MMMMM----- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.04
       Title: BANANAS FOSTER-New Orleans
  Categories: Desserts, Fruits, Cajun
       Yield: 4 servings
       4 tb Butter (1/2 stick)
       1 c  Dark brown sugar
       2    Bananas
       2 oz Banana liqueur
       4 oz Dark rum
            Ground cinnamon
            Vanilla ice cream (opt)
   A quintessential New Orleans dessert, and a favorite among most
   locals. This dish cannot be prepared in the kitchen. It must be
   performed, in front of your guests. Use a chafing dish, and some kind
   of portable heat like Sterno. Don't be sloppy, and keep a fire
   extinguisher handy. There’s no need to burn the house down just for
   dessert, but this really must be done right. I learned to cook this
   dish from Chef Joe Cahn at the New Orleans School of Cooking, and he
   spun dire tales of what befell those who dared sequester themselves
   in the kitchen when making Bananas Foster. Seriously, bad gris-gris
   will befall you if you deprive your guests of the spectacle. Plus,
   they'll talk for years about how cool you are to have made this for
   their dessert.
   First, you should make some preparations. Peel a thin strip of peel
   from the bananas, and use your knife to slice the banana crossways
   into coins. Then replace the banana peel so that it looks untouched
   (as best as you can, anyway). This way, you can pretend to “peel”
   your bananas, and dump them into the put already cut, as if by magic.
   Cheesy, you ask? Well, it still looks cool, particularly if you're
   really nonchalant when you do this in front of your guests. If you
   insist, you can slice the bananas the classical way, quartering them
   by slicing thm lengthwise and then in half. I still think the other
   way is cooler.
   Put your ground cinnamon into some kind of non-standard container, or
   even a little muslin bag, the better to “convince” your guests that
   it is, in fact, not cinnamon but voodoo dust, scraped from the tomb
   of Marie Laveau at midnight on All Soul’s Day ... some kind of
   delightfully corny junk like that. Also, I recommend taking a
   cinnamon stick and grinding it fresh in a spice or coffee grinder
   instead of using pre-ground cinnamon. Sieve the result through a tea
   ball strainer to remove the larger pieces which won't grind finely.
   This will maximize the fresh, aromatic cinnamon flavor. If you use
   your coffee grinder, it'll also make your coffee taste great.
   Now, to business ...
   Melt the butter and add the brown sugar to form a creamy paste. Let
   this mixture caramelize over the heat for about 5 minutes. Stir in
   the banana liqueur and rum. Heat until the liquor is warmed, about
   three minutes. Add the bananas, cook for about 1 - 2 minutes, then
   ignite with a flourish. Here’s the best way to do this:
   Using a long, bent-handled ladle, scoop up some of the warm liquor.
   Hold it a foot or two above the chafing dish and ignite the liquor in
   the ladle. VERY CAREFULLY, pour the liquor into the dish. A column of
   flame will descend from the ladle into the dish, which will ignite
   with a marvelous *poof*! Keep a pal nearby, subtly wielding a fire
   extinguisher. Try not to become a human torch in the process.
   Agitate to keep the flame burning, and add a few pinches of “voodoo
   dust” to the flame. The cinnamon will sparkle orange in the blue
   flame, and looks really neat.
   Let the flames go out. Serve over ice cream if you wish, but some
   hardcores like me like it just like it is. Yum.
   Variations: one may substitute any fruit for this dish that has a
   correspondingly flavored liqueur -- peaches, pears, whatever. Walt MM