This is definitely an old family favorite. I've even prepared it on a one-burner campstove in the middle of nowhere. I guess it's mostly a dessert, although it's also a fine breakfast/brunch offering, especially with champagne or a champagne-based drink, like mimosa or kir royale (one of my favorites). This is one of the first things the kids learned to cook for themselves. Snicker! Motivation is a wonderful thing. If you want something fervently enough…
1 banana per person (for us that's 4)
1/4 lb. of butter (No, you can't substitute margarine! That's disgusting!)
Some rum (Ok, a lot of rum.)
A little Grand Marnier (Ok, some GM)
Lots of brown sugar (The more, the merrier.)
Some vanilla (Real vanilla is best, of course but imitation works.)
Cinnamon to taste (Again, fresh is good, if you have it. Powdered works, if you don't.)
Slice bananas down the middle lengthwise once and crosswise once, resulting in 4 pieces from each banana. Put butter, rum, and Grand Marnier into an adequately-sized sautee pan. As the butter melts, add the brown (Other kinds will do in a pinch.) sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Some people like a little nutmeg, clove, et al. Cook's choice. Simmer it until it's at the soft-ball stage, then add the bananas. Cook for a minute or two on both sides. That's it; you're done. Serve and enjoy. As a breakfast item, I like to have this with buttered toast. As a dessert, it's pretty tasty over ice cream. Breyer's is good; homemade is excellent. Diner's choice. Whatever you do, please, do NOT use banana liqueur in this recipe. That stuff is just nasty!
Alternate preparation: The previous preparation cooks away all (well, most, anyway) of the alcohol, making this dish suitable for everyone, including kids. If you're a showboat chef, serving adults and wanna impress 'em, try this instead. This method will typically leave a lot more of the alcohol content in the final dish. Put the cinnamon in a small container and have it ready. Prepare the other ingredients as above but in a chafing dish with a heat source at the table; and use 151 rum, which you'll add after you've added the bananas, instead of at the beginning. Give the rum a minute to get warm, then IGNITE the dish. That's right. Set that sucker on fire. Please, be careful at this step. Stir it to keep the flame going and sprinkle the cinnamon into the flames. The cinnamon dust will flare orange in the blue alcohol flame. Very impressive. Unless you set yourself and/or everything else on fire. Of course, that would be impressive, too; but in a different way, huh? Did I remind you to be careful?
Chef Francois, le loup-garou de la cuisine