This Week

Mack's Corner

This Week

Brennan's…. The Honeymoon

We got married 39 years ago this Saturday (May 20). Most of our honeymoon was in New Orleans. We had walked all over town, seen Jackson square, had beignets at Café Du Monde, walked up and down Bourbon Street, had dinner at a couple of fancy restaurants and still had another day. So I was looking for something that was fun, relaxing and would kill most of the morning. I had read about "Breakfast at Brennan's". I don't know if it was in a movie or a story in a book, but it was famous. I didn't really think we could get in but I called anyway. "Reservation for 2 at 9am… we'll see you then." The woman said in a nice New Orleans voice. I looked at PK and said "We're going to breakfast at Brennan's…Hmm. Hmm. Hmm."..  "Do we have to dress up?" .. "Not too much." …. Our table was in a room upstairs overlooking a garden. It was very nice and the chairs were comfortable. The waiter poured some coffee, put a pitcher of cream on the table and handed us both a news paper, The Times Picayune,  we were the first ones there. There were 3 more tables in the room. While more people arrived we kept reading and drinking coffee. When the room was full the waiter gave out menus so we could pick our main course. I ordered Eggs Hussarde (From the menu: A Brennan's Original,  one of the dishes that put "Breakfast at Brennan's" on the map. Poached eggs atop Holland rusks, Canadian bacon and Marchand de Vin sauce. Topped with Hollandaise sauce)  … and PK ordered Eggs Shannon (From the menu: Poached eggs atop fried trout, served in a bed of creamed spinach and topped with Hollandaise sauce.) …..

More coffee… then he brought out a baked apple with brown sugar and butter bubbling in the center. At the table he poured cream in to it to cool it off… This is my kind of breakfast …. We ate, drank coffee, read the paper, talked, laughed, held hands, we had been married for 2 days… it was great, the smells made you want to just close your eyes and breathe… We were an hour and a half in to it when the main course came….  I could have stayed there all day, I was just finishing the sports section and my 5th cup of coffee… 20 minutes after the main course the waiter came around and asked if we wanted Bananas Foster (From the menu: Bananas sautéed in butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and banana liqueur, then flamed in rum. Served over vanilla ice cream.) or Crepes Fitzgerald (From the menu: Crepes filled with a delicate filling of cream cheese and sour cream served with a topping of strawberries flamed in Maraschino.) …. We both said Bananas Foster… There was a table in the middle of the room where the waiter placed two Flambe pans on top of a single flame. He added the butter and sugar to both pans, stirring it around with a large silver spoon. Then he added the bananas to one pan and the strawberries to the other and left. The room was filled with the smell of roasting bananas and bubbling strawberries. 20 minutes later he came in a poured rum on the bananas and Maraschino on the strawberries and tilted the pan to the ignite the mixture. A flame shot up 2 feet above the pan as he stirred. He left and came back with bowls of ice cream and plates with crepes and spooned out the bananas and strawberries.. It was so simple and it was so out of place for breakfast and it was so great, it was magic…. I'll never forget it ..

God's like that: We think we don't have much to offer. We think we're kinda out of place with God and that our lives are pretty simple.  But God can take the smallest talent the simplest thing, the person that you would think is the farthest away and make something great. All you have to do is say "Ok God, I'm in."

I haven't had breakfast yet… wonder where I can find some bananas? I know PK is expecting it Saturday morning....

==

Cooking 220 - 2 pans, 2 burners, 20 minutes:
New Orleans Continued …

One of the best things I've ever had in New Orleans is Bananas Foster.
It's very simple and very elegant and you can show off like you're a big time chef. I'm going to tell you Brennan's recipe, but  I've got a few changes to make it easier…

Brennan's Bananas Foster:

¼ cup (½ stick) butter

1 cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ cup banana liqueur

4 bananas, cut in half
lengthwise, then halved

¼ cup dark rum

4 scoops vanilla ice cream

Combine the butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a skillet. Place the pan over low heat and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the banana liqueur, then place the bananas in the pan. When the banana sections soften and begin to brown, Take the skillet off the heat and carefully add the rum. Continue to cook the sauce until the rum is hot, then hold a lit match over the pan to ignite the rum. (SEE WARNING BELOW: BE CAREFUL) When the flames subside, lift the bananas out of the pan and place four pieces over each portion of ice cream. Generously spoon warm sauce over the top of the ice cream and serve immediately.

Ok, that's their version, here's mine.  Kids will like this one better because it doesn't turn brown plus you shouldn't even have to go to the store unless you don't have any bananas, skip the rum if you want, it's not a big deal:

Half stick of butter

1 cup of sugar (brown, white, whatever you have)

4 Bananas cut into rounds (easier to handle, easier for kids)

If you're doing this for adults or just want to show off. Rum, Brandy, Bourbon .. anything brown 1/4 cup…. After you flame it, all the alcohol is gone. You can leave this out!!! It's not real important..

You can add some cinnamon, but it starts to make everything look brown and kind of muddy.. Kids don't like brown and muddy.. I leave it out.
   
Ice cream

Put the butter and sugar in a skillet and stir. Add the bananas and spread them around. Let them cook, don't stir too much or you'll breakup the bananas. When the bananas are soft, about 15 min, you're done.

At this point you can add the Rum and flame it.. BE CAREFUL .. TAKE IT OFF THE HEAT WHEN YOU ADD IT. DON'T HOLD YOUR HEAD OVER THE PAN WHEN YOU LIGHT IT!!! IT WILL BURN YOUR EYEBROWS OFF!!! THIS IS NOT A TIME TO GET IN CLOSE TO SMELL IT. THE FLAME IS HARD TO SEE BUT IT'S THERE. DON'T BURN YOUR KITCHEN DOWN..

Put it over the ice cream …. Here's the cool thing about my version: it works with almost any fruit…. Strawberries, cherries, oranges, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries … Don't worry about buying fresh fruit, it works just as well with frozen stuff and it's lots cheaper…. Fancy dessert for the price of 4 bananas…

Mack

 

Posted by Mack Oates at 1:26 PM