Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Banana Flambée on the BBQ and served with Rum Raisin Ice Cream

(For 8 people):
8 Bananas (old enough to have started turning brown )
4 cups of dark rum.
1 Quart of Vanilla Ice Cream
2 cups of dark raisins (2 days in advance to make the rum raisin ice cream)

This is a recipe that took three chefs to cook up! Jean Louis Dumonet, pictured above,  (The Union Club) has been grilling bananas at our barbecues for over a decade. The secret - buy the bananas a week in advance.

Directions: At a barbecue, after the main course has been consumed and while the coals are still very hot, place the bananas on the hot grill and let them cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. Meanwhile in a pot placed on the grill, bring the rum to a boil – keep warm on the side waiting until the bananas are ready.  When the bananas are cooked the skin will start to open and foam will begin to form - usually at the ends. Slit open the banana skins and cut into the fruit inside. Light the hot liquid in the pot with a long match or lighter and ladle some of the burning rum into each banana. (Be careful, you may not see the flames until they are on the bananas!) When the flames die down the bananas are done!  We traditionally served this with vanilla ice cream, until Christian Delouvrier (La Mangeoire) suggested it would be better with rum raisin ice cream, which Michel Jean (Stissing House) volunteered to make. He explains that he took 1 cup of dark raisins and macerated them in 2/3 cups of dark rum for 2 days. He then took a quart of vanilla ice cream and let it get soft by keeping it at room temperature. He mixed in the macerated raisin and rum so that it was evenly distributed and refroze until we were ready to serve it.  

Other Fruit Desserts: 

Roasted Strawberries
When Christian Delouvrier (at the time - the 4 star Chef at Lespinasse) first came to one of our barbecues many years ago, he complimented two things I had prepared: the roasted red peppers I served as one of the appetizers and the roasted strawberries I served for dessert. I told him my French mother-in-law taught me how to make the peppers (which made him smile knowingly) and that I got the roasted strawberry recipe from his friendly rival, Daniel Boulud. (which made his eyes grow wide and prompted him to give me one of his own recipes!).  I very often make roasted strawberries because it is so easy and so good. I just wash and cut up the strawberries and place them in an ovenproof casserole. I sprinkle some sugar over them and liberally add some pats of butter. As I serve the main course I place the casserole in the oven at 350F. When it is time to serve dessert, I take stem glasses and place some strawberry ice cream (sometimes I add strawberry sorbet and/or vanilla ice cream) and then ladle the hot strawberries with their sauce on top.  Serve with some simple butter cookies.

“La Soupe de Fruits Rouge” (Red Fruit Soup)
(For 4 people)
½ lb of Strawberries
¼ lb of Raspberries
¼ lb of Cherries (pitted)
4 leaves of fresh mint
1 glass of Rivesaltes Wine
Juice of ¼  lemon
1 Tablespoon of Sugar
Directions: Rinse the fruit in cold water. Take half of the strawberries and mix them in a blender with the lemon juice, sugar and wine. Cut the fruit into pieces and pour the liquid mixture over them. Chop the mint and add to the fruit salad. Refrigerate and serve cold with some plain cookies.

Fresh Mint Fruit Salad
I have been looking for a non-alcohol fruit salad and found the following recipe. I tried it but found it too sweet so I adjusted the proportions and we all loved the result.
You need any combination of good seasonal fruit. I used the following:
Watermelon, Pineapple, Honey Dew, Pitted Fresh Cherries, Green Grapes, and Red Grapes.
(all cut into small pieces about the same size)
2 tablespoons of honey (I used Golden Blossom)
3 tablespoons of lime juice
1 tablespoon of light brown sugar
3 tablespoon of fresh mint, washed and chopped finely.
Directions: Whisk the honey, lime and brown sugar together to make the dressing. Pour over the fruit. Add the mint and mix well. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to one day. Serve with plain cookies. 

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