Banana Bread from Cook's Illustrated, metric version





Ingredients
250g (1¾ cups or 8¾ ounces) plain (prefeably cake) flour
1 teaspoon bi carb soda
½ teaspoon salt
5 large very, very ripe bananas (about 2¼ pounds), peeled
125g butter
2 large eggs
150g (¾ cup packed, 5¼ ounces) brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)
Method
Microwave 5 bananas, then pour into a strainer over a saucepan, and drain 15 mins.
Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Prepare a loaf pan about 20x10cm (8½ by 4½-inch) loaf pan by rubbing with butter and sprinkling with flour.
Simmer banana water until reduced to about ¼ cup, about 5 minutes.
Add butter and allow to melt.
Add eggs, brown sugar and vanilla.
Mash bananas and add to mixture in saucepan.
Slice remaining banana into narrow slices.
Combine flour, salt and bi carb soda.
Pour banana mixture into flour mixture, and gently stir to until just combined with some streaks of flour remaining. Gently fold in the walnuts, if using.
Pour mixture into prepared pan.
Bake 55 to 75 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the loaf comes out clean.
Cool the bread in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then remove the loaf from the pan and continue to cool on a wire rack.
Slice thickly, toast in a fry pan, and serve with a pat of butter.

Greek Spinach Rice – Tess Mallos



Tess Mallos’s “Greek Cookook” was the first I ever owned, and through it I fell in love with food and cooking. This is one of my faourites from this book.
This is exactly as she wrote it, but these days I use basmati rice and baby or frozen spinach.
It’s delicious served at room temperature as a salad. (If served straight from the fridge the rice is hard and crunchy.)

1kg spinach or silverbeet (I use either a combination of baby spinach, parsley, mint or dill, and this may or may not add up to 1kg. Or I use a packet of frozen chopped spinach)
1 cup chopped spring onions (I often use a normal onion)
1 leek, chopped (optional)
½ cup olive oil (measure this because this recipe relies on a good amount of oil)
1 ½ cups short grain rice (I use basmati because I prefer it less gluggy, and it has a lower GI)
2 tablespoons lemon juice (at least)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley or dill
3 cups water
Salt and pepper.

Directions
Wash spinach or silverbeet very well.
Remove stems, drain leaves well and tear into pieces. If using silverbeet, chop the better stims finely, parboil for 5 inutes in salted water and drain.
In  deep pan gently fry onion and leek (if used) in oil until soft.
Stir in rice and cook 5 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients and parboiled silverbeet stems (if used).
Bring to the boil and add sinach or silver beet.
Stir well, cove and cook gently for 15 minutes.
Remove from heat, leave tightly covered and allow to stand for 5 minutes befoe serving.
Serve hot as an accompaniament to main meals, particularly grilled meats and fish.

Note: This is very good served cold.