Cuisine - - FIONA SMITH -

I love the South Amer­i­can vibe of the orig­i­nal recipe from 1988, and have built on this idea in my up­dated ver­sion. I have twice-cooked the banana, as is done for Peru­vian to­stones, and used the av­o­cado in a salsa for added flavour. I also like to add some corn­meal to the crumb, and I like to grind my own al­monds for a chunkier tex­ture.

½ cup medium/coarse corn­meal or po­lenta

1 cup (140g) ground al­monds

1 cup flour

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1kg skin­less, bone­less tarakihi fil­lets

2 ta­ble­spoons white wine vine­gar

5 ta­ble­spoons lime juice, plus

1 whole lime

2 cloves gar­lic, crushed

125ml cream

2 av­o­ca­dos, peeled, stoned, chopped

½ cup co­rian­der leaves

1 chilli, finely sliced

1 small red onion, thinly sliced sun­flower or other neu­tral oil for fry­ing

2 green ba­nanas chilli pow­der or sauce (op­tional)

In a small bowl, com­bine the av­o­cado, co­rian­der, chilli, onion and the re­main­ing 1 ta­ble­spoon of lime juice. Cut the top and bot­tom off the whole lime. Cut away the skin and pith. Care­fully slice be­tween each seg­ment to re­move the flesh and add to the salsa.

Peel and slice the ba­nanas into 1cm slices. Fill a fry­ing pan with enough oil to shal­low fry and heat over medium-high heat. Fry the banana slices for about 1-2 min­utes each side or un­til light golden.

Re­move to a piece of pa­per towel to cool then sqauash slightly with the side of a knife. Re-fry for an­other minute on each side un­til golden. Drain and set aside.

Lower the oil tem­per­a­ture to medium and cook the fish fil­lets for 1-2 min­utes (de­pend­ing on thick­ness) each side.

Serve with the salsa, sauce and ba­nanas and sprin­kle with chilli pow­der or sauce for ex­tra heat, if de­sired.

WINE A flinty, el­e­gant chardon­nay. We rec­om­mend the Ele­phant Hill Re­serve Chardon­nay 2015.

Mix the corn­meal and al­monds to­gether in a dish. Put the flour in an­other dish and sea­son well with salt and freshly ground pep­per. Put the egg in a third dish.

Dip the fish in the flour, then egg, then coat with the al­mond crumb. Re­frig­er­ate for at least 15 min­utes.

Put the vine­gar, 4 ta­ble­spoons of the lime juice, the gar­lic and cream into a saucepan and bring to a sim­mer. Sim­mer, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til the sauce is thick – about 10 min­utes. Re­heat when ready to serve.

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