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Saturday 29 September 2012

Ski Series - Recipe: Banana Tatin w/ Banana Creme and Passion Fruit Sorbet

by Simon Fernandez of ferdiesfoodlab 

Banana Tatin w/ Passion Fruit Sorbet & White Chock Whisky Sauce - Verbier version

I cobbled this recipe together one evening, sat on the balcony listening to the chatter from the balcony above, and looking over the resort, it was the first week and I hadn't really got a complete menu together, and was stressing out a bit. I've kinda constructed it out of all the desserts I'd made before, and a leftover sauce (whiskey and white choc) I had from the previous night! The flavours go well together, and I developed it a little further for the foodlab menu.

Banana Tatin w/ Passion Fruit Sorbet & White Chock Whisky Sauce - ferdiesfoodlab version

swiss roll tin,
ice cream machine / food processor / alpine mountainside

for the banana tatin - (
Bake 10-15m @ 200C / G6
4 bananas (cut into rounds 2.5 cm long) see tip on ripeness (6 pieces per banana serves 8 @ 3pp)
300g puff pastry cut into 5x5cm squares (35x23)
100g sugar
100g butter
2 tbsp water (optional)

for the banana crème
400ml crème anglaise (custard)
75ml whiskey
125ml white chocolate (broken into small pieces or grated)
banana offcuts from the banana tatins

for the passion fruit sorbet 
200ml orange juice
150g sugar
4 star anise
50ml glucose
1 1/2 gelatine leaves
500ml passion fruit juice

banana tatins
Peel the bananas and cut off 3cm from each end. Keep the offcuts for the banana creme, then cut the remaining bananas into six pieces each; each piece should be 2.5cm / 1inch approx.

Pre-heat the oven and put the swiss roll tin in. TIP - This is so it's hot when the caramel hits the tin and the caramel remains liquid.

Lay the banana rounds out flat and cover each with a square of pastry. If you like, trim them so they're neat and round. Personally I like them a little scruffy, and I love a bit of extra pastry ; ) Put them into the fridge until required.

Next make the caramel, put the sugar into a pan, spread evenly and take to a light brown caramel, don't stir it, simply shimmy the pan a little to move it around if required. Remove swiss roll tin from the oven and pour the
caramel into it, then add in the tatins banana side down.

If you want to do then sliced lengthways do them at 180C/G4/20-25m.

banana crème
Warm the custard to 80C, then turn off the heat and add the white chocolate, stirring until smooth, then add the whisky.
To make the banana creme, blend the ends of the banana with a dash of milk or cream and then add into the white chocolate and whisky custard blend until smooth. Job done.

passion fruit and star anise sorbet
Mix the orange juice, sugar, star anise & glucose in a pan and bring to boil, then simmer for 5mins.
While the juices simmer, soak the gelatine in water, until soft. Remove, and squeeze out the excess water.
Take the mix off the heat and stir in the gelatine until completely dissolved.
Add passion fruit juice, and cool.
Chuck it in an ice cream machine until it's at the desired consistency, or if you happen to be in the Alps, pop the lid on and put it in a drift outside, stirring frequently until set! Then move to the freezer.
Put in fridge for 10 mins before serving so that it softens!!

to serve
Spoon the banana creme onto a plate and spread it in a smooth line, dot with passion fruit. Place a banana tatin at one end and a quenelle of passion fruit sorbet at the other. Serve immediately.

tip: At the start of making the caramel, adding a couple of tablespoons of water helps.  You can add more if you want, it will evaporate off during the process. Spread the caramel mix out evenly to start, don't stir the caramel after that, crystals on the spoon can cause the mix to crystallise.

tip:  If cutting the banana lengthways, a less ripe banana will hold together much better, and complement the  caramel. This is less important if you're cutting it into rounds since they don't present any "falling apart problems" when serving and the sharpness of the mango balances the dessert.

Wednesday 19 September 2012

Technique / Recipe: How to cut a steak for a sandwich! (this cut will even chop up a tin can! Look!)

(read in a cheesy, shopping channel presenter voice - you **will** buy this fantastic product!)
(Please note this is NOT an advertisement, there is nothing for sale here!!)

Steak sandwich. Nice bread, nice steak, a touch of butter, maybe a little mayo and some fresh ripe sliced tomatoes! Total and utter bliss! Specially on a summer's day in the garden with a cold beer, when you're hungry, having spent the day getting the party ready. Am I right?

Sit down, cold beer beside you, paper plate wobbling on your knee with some potato salad, tortilla chips, corn on the cob, maybe a piece of quiche and a little salad and a burnt sausage (rude not to). But what's on the plate is of no interest in comparison to the prize - the steak sandwich!! : )

Maybe if you're lucky you'll get that first bite out, chew away on that succulent meaty sandwich, you might even get that second bite of pleasure, little dribble of mayonnaise on your chin there, juices making the bread a little sticky? Of course they are what makes a really good steak sandwich.

But you know that sooner or later that steak sandwich is going to betray you: you'll take a bite and it wont come clean off, and you'll end up with a tomato sandwich in your hands, and a big chunk of beef dangling awkwardly from your chops! Quickly looking over your exposed steak eagle-eyeing the garden make sure nobody's witnessed the clumsiness, and a quick re-assembly job!!

Well, never again! With ferdie's tried and tested special sandwich steak cut, you'll be able to enjoy every bite of you sandwich with out fear!

It's a new, revolutionary method that works every time to give you guaranteed results, over and over again. Never again will you feel the embarrassment of pulling your steak out of your sandwich and almost dropping your quiche, never again will you have to suffer those knowing looks at your own BBQ, because with ferdie's special cut your steak will give it up to you every time go in for a bite!

Practise it in the comfort of your own home while no-one else is looking in the winter months, now half price!

We'll even throw in a duck cut, a meat readiness test - the thumb technique! and this proven meat hammering technique for free!

ingredients (make 2 sarnies)
2 tbsp mayo (mayo recipe)
2 ripe buffalo tomatoes (cut into slices)
4 slices of thick cut fresh loaf
2 2cm thick (at least) slices of your favourite cut of steak (ribeye for me!)
    (or could be 1 sirloin 1 ribeye or 1 rump 1 sirloin, etc, etc)

1 sharp knife

Slice the bread ready for sandwiches, butter one side lightly, and put mayo on the other.
Lay the tomatoes onto the side with the mayo and place the other butter side slice awaiting steak!!
This is the circular part of a rib-eye steak, perfect for a BBQ / "burger"

Cut into the steak in parallel lines about 1cm apart cutting just over half way through the steak.
Slice the steak one way then flip it. And turn through 90 degrees, you can see where the cuts meet.

Turn the steak over, turning it through 90 degrees and do the same again, the cuts should be perpendicular to previous cuts.
I've flipped it over so you can see the cuts are only in one direction on each side! But are at 90 degrees to each other.

Be careful not to cut too far or it'll fall apart before it gets to the BBQ let alone your mouth!!

Season the steak, oil it and place on the BBQ or a hot, heavy based pan, turning once.
Place steak on the buttered slice of bread, let it melt the butter, then close the two sides together and serve!

Repeat for each sandwich : ) very happy days!

a couple of tips:
Note the steak will cook A LOT FASTER than an uncut steak which you can check using finger technique!
If you're using a pan, deglaze it with a touch of white wine and pour the juice over the steak before closing!
Because of the way the steak is sliced, it will take up a marinade a lot better. I like to leave mine over night covered in blended red pepper. The red pepper can be removed before cooking and fried with a little cream in the pan to make a great sauce!!
Use any marinade you like! Red pepper is my favourite! Simple, tasty!

Take a whole red pepper, rough dice and blend with 50ml of extra virgin olive oil
Dip steak into it.

Dip it in ALL the way!!

Leave it in the fridge for at least 2 hours to marinate. Then take it out and bring it to room temperature, and throw it on to a BBQ or a smoking heavy based pan! It will cook very quickly because of the cut, don't dwell!

If you're using a pan, deglaze it with a little white wine and add the remaining pepper marinade and a little cream to make a simple veloute! SAUCE!!
Serve with a little salad and devour, no problems!!!

How To Book / Attend

How To Book / Attend
Fancy getting stuck in? Click on the image above and to see how : ) . . . hope to see you soon.

More Techniques, Basics and Corker Recipes

More Techniques, Basics and Corker Recipes
If there's something you've tried at ferdiesfoodlab or a technique you want to know about drop us a line at and I'll put up a post about it!!


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