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Food Monica Galetti reveals the dishes that delight her nearest and dearest

03:25  25 september  2021
03:25  25 september  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Anais's banana loaf cake

Sharing good food with your children is the purest form of love.

I'll never forget the time my father came running out as I was leaving his house holding a banana on a fork, to keep my hunger at bay – it still makes me laugh!

Anais [now 14] has been making this recipe with me since she was about eight years old.

Nowadays she doesn't need my help – well, I help with the eating, of course.

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MONICA SAYS

Chimichurri is a great match for grilled meat. Mince 50g flat leaf parsley, 3 garlic cloves and 1 red chilli. Add grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon, 1tbsp fresh oregano and 120ml extra-virgin olive oil, whisk and seaso

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Monica Galetti standing in a kitchen: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

Serves 6-8

To serve

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Butter a 22cm x 11cm loaf tin and line it with non-stick baking paper.

Whisk the soft butter with the honey using an electric hand whisk for 2 minutes, or until light and airy.

Whisk in the eggs, milk and vanilla bean paste, then whisk in the baking powder, a third of the flour and all the spices.

Fold through the remaining flour by hand, then stir in the mashed bananas. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Leave the cake to rest in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.

Serve with the sliced bananas and dollops of yoghurt, sprinkled with the walnuts and drizzled with a little honey.

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David's lager & citrus cured salmon

My husband David loves learning to cook, and since I first introduced him to curing fish it has become one of his favourite things to make.

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Serves 4-6

Crush the spices with a pestle and mortar. Place in a bowl and mix with the sugar, rock salt, citrus zests and juice.

Using a knife, make 5 slits on the skin of the salmon.

Place in a tray, pour the lager over, then coat with the spice mix.

Lay a sheet of non-stick baking paper over the fish. Place another tray on top, transfer to the fridge and weigh down with cartons of juice or milk.

Leave for 2-3 hours.

Remove the fish from the fridge, wipe off the spice and citrus salt mix with a clean damp cloth and pat dry.

Slice and serve with lemon wedges.

Lockdown brownies

David, my husband, made these so often that we had to put a stop to it – we were eating a batch every week! Using a loaf tin means it can be served in slices.

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Serves 6-8

Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/gas 5. Line a 24cm x 13cm loaf tin with non-stick baking paper.

Melt the butter and chocolate together in a large heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water (make sure the bowl does not touch the water).

Fold all the remaining ingredients in once melted.

Pour the mixture into the lined tin and bake for 45-50 minutes, until the mixture still has a slight wobble – it should be a little gooey in the middle.

If you prefer it more cooked, bake for longer. Leave to cool in the tin, then slice. Serve cold or warm, with vanilla ice cream.

Papy's tomato tart

Papy, David's dad, is our star tomato tart maker during holidays. He is so proud of this recipe, as it was the first thing he made that my daughter Anais demolished in one sitting, when she was about five years old. He still loves making it for her. Papy serves it straight up, on its own – no accompaniment is needed.

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Serves 4

Preheat the oven to 210°C/fan 190°C/gas 6½.

Heat a non-stick frying pan and add a drizzle of olive oil.

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Fry the bacon, then add the onion and cook over a medium heat for 2 minutes.

Leave to cool.

Beat the eggs and milk together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, and add the oregano.

Take a baking tray, about 34cm x 24cm and at least 2cm deep.

Unroll the pastry into the tin and press it up the sides.

Spread the bacon and onion mixture over the pastry base, and cover with a layer of the tomato slices.

Pour the egg mixture all over, and then bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden. Serve warm.

Salt-baked beetroot salad

I absolutely adore beetroot in all shapes and sizes – I even grow them when possible.

This salt crust recipe works wonderfully with all root vegetables as well as meats. If you don't have time to bake the beetroot, use ready-cooked ones.

The salt dough can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days – just remember to get it out 30 minutes before you use it so that it's easier to roll out.

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Serves 4-6

For the salt dough

For the salt dough, mix the flour, salts and herbs together in a bowl. Mix in the egg whites, then add the water and knead the mixture together in the bowl to form a dough.

Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/gas 5.

Place the beetroot on a large baking tray.

Roll out the salt dough on a floured work surface to about 5mm thick.

Cover the tray and beetroot with the salt dough like a pie and press down to mould it over the beetroot, then bake for 1 hour.

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Remove the tray from the oven and leave to cool until just warm, then remove and discard the crust and peel the beetroot. Cut the beetroot into bite-sized pieces and place in a bowl.

Grate in the garlic cloves. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, the olive oil and the parsley. Season with salt and pepper and toss everything together.

If using, crumble the feta over the top before serving.

Soy & honey chicken with coconut rice

This recipe is a take on a dish my mum used to make.

We always had a lot of pak choi because my dad grew it in his vast vegetable garden in New Zealand – he grows everything, everywhere!

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Serves 4

For the coconut rice

For the pak choi

Mix the honey and soy sauce together in a bowl, then add the chicken thighs and turn to coat all over.

Transfer the chicken to a heavy-based saucepan, scraping in all the sticky honey marinade.

Place the pan over a medium heat and cook for 10 minutes, turning halfway, until the chicken is cooked and the coating has thickened to a glossy glaze.

(It's important to start with a cold pan so the chicken stews in the liquid as it cooks; if your pan is too hot it will seal the chicken and caramelise the honey and soy too quickly, turning it bitter before the meat is cooked.)

While the chicken is cooking, place the rice in a saucepan and add the salt and water.

Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for about 20-25 minutes, until tender and fluffy.

For the pak choi, heat the sesame and rapeseed oils in a pan over a medium heat.

Add the pak choi and garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes until tender.

When the rice is cooked, fluff it with a fork and stir in the coconut oil and sesame seeds.

Sprinkle the chopped pumpkin seeds on top.

Serve the chicken with the rice and the pak choi, and with the chopped coriander sprinkled over the top.

At Home by Monica Galetti is published by Aster, £20. © Monica Galetti 2021. To order a copy for £18 go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3308 9193. Free UK delivery on orders over £20. Offer price valid until 09/10/21. Photography: Yuki Sugiura

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