Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Lamb koftas with courgette and asparagus salad

First we prepared the lamb koftas by mixing lamb mince, finely chopped onions, fresh mint and coriander, paprika and ground spice.


We then split the mixture into same size balls and rolled them into small sausage shapes. These then went in the oven and cookies for about half an hour.

For the cougette and asparagus salad we sliced the courgette and grilled and we boiled the asparagus. We also boiled some broad beans to add.

We then mixed this all together with fresh rocket and Spinage. Then dressed the salad with lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper.

We served with warm pitta bread and a yoghurt and cucumber dip.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Fish Chowder

This week we wanted to cook something different, something which we had never tried before. One of the group members found a recipe for fish chowder and everyone agreed it would be great to try.

We started out by sweating down some chopped leeks in a large pan with a little oil.
We also added potatoes which had been cut into similar sized chunks. We then poured in enough fish stock to cover the vegetables and let the potatoes cook until soft:

We added seasoning and with a slotted spoon removed half of the vegetables and put them aside. With the remaining vegetables and stock we added milk and blended the mixture until smooth to create a creamy texture.

We then put the cooked vegetables back in and added chunks of salmon and cod and  a couple of tins of sweet corn. After a few minutes the fish was cooked so we took the chowder off the heat to stir in some single cream.

We then served with parsley to garnish and some fresh bread.

Even those who were a bit dubious about trying this recipe found it to be really tasty. It is definitely something which we can make again with other types of fish and seafood.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Green tea salmon with coconut rice

This is an easy yet delicious meal that one of our members found online.

We seasoned the salmon fillets with salt pepper and lose green tea and pan fried.


We also made coconut rice by cooking the rice in coconut milk and adding some garlic and thyme. We also prepared a fresh salad to go with it. 

The green tea salmon was really tasty and we recommend that you try this quick and quirky recipe at home. The group commented on the fresh flavours and how this is the perfect Spring/Summer meal.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Catering Experience

For the past few weeks the cooking group have been extremely busy catering for several events, including the Rathbone's first ever open AGM.
This has been a great experience for the group, providing them with a fantastic challenge and opportunity for work experience in a professional environment.

The group were involved in the whole process from the food prep to baking the cakes and putting all the sandwich variety's together.

As you can see the group worked efficiently and professionally all the while learning about the do's and dont's of catering.

Here is an example of the menu which we provided for an event at the west norwood leisure center, which was really well received!

Not only did the group make all the food but they professionally packaged it and delivered to the various events, following the whole process from start to finish.

Overall the whole group are really proud of their acheivements over the past few weeks and the feedback from those we have catered for has been consistently positive.

The positve impact on the group has also been notable- One member commented on how much they have learnt and how much more confident they are now. Another member described how good it felt to receive so many compliments about the food they had made.

Hopefully we will continue to work on getting more and more catering experience and build on the groups skills.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Spaghetti and Meatballs

The group chose this classic Italian dish because they wanted to find out how to make it all from scratch.

We started with the meatballs:

We used lean beef mince, grated onion, crushed garlic, Italian seasoning, cinnamon, breadcrumbs, an egg, salt and pepper....

.... After all this it was time to get our hands dirty and mix all the ingredients together: 

We then made individual meatballs by rolling out small portions if the mixture between the palms of our hands. It was important to make them all a similar size so they cooked evenly.

These meatballs can be fried but we chose to oven cook them to reduce our fat intake.

Whilst the meatballs were cooking away in the oven we got on with making a tomato sauce.

We finely chopped onion, red pepper and garlic and cooked them, until soft, in a drizzle of olive oil.

We added 4 tins of chopped tomatoes, salt, pepper, Mixed herbs and a teaspoon of sugar to balance the flavour. 

We let this simmer for half an hour before blending the sauce for a smooth consistency. We had to be very careful as the sauce was hot.


By this time the meatballs were cooked so we added them to our sauce.

The only thing we didn't make from scratch was the pasta!

With a little Parmesan on top this made for a filling and authentic Italian dinner. The sauce was rich yet fresh and the meatballs were tender and full of flavour.
Everyone really loved this recipe and are keen to try it and home.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Stuffed mushrooms

One member of the group found a recipe for mushrooms stuffed with bacon and cheese and wanted to try it out.

First we got large cup mushrooms and removed the stalks, chopped them and put them in a bowl to use later.

We then seared the underneath of the mushroom for one minute in a hot pan.

We then started on the stuffing. We used the chopped mushroom stalks from earlier and fried them with bacon and some garlic until cooked.

Then in a bowl we mixed bread crumbs, single cream, ground almonds, lemon juice, fresh basil and goats cheese.

We then added the fried bacon and mushroom stalks to the mixture and stuffed the mushroom cups and put in the oven to cook for 15 minutes.

Once they were golden brown we took then out and served them with an avocado, spinach and salad.

The group really liked trying something new. The mushroom was really tasty with a crunchy top and a warm, gooey middle. It was perfectly complimented by a fresh salad with a sharp vinegarrette and creamy avocado.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Raspberry Swiss roll

First we combined 3 eggs with 75g of caster sugar.

We then folded in 75g of self raising flour.
We then spread the mixture onto some grease proof paper .
This then went in the oven at 200 ° c for 7-10 minutes or until lightly brown and springy to the touch.
We then turned out the cooked sponge on another bit of greaseproof paper and spread raspberry jam and fresh raspberries on the sponge.
We then rolled it up and decorated with icing sugar.

The group were really proud of how this turned out. One member said that it felt really good to make the dessert from scratch and that they felt it was something they could make at home for their family.