15 June 2012

GUEST BLOG: Vegging out

By guest blogger TRACEY

It was great to be back at the Approved Premises on Wednesday 13 June and to be joined by our established cook, Rob. The new group of guys were just as keen as the last to get started, but dismayed to hear that the first dish was a veggie stir-fry… However, by the end of the session, their tastebuds and attitudes were awakened!

Rob began by demonstrating how to finely chop spring cabbage (for our cheats' seaweed!), then the group formed a pretty slick production line, chopping peppers, Julienne carrots, celeriac, onions, broccoli, sweet potatoes - a total of 13 different vegetables were used in the dish, giving the guys an opportunity to handle some new varieties and sample the delicious combination of tastes and textures.

After a break, the guys were paired off to make egg-fried rice, faux seaweed and a sweet and sour sauce. We were delighted with the results: the seaweed was glazed with tahini, resulting in a lovely aroma and deliciously nutty taste, while the eggs were beaten and added to the cooked rice which had been lightly browned in a little oil when dry. The sauce came together with some simple and easily accessible ingredients - pineapple juice, sugar, wine vinegar, soy sauce, tomato puree and cornflour - it was well worth the effort as it really gave the dish a beautiful depth.

The veg were then stir fried, adding the hard veg first, then the mushrooms, spring onions, garlic and ginger. The aromas wafted upstairs, enticing additional diners to the kitchen. The feedback was amazing “best meal I’ve had for three years”, “I can never finish the dishes made in the centre, but this is delicious and I’ll finish it all” and “it's great cooking with fresh vegetables, it makes such a difference”. The group really seemed to enjoy the session, and it gave an opportunity for them to cook together, sample new foods and share some of their own recipes and tricks in the kitchen… thanks guys!

You can see more photographs from this session on the Cracking Good Food Facebook page. Click here to be redirected.

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