over and had ice cream as well. That was delicious, but one whole banana and two pancakes each was really just tooooo much. Cooked bananas are surprisingly filling. Half a banana and one pancake each would have been more sensible. We valiantly soldiered through though.
You need to pour the sauce out of the pan onto the plates reasonably quickly, otherwise it just boils away in the hot pan and you don't have enough to go round. There isn't a great deal to s
tart with and you need to make sure everyone gets some.
The tipping the pan bit to set it alight works well on gas. If you have an electric hob you may have to use a match or candle to get it going. But whatever you do, don't wait too long or all the alcohol will boil off and it will never light.