Bananas Foster

INGREDIENTS:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
4 firm-ripe bananas, peeled and sliced lengthwise into halves
1/4 cup banana liqueur
1/2 cup dark rum
1 pint high quality vanilla ice cream

METHOD:

In a large skillet, melt the butter over low heat. Add brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves.

Add the bananas and banana liqueur and half the rum. Cook bananas on both sides until the bananas start to soften and brown, about 3 minutes.

Carefully add the rest of the rum and shake the pan back and forth to warm the rum and flame the pan. (Or, off the heat, carefully ignite the pan with a match.) Shake the pan back and forth, basting the bananas, until the flame dies.

Gently lift the bananas from the pan and place 2 halves on dessert plate. Top with scoop of vanilla ice cream. Spoon the sauce over the ice cream and serve immediately.

YIELD: 4 servings