Going Bananas

Unexpected ingredients turn an everyday fillet into a surprisingly delicious dish.

EUGENIA UHL PHOTOGRAPH

The combination may sound crazy, but beef and bananas with horseradish sauce is a mouthwatering meal. Filet Stanley, named for Stanley Kowalski from Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, is as feisty and bold as the character played by Marlon Brando. Rich in both flavor and history, the unique recipe is the creation of the late restaurateur Owen E. Brennan, who befriended many of the movie greats who called the French Quarter home during Streetcar’s filming in the late 1940s. Since then, restaurant patrons from near and far have been “going bananas” for this spicy yet smooth entree.

Filet Stanley
8 beef fillets, about 8 ounces each, halved
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
8 bananas, sliced in half lengthwise
16 Holland rusks
1/2 cup horseradish sauce (recipe follows)
2 cups red-wine-and-mushroom sauce (recipe follows)

Sprinkle the halved beef fillets on both sides with salt and pepper. Grill or broil the meat to desired doneness.

In a large skillet, melt the butter and sauté the sliced bananas until tender and lightly browned, about 4 minutes per side.

To serve, place two Holland rusks in the center of a heated plate. Place a slice of banana on both sides of the rusks near the edge of the plate. Spoon the horseradish sauce between the bananas and the rusks. Place a piece of cooked fillet on each rusk, and top the fillets with red-wine-and-mushroom sauce. Serves 8

Horseradish Sauce
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons horseradish

In a saucepan, combine the cream, pepper and salt. Cook over medium heat, but do not let the cream reach a boil. Blend the butter and flour together, and form a ball. Add the butter-and-flour ball to the simmering cream. Cook until the sauce is smooth, and then add the horseradish.

Red-Wine-and-Mushroom Sauce
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup diced onion
4 ounces (1/2 cup) tomato paste
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups beef stock
2 cups sliced scallions
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup Burgundy wine
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Salt and black pepper

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, melt the butter. Add the onions, and sauté for several minutes until tender. Stir in the tomato paste, mushrooms and paprika; cook until the mushrooms are tender, and then add the flour. Stir the mixture until it’s well-blended, and then, using a whisk, incorporate the beef stock. When the sauce is smooth, add the scallions, Worcestershire sauce, wine and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, and let it simmer for about 25 minutes.

Recipe from Breakfast At Brennan’s And Dinner, Too: The original and most recent recipes from New Orleans’ world-famous Brennan’s Restaurant and a tribute to its founder, Owen Edward Brennan by Pip, Jimmy and Ted Brennan

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