By Vanessa Greaves
February 14, 2017

When New Orleans cooks up a recipe, you just know it's going to be over-the-top good. Case in point: bananas Foster. You sauté perfectly ripe bananas in a buttery brown sugar and cinnamon sauce, drench 'em with rum and banana liqueur, set the whole thing on fire, then serve up all that warm caramel banana goodness with a cold scoop of vanilla ice cream. Here's how to make classic bananas Foster, plus 6 more ways to Foster-ize your food, no flames required.

7 Ways to Get Your Bananas Foster Fix

Always the showman, Chef John sprinkles the cinnamon at the end to add flare to the flames. Of course, this is the sort of thing only very experienced cooks should take on. Read up on how to safely flambé food, and be sure to have a lid handy to smother the flames just in case.

An easy bananas Foster sauce tops homemade waffles, with pecans added for crunch. Rum-flavored extract gives the flavor more authenticity, and whipped cream stands in for the ice cream so the waffles stay nice and warm.

Bananas Foster Belgian Waffles | Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

Monkey breads gets baked with a butter and brown sugar caramel sauce anyway, so tucking sliced bananas in with the biscuits gives it a bananas Foster finish. Substitute rum-flavored extract for the vanilla extract to bump up the flavor.

Monkey Bread | Photo by Meredith

Try this make-ahead baked casserole for your next brunch, along with a New Orleans cocktail or two.

Bananas Foster French Toast | Photo by Meredith

Call it a healthy take on bananas Foster, if you like. The recipe specifies steel-cut oats, but you can top regular rolled oats or even instant oats with this delectable sauce to make the most irresistible bowl of oatmeal ever.

Banana Foster Steel-Cut Oats | Photo by Tammy Lynn

Give new life to stale bread by turning it into bread pudding. Add the bananas Foster sauce and serve warm with ice cream on the side for an easy, comforting dessert or brunch dish.

Bananas Foster Pudding | Photo by Meredith

Warm and gooey bananas Foster gets wrapped up in flour tortillas and fried for a crispy, crunchy crust. Do yourself a favor and let the hot filling cool a bit before you roll it up so you don't burn your fingers.

So, Who Was Foster?

That would be Richard Foster, a regular customer at the historic Brennan's Restaurant in New Orleans and the head of the New Orleans Crime Commission. Brennan's Paul Blangé created the dish and named it in honor of Foster, who was also a close friend of the restaurant's owner, Owen Brennan.

The moral of this story: It pays to be a regular.

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