Monday, 7 April 2014

Tomato and Mango Chicken

Well its the school holidays and for me that means one thing, the company I work for let me loose in other peoples kitchens!!

Today I was covering a work mate and he had Tomato and Mango Chicken on the menu.

Unfortunately I didn't take a picture but believe me when I say it looked pretty good.

This recipe is really quick and easy and tastes great....


Mix together

3 parts tomato ketchup
2 parts mango chutney
1 part cream

It should look like 80's classic prawn cocktail sauce, smack this over your chosen cut of chicken and bang it in a pre heated oven.

It comes out looking like a shiny tandoori because of the sugar in the ketchup.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Easy Spherification

Right then, its been a while since my last post so I thought i'd give you this! "Caviars" are usually found in high end restaurants and the like. It's not as hard or as expensive as it might sound and you can get all the gear you need from Amazon.

Basically you add 2g Sodium Alginate to your chosen liquid, you need to whisk it alot or shove it in a blender because the powder doesn't like to be rehydrated.
Let it rest a bit so the air bubbles go.

While its resting, dissolve 2.5g Calcium Chloride in 500g water.
This is the Calcium bath that will react with the Sodium Alginate to form a membrane round the outside of the sphere while the inside stays liquid. Your bath needs to be around 5cm deep so choose your bowl with this in mind.

You will need a dropper to squeeze your juice into the Calcium bath, but i knicked a syringe from a childs medicine bottle and it does the trick.

Now you are ready to start making your spheres.

Suck some juice into your dropper/syringe and gently squeeze drops into your Calcium bath. You will need to hold your dropper about 3cm from the bath to get the best results.

Once they are in the Calcium leave them for 2-3 mins to form them menbrane.

Fish them out and rinse off in fresh water.

They will remain a liquid centre for a few hours but because of the Alginate they will eventually form a solid ball.

Not the greatest pics but you get the idea.

I used mango juice but you can use any liquid you like.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

How To Make Salt and Pepper Ice Cream

So what started out as a twitter joke with the amazing @DigitalBlonde I wanted to see what this would actually taste like, and I have to say its brilliant!!!

For the base of the ice cream

8 egg yolks
6 tbl spoons caster sugar
1 table spoon rock salt
1 table spoon cracked black pepper
500ml whole milk

In a pan heat your milk to just under boiling point.

While this is heating up, chuck your sugar and eggs together in a seperate bowl and whisk.

Pour your hot milk into the bowl with your egg mix and whisk continually.

Return the mix to the pan and gently heat while continuing to stir.

The mix will thicken and make a custard.

Let the custard cool before adding your salt and pepper. This is really important because if the mix is warm the salt will dissolve.

I tried a batch using normal salt but wanted to get salty crunchy bits.

Now lob it in your ice cream machine.


I served mine with some summer berries.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

How to make Popcorn Pannacotta

As you know I like taking a dish and putting my own spin on things and it doesn't stop at dessert!!

This dish is far easier than it sounds but tastes great!

It does take a bit of time but well worth the effort!

So I popped my own sweet popcorn on the stove.

Get the deepest pan you have and chuck in your popcorn kernels so they cover the bottom. Now glug some oil in so they are just covered and sprinkle with sugar.

On a medium heat start to warm the pan shaking every now and then, when the first one pops get your lid on straight away and keep shaking until the popping stops.

First job done, now Pannacotta.

You need
1 litre cream
Sugar to taste
6 sheets gelatin

Take a litre of cream and gently warm through with some of that popcorn you made. Keep tasting until the popcorn flavour comes through and add sugar if you need it.

While thats infusing chuck your gelatin in cold water as per packet instructions.

After 5 minutes drain off the gelatin and squeeze all the water out.
Add this to your infused cream, stir in and then pass through a seive to remove the popcorn.

Pour into moulds and fridge until set.

Job done!!

I served mine with salted caramel sauce and some left over popcorn!

Saturday, 11 January 2014

How to make perfect rice

I've been asked alot lately how to cook rice and if it matters what brand of rice is best to buy.

This method is so simple it even makes supemarket own brand rice brilliant.

First warm a good glug of oil in a sauce pan.

Then measure out 1 cup of rice and chuck it in. Keep stirring it so all the grains are coated. Cook the rice until it starts talking to you ( you will know what I mean when it happens, its like a sizzle ).

Then lob in 2 cups of hot water and bring to the boil.

When its boiled for a minute bang the lid on, turn the heat off and leave it. Never take off the lid until atleast 20 mins has gone.

Serve immediately or cool it down ( refresh ) with cold running water if you are going to use it for fried rice.

Because this method absorbs all the water you can muck about with flavours and use stock instead.

Never heat rice more than twice, so if you have made fried rice don't reheat the left overs. You could be very ill!!!

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Piri Piri Pork

Ok so to try and help warm everyone up I knocked up this Piri Piri Pork dish.
A favourite flavour of mine and one I can't recall unleashing on the boys yet, but it went down a storm!!
The pork steaks themselves are just dusted with cajun spice and oven roasted on 185c for around 25 mins.
Piri Piri Sauce
I used
6 good sized red chillis
6 cloves of garlic
Drizzle of oil
Can chopped tomatoes
Some veg stock powder
First roast off the chilli and garlic until they start to char round the edges and chuck them in a food blender.
Lob in your chopped tomatoes then add your stock powder to taste.
At this point slowly add some sugar and keep tasting. The sugar rounds off the flavour of the chilli and brings your tomato to life!!
Have a go!!
I served mine with new potatoes and a sweetcorn puree.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Our Christmas Dinner with a Twist!!

As you all know by now im not one for all the traditional goings on and christmas is no exception!!

Last year we only really broke from tradition by changing the dessert. this year we had a complete overhaul, and to be honest I wasnt sure how it would be received myself!!

Planning the menu took a good few weeks, just to get my head around what it is I wanted to do with it. And with inspiration from Mark Taylor at Premier Foods Service for the main (Turkey Wellington with something called Paxo inside!) I was well away!!

Heres the menu.

Homemade Duck Spring Rolls
Turkey Wellington
(Turkey Escalope coated in Paxo and filled with homemade cranberry Sauce)
Honey Roast Parsnips
Baton Carrots
Roast Potatoes
Turkey Gravy

Festive Cheesecake
(Homemade Orange Shortbread base topped with a Christmas Pudding inspired cheesecake and garnished with Cherry Brandy Sauce and Mango Coulis)

Massive thanks to all my team and the staff at the school for helping out to make this night such a massive and unexpected success!!
Also special thanks to my boss Janet Brown for letting me do what I do and Danny Wallace and the guys at Sheringhams for their exceptional quality vegetables and service.
Cheers guys its been wicked.