20 November 2013

GUEST BLOG: Rice and easy!

By guest blogger TRACEY

It was great to be back at the Approved Premises in Chorlton last Wednesday, especially when the six participants were so keen to get on and learn. Kim shared her knowledge and tips of how to prepare some of the ingredients  carrots, fennel, cabbage, peppers, onions, courgettes and garlic – and she demonstrated safe knife skills when peeling, chopping and slicing all the vegetables. Today's menu was Chinese inspired, with egg-fried rice, stir-fry vegetables and sweet and sour sauce, and cheat's cripsy seaweed. The group members were delighted to learn how Chinese restaurants achieve the floral-looking carrot and finely chopped seaweed. Kim also explained how by simply cutting the spring onions at an angle they instantly look great, and the guys were in awe and enjoyed applying their newly acquired techniques.

Kim shared the many health benefits of the ‘Holy Trinity’ of Chinese cuisine  garlic, ginger and chilli – and explained how a healthy diet includes foods of all colours. The food today was practically a rainbow! Their visual learning continued as Kim highlighted the daily amount of recommended salt, dipping a teaspoon into the salt cellar to show what 6g looks like – which they were all pretty surprised to see. Their attention was then turned to preparing the rice, which was set to boil and later drained and left to cool down for mixing with a beaten egg to make the egg-fried rice.

The guys started to make the sweet and sour sauce using pineapple juice, sliced pineapple, tomato puree and white wine vinegar, then a small amount of cornflour was mixed with water and used to thicken the sauce. Meanwhile the cabbage was finely chopped, washed and drained, then generously treated to the flavoursome and fragrant sesame seed oil, plus a little salt, and placed in the oven in order to crisp up - this was our cheat's crispy seaweed! The cheat’s crispy seaweed was removed from the oven to compliment our meal, which all came together once the beaten eggs were placed on the heat, the rice added and the spring onions stirred into the mix. Soy sauce was sprinkled over the rice and added a familiar depth of flavour, then the vegetables were quickly stir-fried and covered in the juicy sweet and sour sauce. It's no surprise that the guys made comments about how fresh and tasty the food was and how much they got out of the session  a great first session, thanks guys.

There are more photos from the Approved Premises on our Facebook page.

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