Sunday, August 10, 2008

Banana Chiffon Tart

The smooth light texture of this fruit tart is complemented by a lemon flavor. This dessert is best eaten on the day it is made as the bananas discolor a little on keeping. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve. Recipe serves 8.


3 1/2 ounces (100 g) unsalted butter
8 ounce (250 g) packet ginger nut cookies (biscuits), crushed
Filling and Topping:
Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons gelatin
3 bananas, mashed (about 2 cups)
1/2 pint (300 ml) fresh or thickened cream
1 egg white
1/4 cup caster sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). In a saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat. Remove from heat and stir in cookie crumbs. Mix until well combined.
2. Press the crumb mixture over the base and side of a round 9 inch (23 cm) pie dish. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
3. In a small saucepan, mix the lemon juice with 4 teaspoons cold water. Sprinkle the gelatin over and allow to absorb. Gently heat until the gelatin dissolves and the mixture turns clear. Remove from the heat and cool to body temperature.
4. Mix the bananas with the lemon rind in a bowl. Quickly whisk in the gelatin mixture.
5. Whip 7 fl oz (200 ml) cream until soft peaks form. Whisk the egg white in a clean polished bowl with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Whisk in the sugar at top speed.
6. Gently fold the whipped cream and the egg white mixture into the banana mixture with a plastic spatula or balloon whisk. Pour into the cookie crumb crust and chill for 30 minutes, or until set.
7. To decorate, whip remaining cream until it forms soft peaks. Spoon over the tart.

Lentil and Coriander Soup

An easy Moroccan-style soup using coriander. This herb is used in practically all cooking in Morocco. I use Vietnamese mint when coriander is scarce. Recipe serves 6.


14 ounce (450 g) shin of veal
3 1/2 ounces (100 g) lentils
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 Spanish (red) onions, peeled and coarsely grated
1/4 teaspoon each crushed black pepper and chili powder
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1 bunch fresh coriander, coarsely chopped
Lemon juice


1. Pour boiling water over lentils, let them soak for 15 minutes, then rinse and drain.
2. While they are soaking, put oil, veal, onion, black pepper and chili powder, in a large flameproof casserole, stirring all the time until the onion becomes transparent. Add 6 cups of water and bring to the boil.
3. Add lentils and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Top up water occasionally if necessary.
4. After an hour and 10 minutes, add potatoes and carrots. Simmer until the vegetables are tender. Stir in coriander and lemon juice and serve at once.

Tip: Never throw left-over fresh coriander away. Although a fragile herb, it can be kept in the refrigerator in a glass of water for at least a week.

Fried Fish with Rice and Mixed Vegetables

Use your favorite fresh or frozen white fish fillets for this unusual stir-fry dish. Recipe serves 4.


1 1/3 cups long-grain white rice
2 cups boiling water
Salt to taste
2 bulbs fennel
5 ounces (155 g) frozen peas
1 large onion
2 spring onions
1 1/2 pound (750 g) skinned white fish fillets, thawed if frozen
Fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons all-purpose (plain) flour
2 eggs
3 tablespoons sunflower or corn oil
2 tablespoons medium sherry
3 tablespoons soy sauce
Freshly ground pepper


1. Cook rice in boiling, salted water for 20 minutes. Keep pan tightly covered and heat moderate to prevent water boiling over.
2. While rice is cooking, cut fennel into thin strips. Tip peas on to plate. Peel and quarter onion and cut into thin slices. Trim spring onions and thinly slice.
3. Cut fish into 1 1/2 inch (3.5 cm) squares. Sprinkle with lemon juice and salt. Tip flour on to piece of non-stick baking paper. Add fish. Coat each piece thoroughly. Beat eggs in bowl until frothy. Add fish and stir until well-covered with egg. Drain on a plate.
4. Heat oil in wok until very hot, but not smoking. Add fish, piece by piece, and stir-fry until golden brown all over. Drain on rack or on absorbent kitchen paper.
5. Add onion slices to remaining oil in wok. Stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add fennel and peas and stir-fry for 5 minutes. Add spring onions and stir-fry for 1 minute.
6. Sprinkle stir-fried ingredients with sherry, soy sauce and pepper. Add salt to taste. Mix in rice, drained if necessary. Top with fried fish cubes. Reheat until hot. Stir carefully, taking care not to break up fish.