Posts Tagged ‘cook off’

St. Andrews: Sustainability 101

Monday, January 17th, 2011

St Andrews: Sustainability 101.

I have an honest confession to make, i used throw plastic bags away, still use CF sprays and didn’t recycle. That is until i went to St. Andrews! when you see the stunning Fifeshire countryside, the rolling green hills and beautiful coastline, you can understand why they are so conscious about preserving their green and pleasant land up north!

To add another charge to my confession of enviro-terrorism, i never took food and energy/food waste into consideration. My idea of environmentally friendly cooking was cooking with the extractor light bulb fan off! All the food that was cooked with was sourced from around a 30 mile radius out of St. Andrews, it was fresher and exceptionally tasty. Our three chefs knocked up some incredible stuff; Katharine’s stuffed fife squash was a fantastic winter warmer, the smoky cured bacon playing perfectly with the creamy loch Ryan cheese and sweet squash flesh. Christoph’s smooth and silky Cullenskink was worthy of any highlanders own effort and Josh produced a wonderfully light and fragrant Cranachan which really complimented all the ingredients he had used (Scottish raspberries, cream from St. Andrews etc). Not only had the food come from local producers, saving on food miles, but all were cooked with mother nature in mind. Both Katharine and Christoph went for the one pot method of cooking, using less gas and electricity, while Josh chose to create his dish purely using his own man-ergy!

All the food cooked was delicious and deciding who had won was a tough decision. Cooking responsibly and using local food is not just for the dreadlocked, hemp loving bob dylan aficionados of this world. You dont have to be Neil from the “Young Ones” to love a bit of green cuisine, many of the suppliers we used supply to all the top restaurants in the area, it is basically just good, honest food cooked simply. Peace and Love…;-)

The Winning Recipe

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Chilli Citrus Stir Fry with Rice

(Serves 4-6)

Ingredients- 2-3 Chicken Breasts

1 pack of Mangetout

1 pack of beansprouts

1 Yellow pepper

1 small-medium red onion

2 large carrots

1 lemon

1 lime

2 chillies (1 red, 1 green for colour variation)

Ginger powder

Black Pepper (Seasoning)

500g long grain rice

Cooking oil

1. Veg prep- Remove the stalk and middle from the pepper and cut the rest into even strips

Slice the carrot into even strips again (thinner pieces will cook faster)

Remove first few layers of onion and then chop the rest into small pieces

Remove the stalk and middle from the chillis and cut into tiny pieces

Roll the lemon and lime in the palm of your hands to release the juices, and then cut into halfs

2. Pour rice into a sieve and rinse with cold water, then leave to stand

Fill a large suacepan with cold water and add pinch or two of salt

Add the rice to this and leave to come to the boil

3. Rinse a wok/ large frying pan with cold water, then put on heat.

Add cooking oil after a minute or two

4. Remove any fat and nasties from the chicken and cut into cubes or strips

5. Put the chicken into the wok and keep moving it around the pan so that it cooks evenly

6. After a few minutes add the onion, chilli, ginger powder, black pepper and squeeze the juice of one half of the lemon and lime over the chicken. Continue to stir fry.

7. If the rice is now boiling, bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 10-12 minutes (may be longer depending on the rice you use, check packet instructions)

8. Once the chicken and onion is starting to turn golden brownish (cut the largest piece in half and check that it is white coloured inside), add the yellow pepper, carrots and mangetout

Add a drizzle more oil and half a cup of water, plus slightly more seasoning (ginger and black pepper)

Stir fry for a few minutes, continuously moving the ingredients around.

9. Once the vegetables are cooked (they should be hot but firmish) and the chicken looks golden brown, add the beansprouts and thouroughly mix the ingredients round for another few minutes.

10. Turn off the heat for the stir fry but leave it where it is.

Take the rice off the heat and drain it. Leave to stand for a couple of minutes.

Add the remaining juice from the lemon and lime (if there is any left over drizzle it over the stir fry)

Carefully stir in the juice and then fluff up the rice with a fork.

11. Serve up the rice first and then top with stir fry

8 In A Bar – Beaten but Not Down

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

I chose to cook because it’s my signature dish that I’ve never received any negative comments about so I thought okay I’ll be the cook. It’s probably one of the easiest things you could cook but that doesn’t mean it’s not nice food.

I think it’s link back to the band and the music we play is slightly tenuous but I didn’t want to try something really fancy that I’d not cooked before so we just tried to figure out a way that it might fit. I was a little disappointed with the finished product – it wasn’t the best I’ve ever cooked the recipe for which I blame my bandmates. Turns out too many cooks spoil the broth after all! Ultimately I think that’s why we didn’t win and to be fair the Sal Paradise guys did do a great job.

I haven’t let it put me off though – I’ve cooked the dish again since and got it perfect so it is a shame that I/we messed it up on the day. Nevermind!

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.

Ophirs Korean Experience

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

The food I cooked with Joey has really opened my mind to try and experiment with other Korean dishes. I really like to cook for people so I re-created the recipe from the film recently for a group of my friends. Like me they hadn’t really eaten Korean food before and also like me really liked it!

I’ve actually started cooking a lot more Asian food. I like cooking it because ingredients are used in such different ways to most western cooking so it can be a challenge but it also teaches you a lot about how diverse some ingredients are. I think it’s nice to cook my own Asian food as it’s so different to the Asian food lots of takeaways sell. The flavours are far more prominent and the grease is kept to a minimum.

Experimenting with other cuisines is something I think everyone should try – generally I think you find that it isn’t as hard as it seems at first. Even if it is really hard it doesn’t matter if you mess up – just make sure you do that on a practise run, NOT when you’re cooking for friends!.

International Cook-Off. The Judges View…

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

We first started planning International Cooking Competition as we thought it would be very facinating to find out how people in other countries cook and present their dishes. I told myself “It would definitely be very exciting and taste-rewarding”. And indeed, we had a very positive response from Loughborough’s International Students with lots of them eager to show off the best cuisine their country has to offer. We quickly got the teams signed up and the day of the competition was soon upon us!

On the day, the atmosphere in the kitchen was nervous, hyperactive and friendly. Contestants had to multitask, watching over their pans and pots as well as peeking what other countries were doing. Of course the best and at the same time the hardest part of the competition was the tasting and judging. It was evident that everyone and poured their patriotism into their work and done their best countires culinary pride, and every single meal was in its own way delightful and exotic. The true International Spirit or you may say flavour, could be felt in every meal and each one presented us we a new flavour we’d never tasted before.. Even though it was hard, we picked a winner and thankfully none of the contestants felt bad or upset!

Overall I think that during these two hectic hours, whilst running around the kitchen and asking fellow contestants for a spare egg or some cooking oil, people became good friends. The event was a great success and opened up a lot of peoples eyes to the huge exotic and exciting variety of food they’re able to cook.

Student Cooking.Tv’s International Food Cook-Off: The View from the Podium

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Sara: Participating in the ISA cooking competition was one of my best experiences at Loughborough University. I was very excited when I found out that I was to be one of the competitors, but then I was told that we will have only 45 minutes to cook and it seemed impossible! However with the help of my housemate Annelore I planned to make carrot sauté (Fried grated carrots served with yogurt and garlic mixture) and spinach sauté (Steamed spinach with fried egg served with yogurt and garlic mixture) as a starter and, Tah-chin (Rice stuffed with chicken and lots of saffron with a special yogurt sauce) as the main dish. For dessert I thought a Shiraz salad which is a mixture of tomato, cucumber and onion with lemon juice and olive oil would catch someone’s attention. In truth is was too much for 45 minutes and I wasn’t sure that we could make it, but we planned for every 5 minutes and crossed our fingers!

I didn’t know until the day that the studentcooking team were coming along to film making it much more stressful (and more fun too!!). It was my first time cooking in such a big kitchen despite it being something I’d always wanted to do.

Soon the time to worry was over and the time started and we got cooking! My main memory was how incredibly hot it was in the kitchen, but who cared! It was the competition and we were too busy to complain about it! And just as quickly as it began -  “3, 2, 1! Time is over!” and we downed tools. We were right on time, and to my surprise had managed to cook all the food we planned.

The hardest part however was yet to come…take the food to the judges! I was pleased with the food but that did nothing to calm my nerves. Shortly after this my hard worked had proved worthwhile when I heard Iranian cuisine was the winner!
As if the pride of being the winner wasn’t enough we also got chocolate, champagne and some Diners+ cards (all of which we suitably enjoyed!!!).

From the front line with a loser.

Sunday, December 7th, 2008

United we stand divided we fall has become very prevalent in the light of mine and Steve’s performance in King of the Kitchen. I whole heartedly blame Steve for our miserable defeat – how hard could it have been to pick the right ingredients!

It’s true enough that it was the food I cooked that didn’t win however I have to say that I didn’t really have anything to work with. With no meat and some peanut butter I think it would be fair to say that the food didn’t even bear a slight resemblance to chilli con carne.

It was all a lot of fun though and that’s what it’s all about, I wouldn’t be saying that had there been a good prize however! In the end I think Patrick was simply choosing the lesser of two evils as Mark and Lauren’s chilli didn’t look great either. Very glad we did it though, loads of fun and something to remember!

Country Cooks at Northumbria: Harrys Blog…

Friday, December 5th, 2008

Well…not sure what to write really. I was very taken back during the filming by the twist – in honesty I really wasn’t ready to cook Eniko’s omelet and I was feeling good about the Toad in the Hole as it’s like my signature dish. I wouldn’t say I was nervous about cooking the Basque omelet because I was at least familiar with all the ingredients whereas Eniko had to make some batter, which is something he’d never heard of.
Overall I did enjoy it, me and Eniko had a good laugh and to be fair I think we both did okay. I haven’t tried my hand at cooking and Basque food since but I would certainly consider it.

Basque-ing in British Cooking: Country Cooks at Northumbria

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

Eniko: The omelet that Harry had to make from my home country is a meal that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or for dinner time. It is a very popular dish in the Basque Country and one of my favorites so I was reluctant to hand over my ingredients for Harry to ruin.

I joke of course and I feel that Harry did very well. There are something that I would have done different such as the size he chopped things but in the end the taste was still good. I think it goes to show, you know that there is no right or wrong in cooking – you just need to try and see what happens.

I had never cooked much British food before and certainly never any batter. I had actually never even heard of this Toad in the Hole. Considering the way in which I prepared the food I was surprised it worked. I say it worked but I didn’t feel like the taste was great! I think I will try again sometime and maybe another dish although I am pleased with my batter that I could get it up.