I love almost everything about Jackson Hole. One thing I am not particularly fond of, however, is that it can be somewhat transient. Meaning, people move here, we get attached to having them here and then they leave. This, I actually despise. I am very attached to my close friends and don’t like losing dinner partners.
In my 15 or so years in this town, I have had several best friends and family members come and go. The only upside to this is that I have transplanted friends in great places like Vancouver, California, New York and now, Denver.
My most recent loss comes from my cousin, Caroline. She is probably the person I spent the most time with during the last four years she has lived here. We walked dogs, we worked together, we skied together and especially, we ate together. She even lived with me for a short period when she first moved here.
Thus, I am very familiar with Caroline’s dietary pleasures and dislikes. One thing that was very difficult to deal with is her aversion to cilantro. I love making and eating Mexican food, and she made this rather difficult with somebody who HATES — and I use capitals as she won’t eat anything it has touched — cilantro.
I do have to admit, she likes more than she dislikes (I am probably more picky than she is). Caroline was particularly fond of pizza night at our house, with frequent requests for her favorite — beet and crispy kale with a white sauce and goat cheese. She also often asked for chicken pot pie and macaroni with cheese. I happily obliged, and we regularly had “family night” Sunday dinners.
So, seemingly, I would be making one of her favorites for her family going-away dinner. But alas, her friend, Quincy, won the job since he is a trained chef. Despite his offer to make homemade ravioli (yum) or a spicy Thai soup, Caroline chose what I would consider a rather simple dish from this talented chef. He can literally make anything, and I would have gone with something complicated or time-consuming. (I was rooting for fresh pea ravioli in a brown butter sauce.)
But, since this was Caroline’s “last meal,” she got to choose. So what was on the menu, you ask? Crispy fish with a beurre blanc sauce, roasted Brussels sprouts and roasted potatoes. Yes, it was delicious, but what came after was the icing on the cake, so to speak. For dessert, he made a bananas Foster bread pudding. It is her favorite recipe of his, and now I know why.
This yummy dessert combines the best of two great desserts. Bananas Foster is a standard favorite with great flavors of caramel, bananas and rum. Bread pudding, done properly, is always delicious — not too sweet and satisfying.
This version is a dish anyone who loves either, or both, of those desserts will love. We served it warm with ice cream, but I bet it would be good with whipped cream, too.