After watching the Celebrity Masterchef final with my parents, in which they had to cook a set 3 course meal for 4 famous Italian Chefs, my dad tasked me to cook a 3 course Italian meal.
As the starter I decided to cook Basil Panna Cotta, Balsamic Reduction and Oven Roasted Vine Tomatoes.
3 Sweet Potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
3 Medium Potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
4 Carrots, roughly chopped
2 Onions, diced
10g Ground Coriander
5g Smoked Paprika
5g Ground Cinnamon
1 Cinnamon Stick
500ml Vegetable Stock
1. Heat the Sunflower Oil in a heavy based pan and add the Onions, Salt and Cinnamon Stick. Put a lid on the pan and let the onions soften for 15 minutes.
2. Add the Sweet Potatoes and Potatoes and cook with a lid on for 10 minutes.
3. Add the Carrots, Ground Cinnamon, Ground Coriander, Paprika and the Stock and boil for a further 10 minutes.
4. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Serve with a dollop of Yogurt and Black Pepper
On the 30th May 2014 I cooked a 5 course Dinner Party for my Grandparents ad 4 of their friends. The menu:
Dauphinoise Potatoes are Potatoes baked with Milk and Cream. Because of this they are Soft, Creamy and very Moorish.
The Dessert I will be serving at the Dinner Party for my Grandparents: Set Custard, Strawberry Jelly, Macerated Strawberries, Meringues and Mint Leaves.
Main Course for the Dinner Part I’m doing for my Grandparents: Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin, Cider Braised Pork Belly, Black Pudding Purée, Dauphinoise Potatoes and Salt Baked Carrots.
This is the proposed Starter for the Dinner Party I’m doing for my Grandparents: Sous Vide Duck Egg, Pea Panna Cotta, Crispy Parma Ham and Croutons.
At the end of May I’m doing a dinner party for my Grandparents and some of their friends. I am thinking up of ideas for a series of After Dinner Drinks themed Petit Fours: Earl Grey Meringues, Coffee Macaroons and Liquid Centred Whiskey Sweets.
I will also post entries with the other courses.
On Saturday the 5th of April I did my first ever Work Experience at the Camellia Restaurant at South Lodge Hotel, just outside of Horsham. The offer was given to me by Lewis Hamblet, Executive Chef at South Lodge, who’s son (Tom) was a fellow competitor at the Rotary Young Chef Competition.
This is basically a sweetened, frozen Gin and Tonic that is then scraped into small flakes and served. It could be served as a dessert or as I did, a palate cleanser.
Drop Scones are a small pancake like batter dish. They are called drop scones because the batter should ‘drop’ of the whisk.
The Camellia Restaurant is located at the South Lodge Hotel, just outside of Horsham. The hotel has 2 Restaurants, the Camellia and the Pass. The Head chef is Steven Edwards who recently won Masterchef the Professionals. We went for Sunday Lunch as our late Christmas present from my grandparents.
This is the dish that I served as my starter in the 3rd round of the Rotary Young Chef Competition. The salmon is marinated in a Tea and Whiskey mixture before being quickly brined in a Salt Solution. It is served with thin sliced Radish and Fennel doused in Lemon Juice. Read More
On February 11th, I competed in round 3 of the Rotary Young Chef Competition at Forest School in Horsham. The requirements were the same as the ones for the last round. To cook a healthy 2 course meal for 2 people on a £15 Budget. I changed my menu for this round to:
Tea and Whiskey Cured Salmon, Lemon Fennel, Radish, Pea Shoots
Venison Ravioli, Mushroom Consommé, Parmesan Crisp
Chocolate Orange Fondant, Stewed Oranges, Creme Fraiche
Thali Cafe is a chain of 5 Indian restaurants in Bristol. They have recently opened a new restaurant in the Tobacco Factory in Southville, Bristol. This was the second time we had visited a Thali Cafe the first time being about a year and half ago at one of there other restaurants. As well as the 5 Bristol restaurants they also cater at festivals and we have visited there stall a few times at the Greenman Festival and Sunrise Celebration.
These Coconut Tarts are in my bias opinion AMAZING. Crispy Pastry with a soft Custard filling.
Chocolate Fondants are notoriously hard to get right. You need a gooey, almost liquid centre with a cake like outside. This is served with Spiced Oranges and Creme Fraiche.
On February 11th I competed in the 2nd round of the Rotary Young Chef Competition in Witley(near Guildford.) This was the District Semi-Final. The requirements for this round were to: Cook a 3 course healthy meal for 2 people for £15 or under. My menu was:
Pea, Bacon and Mint Soup
Mi Cuit Salmon,Puy Lentils, Pickled Beets and Apple Puree
Chocolate and Orange Fondant, Creme Fraiche, Stewed Oranges and a Spiced Orange shot
Mi Cuit means ‘Half Cooked’. The Salmon is brined in a Dill Salt Solution before cooking sous vide at a very low temperature for a short period of time. This uses an improvised sous vide method for which you only need: A heavy based casserole dish, temperature probe and zip lock bags. This is the dish I am using as the main course in the 2nd round of the Rotary Young Chef Competition (1st round summary here )
This is a quick and tasty soup that tastes fresh and flavoursome.
On Monday 11th November. I participated in the first round of the RIBI Young Chef Competition held at a local school. I was put forward by my Grandparents Neighbour who is a member of the local Rotary club.
I arrived at the school and unpacked my equipment and found the remaining things I needed. We had an hour and a half to cook and serve 2 dishes. The brief was 2 healthy dishes, for 2 people oon a £10 budget. My menu was:
Spiced Pea and Potato Samosas with Coconut Chutney
Masalla Mackerel on a bed of Dhal and a Kachumber Salad
Fish and Chips are a Great British Classic. Battered Cod, Chips, Mushy Peas and Lashings of Salt and Vinegar. This version is a more refined take on the Classic.
A Bloomer is a traditional basic loaf. This is adapted from the Paul Hollywood Bread Book.
Panna Cotta is a set Italian Custard that means ‘Cooked Cream’ in Italian. It is made by simmering Milk, Cream, Sugar and Vanilla together and then setting the mixture with gelatin. The Consommé is made by cooking raspberries at a low temperature Sous Vide in a Water Bath.
Warming Curries are nice things on cool Autumnal nights. This Curry has Sweet Potato, Spinach and Coconut Milk in it as well as spices. It’s more like a home cooked Curry rather than a Curry House Curry. This is served with Cinnamon Rice.
Tuilles are very thin french biscuits. They are named after the french word ‘tuille’ which means ’tile’ as they are meant to resemble french roof tiles. They are extremely hard to shape as they dry out and go crispy very quickly after you take them out of the oven. These are made into baskets which are filled with White Chocolate Ice Cream and garnished with two fruit coulis. This recipe doesn’t need an Ice Cream maker.
Madras’s, Vindaloos and Korma’s just some of the English curry house staples that you won’t find on the menu at this Indian restaurant in Brighton. Chilli Pickle serves food inspired by the Indian Street Food culture and regional dishes. This was my fourth time visiting The Chilli Pickle and the second time coming for my Birthday meal. We were seated at our tables and where given a menu. I decided to eat from the set menu along with my Dad, Mum, Granny and Grandpa. As well as a detailed food menu they have an extensive drinks menu for both Beer and Soft Drinks.
The word Consommé brings to mind images of crystal clear broths bursting with flavour whilst still being light and refreshing. Consommés are made by clarifying a broth or stock using one of two methods. The first and the more traditional clarification method is clarification by egg white. This method uses egg whites and vegetables to draw out impurities such as fat or sediment from the broth which in turn forms a clear liquid free of fat. The second and newer method is called gelatin filtration. This has the same results as using egg white however it uses gelatin and takes longer. To clarify a consommé using this method you use gelatin to set the stock or broth and then freeze it and then let it thaw in the fridge. The gelatin creates a mesh that traps the impurities whilst its thawing. This method can be used to clarify liquids that wouldn’t react well to being heated. I served the consommé in my Jing Tea cups, which i think was a nice way of presenting it.
We were going on a day trip to Turin as we were staying in Chamonix in the French Alps, so I did some research on food markets and shops and found out about the famous Porta Palazzo market as well as Eataly via TripAdvisor. I wanted to go to the large one in Turin but it would have been to far of a trek so we went to the one nearest us: Eataly Incontra. Eataly is an italian market come restaurant in which the restaurant seating is in among shelfs all stacked to the brim with Italian foods and ingredients ranging from: Balsamic Vinegar to Chocolate and Wine to Pasta. The idea of eating with the ingredients is great you can see what ingredients are used in what dish.
This is my interpretation of another recipe from the Masterchef Kitchen Bible. I edited the recipe and it turned out really well. This is the 2nd time I have tried this recipe and this time was by far the best. I managed to get the pasta wafer thin and the Squash perfectly spiced. Like the White Chocolate and Filo Stack the recipe was clearly laid out and easy to followed and accompanied by a great photo of what the finished product should look like. The recipe consisted of 3 parts: Sheets of Saffron enriched Pasta, Creamy Mushrooms and Roasted Squash. I aded my own twist by adding Nutmeg and Cinnamon to the Squash. I also aded a splash of Balsamic Vinegar to the mushrooms.
You can’t eat much closer to the beach without eating on the beach than can at the East Beach Cafe in Littlehampton. The quirky shell like building is right at the top of the beach with only a footpath separating it from the pebbles and shingle of the beach.
The menu focuses’s very much on fish most of which is very locally sourced, in fact lots of the ingredients are locally sourced including the Cider thats served with the Mussels, the meat for the burgers and of course the freshly caught local fish. The recipe included dishes like:
Mussels with local Cider, Cream and Parsley
Scallops, Mint and Pea Puree, Sweet Orange, Lemon Oil
Crab Linguine with Garlic and Chilli
Fish and Chips
Pan fried Sea Bream on a bed of Artichokes, Beetroot and Spinach
Sous vide is a technique that uses an immersion heater to heat and sustain water to a very accurate temperature for a sustained period of time. Sous vide means ‘Under Vacuum’ in french. This is because the food is sealed in airtight vacuum bags; this means that food can be cooked and kept until needed and it is a great way for marinating as the flavours have nowhere to go. This technique is used in professional kitchens as they could cook a piece of meat, for example steak, and store it until needed then all that is needed would be to sear it of before service.
We cooked these biscuits when I was in Year 2 at Primary School, I loved them so I asked the teacher for the recipe and we have been cooking them ever since. The recipe contains Sugar and Honey so are quite sweet. Cinnamon is added to the biscuits which gives them a slightly warming feel.
Zingy, Spicy, Warming, Morish, Vibrant. Just a few words that pop into my mind when I think of this Chutney, it has a lovely warming kick from the Chillies, a slight tartness from the vinegar and a mellow sweetness from the Sugar and Chillies. It’s a delicious accompaniment to: Chicken, Sausages, Pork, Cheese and Chips.
Last year I cooked a 4 course meal for my Grandpa’s 70th Birthday and decided I should improve on that for Granny’s Birthday meal by cooking a 6 course meal!
The balance of flavours in this dish made it an amazing dessert. The white chocolate mousse was sweet but not over sweet and wasn’t claggy like white chocolate can sometimes be. The sweetness of the mousse was complimented by the slight bitterness if the raspberry jelly. As well as a contrast in flavours there was a nice contrast in textures; the filo pastry crispy and thin and the jelly and mousse soft and smooth. The recipe is from: Masterchef Kitchen Bible, a book that I received as a birthday present a few years ago. The book contains a good mix of recipes as well as an in depth ingredient index complete with flavour pairings and when the ingredient is in season.