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Teen Chef – 7 Dec 2019

Hi Teen Chefs

This week our Teen Chefs will be making – Festive Turkey & Bacon Meatballs with Parsnip, Apple and Chestnut Mash with a Creamy Gravy Sauce

Our ingredients will focus on those associated with the festive season.

Our meatballs are going to be super juicy and full of goodness including turkey, pork and bacon, onions, cranberries, bread, milk, and herbs, served in a creamy gravy sauce made from the meat juices.

Meatballs nearly always include two meats normally beef, and veal/pork. Ours will use pork and turkey to keep it festive. Turkey and smokey, salty bacon pairs well with fruit which is readily associated with the festive season.   Fresh and dried cranberries are excellent in sauces, cakes, desserts and stuffings. Fresh cranberries are used to make the popular accompaniment to turkey, cranberry sauce.

A tip for making soft meatballs is to use a panade – which is a mixture of starch like bread mixed with a liquid like cranberry juice which is then added to minced meat.

Our sauce will be made from the meat juices from pan frying our meatballs.   The base of this sauce will be a velouté which is one of the five mother sauces of classical cuisine.  Like béchamel, velouté is thickened with a roux.  Velouté is made with stock.  We will be finishing our sauce with cream and sage.

We will serve this with a parsnip, apple and chestnut mash.  Chestnuts have a sweet crumbly flesh and, unlike other nuts, are low in fat. Roast chestnuts are a traditional winter treat and can be cooked on an open fire, in the oven or in a frying pan. Available from mid October to December.

Skills used include: Weighing, measuring, peeling, grating, cutting, slicing, mixing/combining, blending, simmering, boiling, reducing, roasting, soaking, and mashing, shaping into balls, pan frying, making a sauce from meat juices.

See you Saturday Teen Chefs!

Junior Chef 23/24 Nov 2019

This week our Junior Chefs we will be making – Tagliatelle with sausage, turkey, chestnuts and cranberry

This week’s class will be all about the flavours of Christmas as it is our last Junior Chef before the Christmas celebrations commence.

Our ingredients will focus on those associated with the festive season.

Chestnuts have a sweet crumbly flesh and, unlike other nuts, are low in fat. Roast chestnuts are a traditional winter treat and can be cooked on an open fire, in the oven or in a frying pan. Available from mid-October to December.

Fresh and dried cranberries are excellent in sauces, cakes, desserts and stuffings. Fresh cranberries are used to make the popular accompaniment to turkey, cranberry sauce.

Oranges are the stars of the produce aisle come winter, and they are so versatile.  Orange juice, zest and flesh can all be used to add a sweet, juicy tang to both sweet and savoury dishes.

There are two main types of oranges: sweet oranges and bitter (Seville).  Sweet oranges can be thick or thin skinned, with or without seeds, and has sweet-tasting orange or red-flecked flesh. 

Oranges are at their peak between December and April.

Turkey and smokey, salty bacon pairs well with fruit which is readily associated with the festive season.

In this week’s dish we will be using the following skills:

Weighing, measuring, chopping, cutting, dicing, crumbling, deglazng, reducing mixing/combining, simmering, boiling, frying and searing.

See you at the weekend Junior Chefs.

Teen Chef – 16 Nov 2019

This week we will be making – Herb crusted pork tenderloin with apples in a cider cream sauce served with sweet potato mash.

This is very much an autumn /winter dish.  Pork and apple is a match made in heaven. Topped with the decadent sauce and served with sweet potato mash it is the ultimate comfort food.

Apples are one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits. There are over 7,000 varieties in existence, many of which are grown in Britain but, despite that, only around 12 varieties are commonly sold in UK supermarkets, of which many are imported.

Availability; All year round, though British apples are at their best from September to November. When buying select firm fruit, with no blemishes, bruising or wrinkles. The fragrance of an apple is a good indicator of freshness and quality.

All ‘eating’ apples can be used in cooking but the opposite is not the case.  Bramley is the definitive English cooking apple.  For cooked dishes requiring a firmer texture Cox, Braeburn or Granny Smith are a good choice.

We will be using Braeburn apples which is a tart, tangy apple. It has a crisp, firm white flesh. It is red over a green background.  It has a firm crisp texture with a unique combination of sweet and tart flavour.

Fruits are traditionally served with pork to offset its richness.  The pork tenderloin, also called pork fillet, is a long thin cut of pork which can be roasted or braised.  This cut is the eye fillet that comes from within the loin. It’s a lazy muscle and as such is lean and very tender.

The key to cooking pork well is an understanding of which cooking method is appropriate for each cut.  Another important tip to remember when cooking pork is that the meat needs to be seasoned well with an array of ingredients to choose from like herbs, spices or a brine to impart flavour, or simply salt and pepper, or in our case a herb crust.

Overcooked pork is dry and tough, so care needs to be taken when cooking.  The cuts of pork most suited to rapid cooking include loin and tenderloin fillet.

Skills used include:

Weighing, measuring, peeling, squeezing, zesting, cutting, slicing, mixing/combining, blending, simmering, boiling, reducing,  Trimming and preparing a pork fillet, cooking the pork fillet to the required temperature and making a sauce by deglazing, searing, sautéing and roasting,  resting.

See you Saturday Teen Chefs!

Junior Chef 9/10 Nov 2019

This week our Junior Chefs will be making – Butternut Squash, and Rosemary Lasagne

Winter creates a deep need for nourishing food; lasagne is a popular family favourite. This vegetarian version is packed with roasted butternut squash, rosemary and a garlicky tomato sauce then baked with a crunchy top and melted salty parmesan.

The creamy sweetness of squash is tamed by savoury rosemary in this comforting dish. Butternut squash is an orange-fleshed winter squash, celebrated for its versatility and sweet, nutty flavour.

Though commonly thought of as a vegetable, butternut squash is technically a fruit. It has many culinary uses and makes a great addition to many sweet and savoury recipes.

Butternut squash is not only tasty but also packs a punch of vitamins, minerals and fibre.

In this week’s dish we will be using the following skills:

Weighing, measuring, chopping, crushing, grating, mixing/combining, boiling/simmering, frying and baking.

See you at the weekend Junior Chefs.