Banana Praline Pavlova

Courtesy of Prima Magazine

A spectacular but simple-to-prepare dessert that is sure to impress your guests.

Banana Praline Pavlova.jpgIngredients

Pavlova:
3oz (75g)soft light brown sugar
3oz (75g) caster sugar
3 egg whites
1/2 tsp (2.5ml) ground cinnamon

Topping:
1pt (568ml) double cream
1 lemon
3 bananas
6oz (175g) caster sugar
1oz (25g) flaked almonds

Step One : Draw a 9in (23cm) circle on a piece of baking parchment and place upside down on a baking sheet. Preheat the oven to Mark 1/2 (250oF / 130oC).

Step Two : Sieve brown sugar to remove any lumps and mix with caster sugar. Place egg whites in a clean, dry bowl and whisk until stiff but not dry. Begin adding half the sugar 1oz (25g) at a time, whisking well between each addition. Fold in remainder with the cinnamon using a large metal spoon. Spoon into the circle leaving the surface quite rough. Bake for 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until crisp and dry. Cool.

Step Three : Whisk cream with grated lemon rind and 1 tblsp (15ml) juice until it forms soft peaks. Place in fridge until needed. Roughly chop bananas and place in the remaining lemon juice.

Step Four : Pile cream on the meringue. Drain bananas and place on cream. Refrigerate for up to 20 minutes while preparing the praline.

Step Five : Place sugar and almonds in a heavy-based saucepan. Heat very gently until sugar melts and turns a golden caramel. Do not stir but shake the pan as sugar melts. Spoon praline over bananas. Refrigerate for up to 20 minutes before serving.

Tip: You can prepare the praline in advance, then pour it on to an oiled baking sheet and cool. When ready to serve, break into chunks and scatter over meringue.

Recipes for other Meringue ideas can be found here …

Greek Salad Served on Skewers

Feta cheeseIdeal accompaniment to the Whole Barbecued Fish.

Cook Time: 10 mins

Ingredients: 8 cherry tomatoes; 6 whole black olives, stoned; 225g / 8oz feta cheese, cubed; 1-2 tblsp chopped, fresh oregano; a little extra virgin olive oil
To serve: shredded salad leaves and crusty French bread

  • Divide the tomatoes, olives and feta cheese between 8 small wooden skewers. If using metal skewers, you may need to heat them first or the cheese may crumble.
  • Place on a nest of salad leaves, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with chopped oregano. Serve with crusty French bread.
  • If liked, add chunks of cucumber and wedges of read onion to the skewers, too.

Some skewers for the salad:

Black olives:

Cod Fish Fingers

A Gary Rhodes recipe

This delicious dish works just as well with salmon as cod. Once you’ve made it, you’ll see the humble fish finger in a whole new light.

These really are just fillet of cod cut into fingers. I normally take 4 x 6-8oz (175-225g) fillets and cut them in strips/fingers allowing 3 per portion. This recipe can also be used for canapés. Just cut the fish, cod or salmon (both work), into 1 in (2.5cm) cubes. Then crumb and deep-fry before sitting on cocktail sticks. These are good fun and very tasty with the sour tartare sauce.

Serves : 4
Ingredients: 1 tblsp freshly chopped parsley; fresh breadcrumbs made from 10-12 slices white bread; zest and juice of 2 lemons; salt and pepper; 2 eggs, size 2; 2-3 tblsp milk; 4-6-8oz (175-225g) cod fillets, cut into fingers; plain flour for dusting; 1 dsp each chopped shallots, capers and gherkins; 5-10 fl oz (150-300ml) sour cream; oil for deep-frying

  • In a large bowl, mix ¾ of the freshly chopped parsley with the white breadcrumbs and the lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs and milk.
  • Season the fish fingers with salt and pepper and then lightly dust with flour. Dip into the egg mix then into the crumb mix. These are now ready for frying or can be re-dipped in the egg and re-crumbed to give a thicker, crunchier finish. Set aside.
  • To make a sour Tartare sauce to accompany the fish fingers, mix the chopped shallots, capers and gherkins with the remaining parsley and the sour cream. Season then add the lemon juice to taste. Pour into a small serving dish.
  • Heat the oil to 170oC/325oF in a deep-fat fryer. The fish fingers can now be deep-fried in batches for 5 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Serve with the homemade Tartare sauce.

Brie with Redcurrant Sauce

Serves: 4; Cals per portion: 328; Prep time: 15 mins; Cook time: 10 mins

Ingredients: 8oz/225g Brie; 1 egg, size 3, beaten; 2oz/50g dried wholemeal breadcrumbs; 1oz/25g mixed chopped nuts; oil for deep frying; lambs lettuce to garnish.

For the sauce: 4 tblsp redcurrant jelly; 2 tblsp ruby port

  • Trim the brie into four equal triangles. Place the egg in a shallow dish and mix the breadcrumbs and nuts in another.
  • Dip the Brie into the egg to coat, then into crumb and nut mixture, making sure all the sides are well coated. Shake off any excess.
  • Heat the oil for deep-frying to 350oF / 180oC. Fry the Brie in two batches for 2-3 mins, or until the coating is golden. Drain well.
  • Meanwhile, make the sauce: Heat the redcurrant jelly and port in a pan until the jelly is melted.
  • Place the fried Brie on a serving plate, spoon a little sauce around it and garnish with lambs lettuce.
  • Serve with the remaining sauce.

Sticky Chicken Wings

Even a complete beginner can make these – they’re so easy and delicious.

Serves: 8; Prep: 5 mins; Cook: 25 mins; Cals per portion: 218

Ingredients: 16 large chicken wings; 8 tblsp runny honey; 1 tsp English mustard powder; 8 tblsp sesame seeds

  • Preheat oven to Mark 6/400oF/200oC. Arrange chicken wings in a large roasting tin. Season them generously with salt and fresh ground black pepper.
  • Brush chicken wings with honey to coat them, then sprinkle them with mustard powder and sesame seeds.
  • Bake wings for 25 mins, turning and basting once until golden and tender..

Black Pudding Fritters

A Gary Rhodes recipe.

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients: Oil for deep-frying; 8oz (225g) self-raising flour; salt and pepper; 5 fl oz (150ml) lager or beer; 1 black pudding; flour for dusting; lemon quarters and fresh parsley to garnish.
Tartare Sauce: 4-6 tblsp shop brought mayonnaise; 1 tblsp finely chopped onion or shallot; 1 tsp chopped parsley; 2 tsp chopped capers; 2 tsp chopped gherkin

  • Preheat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 150oC/300oF. If you don’t have a fat fryer, the fritters can be cooked in 1 in (2.5cm) of fat in a deep frying pan. Do take care not to overheat the oil.
  • To make the batter, sieve the self-raising flour into a large bowl, add a pinch of salt and pepper then whisk in the lager or beer. You should have a batter with a thick consistency. Cut the black pudding into ½ in (1cm) slices.
  • Lightly dust the black pudding slices with flour, dip them in the batter and deep-fry until golden. They should take about 4-5 minutes in total. Halfway through the cooking time, turn the fritters. Remove them from the fryer and place them on kitchen paper to absorb any excess fat. Garnish with lemon quarters and fresh parsley.
  • To make the tartare sauce, spoon the mayonnaise into a bowl. Add the chopped onion or shallot, parsley, capers and gherkin and mix thoroughly. Serve with the black pudding fritters.
  • There are plenty of optional extras to sharpen and lift the flavour of the sauce. A teaspoon of horseradish cream, mustard or cayenne pepper will fire it up a treat.