Archive for October, 2009

The Inside Scoop with Jess & Her Mum

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Jess

To say that I was nervous cooking against my Mum is a bit of an understatement.  My mum’s lasagnes are the best lasagnes I’ve ever tasted and for me to make a better one than hers seemed impossible…especially when I had no idea how to make a lasagne!

Studentcooking.tv must have known how difficult this challenge for me was as they organised some much needed lasagne training with me and Leeds uni chef Simon Wood.  I spent a week with Simon in the uni kitchens learning how to make a proper lasagne from scratch-and learned everything from making a roux to getting the tomato sauce just right.

The actual fight…I mean cook off…was great!  By the end of the week I was dead confident to cook against my Mum, and after a little slip up in getting the lasagne into the dish, it all went really well.

I’d like to tell you who won during the day, but I guess you’ll just have to watch Mothercooker pt 2 video to find out!

Jess’ Mum

When Jess phoned me and said that she wanted to make a better lasagne than me, I didn’t know what to say.  Jess has never been into cooking much and I don’t think she even knows how to make a lasagne.

I wasn’t really worried even though Jess said that she’d been having training from Simon Wood.  I’ve been making lasagnes for years and having a big family to feed, am comfortable making them at short notice.  As for the final result, well you’ll just have to see who wins!

Lasagne Making Tips

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Trying to find the secrets so making the best lasagne? Here are a few from a professional chef.

1. Were possible always use fresh lasagne sheets, available now in most supermarkets.

2. Always buy the leanest, best quality minced beef you can afford

3. Dont forget to season properly and check throughout the cooking process ,this is always the most forgotten thing.

4. Keep the mixture nice and moist at all times as the pasta will soak up lots of moisture.

5. Take time to layer up the meat sauce, pasta etc, you will get a much better result.

6. A few fresh oregano leaves in your meat sauce just helps to raise the dish a notch or two.

7. After removing from the oven allow the mixture to stand for 5 to 10 minutes just to settle , this will help when serving.

What Did Rachel Really Think?

Monday, October 12th, 2009

I really enjoyed taking part in the film – it was very random but good fun. I liked the fact we didn’t know what we’d have to cook with as quite often that’s the case. Often when it’s coming to the end of term you find that you have to just eat what’s in your cupboard, which doesn’t have to mean rubbish meals.

Like we did in the film you just have to be more inventive with your ingredients, such as using mushy peas to make fried rice! Something I’ve found was a great left over meal is during BBQ season. Any left over meat i.e. sausages etc chop them all up and stir-fry them with some green beans, baby sweet corn and carrot (or whatever really!). Then add some sweet chilli or soy sauce and eat it. It’s really nice but you do have to make sure you re-cook the meat properly otherwise I think you could die or something.

Simon’s Tips For Soup

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

Like I said during my demonstration yesterday, the soup is ideal for this time of year, all the root vegetables are bang in season, they are plentiful, cheap to buy and packed with flavour. The soup can be made in bulk as it freezes really well.

To bulk it out things like split red lentils,barley,or other dried pulse mixes can be added. Also pasta shells, macaroni etc also lend themselves well to the soup. Also chopped potatoes,swede,can be added to make it more of a broth. Just don’t forget the magic rule ALWAYS check the seasoning.