Archive for February, 2011

St. Andrews International Cook-off

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Well, in all my years of being privy to a whole plethora of International cook-offs, I can quite honestly say I believe the victory in this particular cook-off would be a deserved champion of champions!

All the chefs out-did themselves overall, with team GB knocking out a wonderful, traditional dish of Haggis, Neeps and Tatties and the Yankee-Doodle Dandies working their charms on the old bacon and beans. However, the winning dish was a little bit incredible.

Now, for any of you who have the privilege to know me (Joe) will know that my Italian heritage renders me biased to the Italian nation on all accounts. Despite my strongest urges of patriotism aside, the Butternut Squash and Truffle Butter Risotto was a complete tour de force!

The care in which Damiano took in cooking his risotto is something akin to a mother nurturing her newborn child! Infusing the dish of rice and slowly braised slices of butternut squash with a careful scraping of truffle butter, a work of art was created – I would certainly not have minded paying a small fortune (the truffle butter alone came to an astronomical price! But well worth it.)

Keeping in the true spirit of cook-offs, the whole thing was polished off with gusto by the judges and all the contributors so well done to all!


University of Portsmouth – Money Advice Week

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

As you can see from the video, the Cooking Demo went down a storm and everyone who tried the food on offer absolutely loved it! So if you want to try the dishes in your own time we have put them all on the blog for you to download. Big thanks to Nick for letting us come along and film the event!


Recipe #1 poached eggs on wholemeal toast

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Serves: 1
Prep: 3 mins
Cooking: 3 mins

• Drop of vinegar
• Pinch of salt
• 1 egg
• 1 slice wholemeal bread

1. Boil 5cm of water in a small saucepan. Add the drop of vinegar and pinch of salt.
2. Break the egg into a cup (don’t beat) then gently slide into the saucepan simmer on a low heat for 2-3 minutes until the egg white sets.
3. Toast the bread and lay the poached egg on top.

Recipe #2 chocolate bread and butter pudding

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Serves: 4-6
Prep: 45 mins
Cooking: 60 mins

• 7 slices of slightly stale bread
• 1½ pints chocolate milk
• 3 beaten eggs
• 110g sugar
• 110g raisins & sultanas
• 1tsp vanilla
• ½tsp cinnamon
• ½tsp salt
• butter

1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C / gas mark 3. Rub some butter around the inside of a large oven-proof baking dish.
2. Butter each slice of bread on one side only. Line the bottom and sides of the dish with the butter bread, covering as much of the bowl as possible, but lave 2-3 slices to one side.
3. Mix the milk, sugar, eggs, raisins & sultanas, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Pour this mixture over the bread, then place the leftover slices of bread on top, and press them into the liquid – leave to stand for 30 minutes to soak.
4. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Take off the cover and bake for another 30 minutes until the tip becomes golden brown.

Recipe #3 gorgonzola gnocchi with spinach and toasted walnuts

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Serves: 2
Prep: 2 mins
Cooking: 5 mins

• Potato gnocchi (250g – shop bought)
• Creamy gorgonzola cheese
• 2 large fistfuls of fresh spinach
• Butter
• Double cream
• Cluster of walnuts
• Fresh parmesan

1. Fill a pan with salted water and bring to the boil. Wash spinach under cold running water and drain well.
2. Drop gnocchi into boiling water and cook for 4 minutes until they float. Wilt spinach in a hot pan with the butter before adding cream and walnuts.
3. Crumble over gorgonzola and season with freshly ground black pepper. Drain gnocchi and toss in the creamy spinach sauce.
4. Divide between bowls and grate parmesan over to serve!

Recipe #4 d.i.y. chicken fajitas

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Halls or house kitchens are often social jungles. They are populated by a range of different species; those who survive off oven/microwave ready meals, the culinary geniuses who claim they “can’t cook”, and those who live on takeaways alone. This is a great meal to bring everyone together – lay out the different fillings on the table and all dig in!

Serves: 4
Prep: 10 mins
Cooking: 15 mins

• 2 chicken breasts
• Large onion
• Red pepper
• Yellow pepper
• Cajun spice mix (30g sachet)
• 8 tortilla wraps
• Pot each of salsa, guacamole and sour cream
• Bowl of crisp salad leaves

1. Slice the raw chicken into thin strips. Slice the peppers and the onion (remember to use a clean knife and board!)
2. Fry the chicken with the onions in a large pan or wok over a very high heat for 5 minutes. Add the peppers and continue to fry for another five minutes. Sprinkle over the Cajun spice mix and toss together.
3. Warm the tortillas in the microwave for a few seconds.
4. Lay out all the fillings on the table and dive in to make your own before everyone else beats you to it!

Recipe #5 rustic bean and sausage stew

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

When your mum wants to know what you’ve been eating and whether you’ve been eating at sensible times, don’t panic. Simply inform her that you and your housemates are staying in to revise while eating a hearty meal of stew. As quick as a takeaway, half the price and with a fraction of the calories…

Serves: 4
Prep: 10 mins
Cooking: 20 mins

• Olive oil
• 8 decent sized sausages
• Medium onion
• Ctick of celery
• carrot or two
• 1 tsp fresh or dried oregano
• 3 cloves of garlic
• 3 different tins of beans, e.g. kidney, butter, haricot
• Tin of chopped tomatoes
• Handful of fresh parsley

1. Grill the sausages under a high heat until golden. Dice the carrot, celery, onion and garlic and fry in oil for 10 minutes using a large pan.
2. Drain the beans and tip into the pan, along with the chopped tomatoes and oregano. Chop the cooked sausages into chunks and stir into the bean mix. Simmer for 10 minutes, chop the parsley while you wait.
3. Sprinkle with parsley just before serving.

Recipe #6 pompey-style mackerel burgers

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

This cheap and easy burger will help boost your IQ points during the dreaded exam period. A light and healthy meal, it’s high in omega-3 oils (fresh mackerel is full of these but tinned is cheaper), it’ll taste like it’s from a greasy spoon but without the guilt trip. Quality nosh for sharing with your study buddy.

Serves: 2
Prep: 5 mins
Cooking: 5 mins

• Small tin of mackerel in brine
• 2 pitta breads
• 1 egg
• 1 lime
• 1tsp chopped chilli
• Clump of fresh coriander
• 1 tsp fresh ginger
• Fistful of mixed salad leaves
• Mayonnaise
• Sweet chilli sauce
• Dusting of flour
• Shot of olive oil

1. Squeeze out as much brine as possible from the tinned mackerel and place in a bowl.
2. Zest the lime into the bowl with finely chopped chilli, ginger and coriander. Crack in the egg and mix well.
3. Shape the mixture into four burgers. Dust with flour and fry in oil until crisp, golden and hot right through.
4. Warm the pitta breads in a toaster, cut into halves and open the pocketsm spread on mayonnaise, chuck in the salad leaves, slot in a burger and top off with chilli sauce. Nom!

Recipe #7 reggae reggae beans on toast

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

The classic beans on toast recipe with a twist of the Caribbean is a quick and easy snack to make. A traditional English meal which can be enjoyed at breakfast or simply as a snack.

• 210g (half a large can) of baked beans
• 2 slices of bread
• 20g butter
• 20 g cheese
• Reggae Reggae sauce

1. Pour the beans into a saucepan, heat gently for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the Reggae Reggae sauce.
2. While the beans are heating toast the bread and spread butter on each slice.
3. Pour the heated beans on top of the toast then sprinkle over the grated cheese.

Recipe #8 chinese noodles

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

• 225g rice noodles
• 2 tbsp vegetable oil
• 1 clove garlic (chopped or minced)
• 1 tbsp soy sauce
• ½ tbsp chilli sauce
• Salt and pepper
• 1 spring onion, finely chopped

1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add the noodles, and cook for 4-5 minutes, then drain.
2. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the garlic until tender. Stir in the noodles then add the soy sauce, chilli sauce, salt & pepper.
3. Sprinkle the chopped spring onion over the top and serve.