16 July 2012

GUEST BLOG: Store cupboard cooking

By guest blogger TRACEY

Austerity was in the air at the Approved Premises on Wednesday 11 July. The group had previously been given a list of items in a virtual store cupboard so they could cook up a healthy and appealing dinner with minimal ingredients. We were impressed with the enthusiasm and self-assured capabilities of each participant and enthralled when they devised a three-course menu of onion bhajis with a mustard and mayonnaise dip, pizza with coleslaw (being prepared above) and kedgeree, and a no-measure pancake mix for dessert. 

So on Wednesday, as an onlooker, you may have mistook the tears streaming down their cheeks, thinking the guys were emotionally overwhelmed with this challenge - but it was purely down to the amount of onions needed in varying styles for the bhajis, pizza, coleslaw and kedgeree! Once the frying started and the room filled will that undeniably pleasing aroma, everyone ran with the challenge and many independently got on with the tasks ahead.

The naan bread pizza base rose and the delicious tomato-based sauce reduced down perfectly resulting in a delicious rich and tasty pizza topping. Debates were had over what to top each pizza with, but it was agreed that courgette, tuna and sweetcorn were the best options, especially as both the sweetcorn and tuna could also be used for the kedgeree. The coleslaw was dressed in a perfectly balanced mix of lemon, yogurt, Dijon mustard, oil and salt and pepper, which, to my surprise, I loved (I don’t do mustard)! The kedgeree tasted and looked amazing even using tinned tuna in place of fresh haddock, and tips were shared on how to boil the perfect egg - and obviously adhered to! It was great to see the bhajis come together, purposefully a little flat in appearance as the group bore in mind the healthy eating aspects when planning the meal. We were lucky to have two varieties of bhajis: onion and vegetables as the guys cleverly suggested using the surplus veg from the coleslaw and pizza to reduce food wastage!

Once we were sat enjoying our feast the guys commented that fresh pizza was definitely better than frozen and that they would cook the menu again!

You can see more photos from this session by clicking here.

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