Spices have been the spice of John Gregory-Smith’s life since he was a teenager, and inspired by his extensive travels in Asia, India, Morocco, Turkey, Lebanon and Mexico (and more!) this book works on the premise of a maximum of 5 spices per recipe.
There’s Kandy Black Pepper and Soy Aubergine Salad (garlic + black pepper + red pepper =3), Grilled Coriander and Mint Chicken (green chilli + garam masala = 2), an easy Prawns with Ginger and Chilli (4) and a luscious looking Mango, Orange and Nutmeg Cheesecake (just 1 – the nutmeg!). And loads more global recipes where the spices are the wok stars (as Wossy would say).
There are some sweet treats, too, like Mexican Cinnamon Peaches and cocktails (Lemongrass & Ginger Rum Cocktail, Chilli Passion Fruit Martini and when winter sets in we’ll be whipping up a Mayan Hot Chocolate.) Here’s the recipe for Cambodian Caramelized Ginger Bananas with Vanilla Ice Cream (note: we’ve adapted it by using a good store-bought vanilla ice cream but John includes a recipe for a creamy home-made version).
CAMBODIAN CARAMELIZED GINGER BANANAS with VANILLA ICE CREAM (Serves 4…or just 2 if you can’t resist!)
You’ll need: 150g or 5 3/4 oz (or a scant 3/4 cup) of caster sugar, 4 bananas, peeled and halved lengthways, and a 2.5cm/ 1 inch piece of root ginger, peeled and finely sliced…and some good vanilla ice cream.
1) Put sugar and 6 tablespoons water into a shallow saucepan over a medium heat. Melt the sugar, shaking the pan occasionally until it is bubbling and syrupy and turns a caramel colour.
2) Add bananas, shake the pan, cook for a minute. Remove from heat, scatter over the finely sliced ginger and carefully spoon the sauce over the bananas in the pan. Leave for 2-3 minutes, so sauce gets really sticky and flavours develop.
3) Divide bananas onto 4 serving plates and serve immediately with a few scoops of vanilla ice cream and any remaining caramelized sauce poured over (if sauce starts to harden, just warm over a low heat for 2 mins till it goes gooey again).