It’s as if the Southern Gods alerted them that my obsession with pecans and pralines deserved, and yes I said deserved, to have the book amongst my collection.
The book, arranged geographically is a culinary adventurer’s guide to culture, hospitality, and charm found only in the South.
With interviews and recipes from the likes of Miranda Lambert, Eva Longoria and my favorite Kay Robertson (from the hit reality series Duck Dynasty), among others, Kelly Alexander chronicles the best of the hometown favorites from six Southern regions.
I, of course, immediately flipped to the Cajun Country section.
And I’m pleased to say that it did not disappoint.
From Cafe au Lait Pralines, to Red Beans & Rice, to Creole Potato Salad to King Cake, Kelly captures what is quintessentially “Cajun Cuisine”.
There’s even a tutorial for how to peel a crawfish.
And then, there was this beauty that begged to be served for my husband’s birthday…….
The Bananas Foster Upside-Down Cake.
New Orleans can be blamed for inventing the Bananas Foster, so a cake inspired by the world-renowned treat for a guy raised in that city seemed like a logical choice to me.
And it involved rum.
And rum in the middle of the day seems fine to me, too!
Baked in a cast iron skillet, this cake is both light and moist as well sweet and flavorful.
The candied rum nature of the pecans in the bananas foster mixture is a bit of pure bite sized Heaven on your fork.
And I’m sure I broke some birthday rule etiquette by eating a piece of someone’s birthday cake for this post but it was so worth the rule breaking.
I mean, you need to make sure you’re serving up something special right?
- 1/2 c chopped pecans
- 1/2 c butter, softened and divided
- 1 c firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 tbsp rum
- 2 ripe bananas
- 3/4 c granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 c milk
- 1/2 c sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 c all-purpose baking mix
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake pecans in a single layer 8-10 minutes or until toasted, stirring once.
- Melt 1/4 cup butter in a lightly greased 10-inch cast iron skillet (with sides that are at least 2 inches high) over low heat. Remove from heat; stir in brown sugar and rum.
- Cut bananas diagonally into 1/4 inch-thick slices; arrange in circles over brown sugar mixture. Sprinkle pecans over bananas.
- Beat granulated sugar and remaining 1/4 cup butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add milk and next 2 ingredients; beat just until blended. Beat in baking mix and cinnamon until blended (batter will be lumpy). Pour batter over banana mixture in skillet. Place skillet on an aluminum foil lined jelly-roll pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Cool in skillet on a wire rack 10 minutes. Run a knife along the edges to loosen. Invert onto a serving plate, spooning any topping in skillet over cake.
I was provided a complimentary copy of the cookbook, but all opinions are my own. The links provided for purchase of the book are not affiliate links, just helpful for your reference. No Tom Foolery here, guys.