I've always had a love and hate relationship with bananas. They were forced upon by my parents when I was a kid to make sure I was getting my potassium. I wish they knew then that oranges and even greens have more potassium—I would have rather eaten spinach. As an adult I eat bananas only occasionally, because I don't care for the texture or waxiness. That was until recently. I've almost become a banana addict, eating them every chance I get.
But there's one thing I still absolutely hate about bananas and that's when they're yellow. For me the more brown spots the better. Bananas are infinitely more flavorful when fully ripened. Otherwise they taste like eating a candle. But I do have one great idea for unripe bananas, and it's this dessert.
Bananas foster is the ideal dessert for banana lovers. Invented in New Orleans, it has all the flamboyance of the city with its flambeing finish, usually done tableside. My version does away with all the hoopla, but for interest I leave the banana skins on, which add some visual appeal but also helps keep the bananas from overcooking and becoming mushy. Enjoy this dessert with vanilla ice cream.
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons butter
2 bananas, sliced lengthwise
1/4 cup rum
vanilla ice cream, for serving
In a skillet set over medium heat, melt sugar until an amber caramel forms. Swirl in butter until melted. Add banana slices cut-side down and cook for about 5 minutes. Turn over and cook an additional 3 minutes. Transfer bananas to a plate. To the skillet add rum. Cook the mixture for about 5 minutes, while scraping up caramel, until it thickens. Pour over bananas. Serve with vanilla ice cream. Yield: 2 servings.