It’s not surprising that I felt a little disappointed when the six sessions at the Approved Premises came to an end on Wednesday 22 May. I really enjoyed listening to the participants' previous cooking experiences and seeing how what Kim had taught them was so easily replicated in the sessions leading up to the final one. The guys had discussed the limited options available to them from the dry stores and fresh foods in the virtual cupboard and fridge, and had chosen to make a carrot, lentil and chickpea Moroccan-style soup, garlic naan bread, salad Nicoise and fruity scones.
And so began the familiar production line: chopping the onions, topping and tailing the garlic and peeling and chopping the carrots. The guys led the session and got to work sautéing the onions and adding the garlic once the onions had softened to reduce the chance of the garlic being overcooked and tainting the soup. Cayenne pepper, cumin and paprika were sprinkled over the onions and garlic, then the carrots were added. Meanwhile, the lentils were washed to rinse off the starch, then drained and added to the pan along with some tinned tomatoes and seasoning. The soup was left to simmer, while everyone got on with making the garlic bread dough. The garlic paste swiftly came together as their honed knife skills aided the process. The paste was mixed into the flour, then yeast and salt were added, and the mixture was combined with cold water to form a sturdy dough - once the sticky dough hands were removed!
Attention was turned to the salad Nicoise, as the new potatoes were put onto boil; later joined by the green beans - a fuel-saving tip from Kim. Meanwhile the eggs were boiled, and the tinned tuna and oil was tipped into a serving bowl. A conversation ensued about other fuel-saving tips in the kitchen and I believe someone mentioned eggs in a kettle…which is NOT to be tried at home, but did raise a chuckle! The salad took shape once the eggs were cooled and quartered and it looked so refreshing and enticing.
We were nearing the end and starting to think ahead to a cup of tea and a scone, but a tangent ensued as we debated the age old argument of ‘scowne or scon’. Differences were set aside as we mixed together flour, sugar, butter and fruit, then rolled the dough out and cut into a tray full of scones, which were put into the oven as we ladled out the soup, sliced the garlic bread sliced and served up the salad as a side dish then all sat down to reflect on the session and course as a whole.
Thanks to both Kim and the Approved Premises guys who collectively felt the course had been “really enjoyable and rewarding” and said “they can see their progression over the past six weeks”.
There are more photographs from this session on the Cracking Good Food Facebook page. Click here to be redirected.