Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Banana Fritters

Banana fritters conjure up memories of childhood. Sunday afternoons were the times where mum would do a session of deep frying - banana fritters, prawn crackers, taro, sweet potato fritters - it was a deep-fry fest!

Here's my recipe for banana fritters. I don't have an exact measurement for the water to be added, but I think you need to just get a feel for the right consistency of the batter. You'll just know! The batter is nice and crispy, and is slightly salty, but I think it's a good match with the sweet banana.

I used regular bananas, but you can use sugar bananas if you want a sweeter fritter.
3 semi-ripe bananas, cut in 1cm segments
3 tbsp plain flour
3 tbsp corn flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
canola oil for deep-frying


  1. Mix the flours, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

  2. Make a well in the centre, and slowly add a little water while mixing the flours into the well.

  3. Mix to make a thick, smooth mixture, then add more water to bring the mixture to the right consistency.
    (The mixture shouldn't be too thin so it won't adhere to the banana, and not too thick that the batter becomes to cakey)

  4. Heat the oil up in a wok to 175°C (use a thermometer).

  5. Put the banana pieces in the batter mixture and carefully place the pieces into the oil.

  6. Fry until golden brown.

  7. Serve with a side of condensed milk.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bells at Killcare

Beautiful setting, some hits, some misses

My best dining partner (husband) and I had a lovely, relaxing holiday up the Central Coast. Most nights we cooked simple meals in our little serviced apartment, but one night we decided to splurge and have a nice meal out.

Except we didn't really need to splurge, because when we called up Bells at Killcare to make a reservation, we were told that Tuesday night is locals night, and they have a special deal that means we could have a two-course meal for $39....score!

I've always wanted to come here, every since I knew that they cooked from their own little garden. Imagine, fresh produce straight from the garden :)

Pre-dinner drinks in their comfy lounge area:
Raspberry bellini & a coke
Complimentary olives and cheese biscuits
Bread (including some rosemary bread) and olive oil
First course:
Seafood, potato and saffron soup

This was a beautiful, light soup, with generous chunks of fish and calamari.
Main course: Panfried pork cutlet with braised borlotti beans and tomato
I was excited about the crackling, there's nothing better than good pork crackling.
It was the best part of the dish, unfortunately. The cutlet was overdone, so the meat was too dry to enjoy. I only got through half of it.
Main course: Whole grilled fish (leatherjacket) served with salsa verde
My husband said it was good, but it was hard work to get through the fish. Is leatherjacket always a challenge to eat?
Side dish:
Rosemary roast potatoes
Dessert: Nougat semifreddo with peaches in Zibibbo
little chunks of chewy nougat through the creamy semifreddo. It was a warm day though, so it was a race against the sun to eat the dish before it melted away!
View from our table
107 The Scenic Rd, Killcare Beach, Central Coast, NSW 2257
ph: (02) 4360 2411
Opening hours: Mon-Thu 6:30pm-10pm; Fri-Sun 12pm-3:30pm, 6:30pm-10pm

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dong Dong Noodles

I love cheap Asian restaurants. Sometimes, I find it hard to justify going to a "nice" Chinese restaurant that charges me 3 times something I can get at these smaller basic Chinese eatery.

I'd like to share one of the dishes that I always order at Dong Dong Noodles, it's definitely my favourite dish. And can I say, that I have converted one of my good friends to pork by feeding her this dish!

Order the Pork Chop with Black Pepper and Honey and rice, and you're set for a meal for two.

The pork is deep fried and crispy, and the sauce is sweet sticky dotted with lots of cracked pepper, it's delicious.

Pork Chop with Black Pepper and Honey $10.80
428 Anzac Pde, Kingsford NSW
ph: (02) 9662 1877
Opening hours: Daily, 11.00am - 10.30pm

Monday, January 4, 2010

Christmas for two & Mangomisu recipe

Happy belated Christmas everyone. We've been away and busy during this period, so posts have been scarce. We had a nice time up the coast, relaxing, reading, sleeping - just plain lazing around.

This Christmas, all our families decided to be overseas, which left just the two of us on Christmas day, which we didn't mind at all!
So we were very true to this's what we had on Christmas day.

Tiger prawns with seafood dipping sauce

A little ham (1.5kg), glazed with sherry, marmalade and honey, studded with pineapple.
Roast potatoes cooked in duck fat
If you've never cooked potatoes in duck fat, go out and buy a tub's amazing!
I saw this recipe in the latest issue of Delicious, and I couldn't resist. This is a cake I will definitely keep in my repertoire.

Mangomisu recipe
(based on recipe from the Delicious magazine, Issue 89)

500g mascarpone cheese
600ml thickened cream
1/3 cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup Cointreau
juice of two oranges
300g savoiardi (sponge finger biscuits)
3 mangoes, sliced 1cm thick

  1. Line the base of a 22cm springform cake pan with plastic wrap or baking paper

  2. Place the cheese, cream, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and beat until thick and well combined.

  3. Combine the Cointreau and orange juice in a separate bowl.

  4. Dip half the sponge fingers into the juice, and create a layer in the base of the cake pan.

  5. Then, spread 1/3 of the cream mixture, top with 1/3 mango slices, and repeat the process.

  6. Top with remaining cream mixture and top with mango slices.

  7. Cover and chill overnight.

  8. To serve, remove the cake from the in and transfer to a platter.

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