Archive for March, 2011

Irn Bru Sundae

Monday, March 28th, 2011

This ‘classic’ Scottish dish came to us on the day of filming. For want of an oven to prepare a Haggis or something slightly more conventional for our Celtic cousins, we combined the two things Scots seem to love: their national orange fluorescent tipple + a huge dose of sugar, cream and fats = …and lo, the Irn Bru Sundae was born.

Very simple in concept and despite misconceptions, remarkably tasty, to the point that none was left.

You will need:
• One bottle of Irn Bru
• A litre of vanilla ice cream
• Hundreds of Thousands
• A Cherry

Basically, load a pint glass (yes classy, you’ve probably stole one from the SU) with a scoop of ice cream, then top with Irn Bru. Repeat this until the glass is full, then finish with sprinkles, cherries, etc. It’s not healthy and won’t win you a Michelin star, but it does taste rather good.

Sticking up for British Cuisine

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Fish’n’Chips, Chicken Tikka Masala and a Yorkshire Pudding. This culinary motley crew has become something of a mantra when asking international students the question: “What comes to your mind when you think of British foods?”

It seems many never respond with, “A huge diverse range of ingredients, culminating in a mouth-watering selection of regional dishes, influenced over time by the many cultures, races and creeds which have flocked to this island. Cooked by some of the worlds most recognisable chefs in some of the worlds finest restaurants, Britain is a haven for the gastronome…!”

Britain’s poor reputation for food has been a perpetual complaint by visitors to this isle. W. Somerset Maugham once claimed in the UK: “To eat well in England, you need to eat breakfast three times a day”, while a Swedish visitor in the middle of the 18th century noted: “The art of cooking as practiced by Englishmen does not extend much beyond roast beef and plum pudding”.

It seems we have a reputation for a lack of creativity and a reliance on heavy, dull foods, saturated with gravy, sauces and condiments in the hope that we can inject a modicum of flavour into the lives of our pallet. What a load of rubbish!

This year alone Britain took more Michelin stars than ever before, our chefs are broadcast around the world, we consume more garlic than the French, we produce Brie, Camembert and Parmesan just as good as the French and Italians!

From the smoked kippers, sweet summer fruits, and quality beef in the North of Scotland, to the fresh fish, traditional cheeses and sweet ciders of the South coast, Britain offers any visitor to these shores a culinary adventure which they will never forget! Bon Appetito…or should I say, ‘enjoy yer scran!!’

Mature Students’ Corner

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Often mature students have a range of obstacles to overcome before getting into university, but they bring with them a wealth of experience about what life has to offer, which can often help younger students. Sian lives in Port Talbot, South Wales and is studying Welsh. Sian wasn’t taught Welsh in school so has decided to take it up now, while balancing a full-time job and a family. She is super-busy but very organised and absolutely loves to cook. She is excellent at budgeting and also is an active member of Slimming World which has helped her maintain her weight.

Sian did 3 very easy recipes which tasted great – so why not try them for yourself?


• 25 g butter
• 150 ml Welsh ale, or milk
• 175 g mature Welsh farmhouse cheese
• 25 g flour
• 1/2 tsp prepared mild mustard
• 2 egg yolks
• 4 slices bread

1. Place the butter, milk or ale and cheese in a saucepan and heat gently until melted and smooth in consistency.
2. Stir in the flour, and bring the mixture to the boil, stirring constantly.
3. Remove from the heat and add the mustard and seasoning. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then whisk in the eggs.
4. Toast the bread on one side, turn over and divide the rarebit mixture between the slices.
5. Place under a hot grill and cook until bubbling and golden.

Cooks Tips…
Welsh rarebit is traditionally served on toast, sometimes with a poached egg on top. Many chefs have taken to using the rarebit mixture for more adventurous dishes such as a topping for fillet of Welsh beef, or cod. It’s ideal as a vegetarian dish and is exceptionally good poured over roasted vegetables, then baked in the oven until golden.
You can add various flavourings to the rarebit base such as herbs, fresh chilli, garlic, cooked leeks, chopped ham, crisp bacon or chopped sun-dried tomatoes.


Welsh cakes are a delicious tea time treat. Welsh cakes were originally cooked on the hot plate of a coal oven but can easily be cooked in a heavy non-stick frying pan or griddle.

• 8 oz/ 225g self rising flour
• 4 oz/ 100g butter
• 1 tsp mixed spice
• 3 oz/ 75g fine or caster sugar
• 3 oz/75g mixed currants and sultanas
• A pinch salt
• 1 large egg, beaten
• A little milk to blend if necessary

1. Sieve the flour, salt and spice into a mixing bowl. Rub in the fats until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and dried fruit. Pour in the beaten egg and stir to make a firm dough, add a tiny dash of milk should the dough be too dry. Add a tiny amount at a time to prevent creating a sloppy dough.
2. On a floured board, roll or press the dough to approximately 1/4″/5mm thick, approx the thickness of the little finger. Cut into discs with a 1 1/2″ or 2″ /4 or 5 cm cutter. Or, cut into squares.
3. Bake the Welsh Cakes on a medium hot griddle,for approx 3 mins per side turning once, until golden brown on both sides but still a little soft in the middle. Dust with fine/caster sugar while still hot. If you do not have a griddle use a lightly buttered heavy base frying pan.

Welsh cakes are best eaten while hot but will keep for up to 10 days in an airtight container. You can also serve them with lightly whipped fresh cream and preserves.

It’s all about experimentation!

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

If you just watched the latest Cooking By Numbers video you may have thought the meals looked pretty disgusting. While obviously they weren’t the usual culinary delights you may normally expect from us, they did actually taste quite nice!

However that wasn’t really the point: what we wanted to show off is how a bit of experimenting in the kitchen can go a long way. While Scotch egg, apple and pepper may not be a family favourite, it was a very ingenious dish and made the most out of a collection of unusual ingredients.

From time to time you may have a random selection of ingredients in your cupboard that you aren’t really too sure what to do with. While they may not be as extreme as the combinations featured in the video, with a bit of experimentation and cooking know-how you may be able to come up with your own unique culinary delight.

So next time you’re stuck for something to eat why not be a bit more adventurous – you may be surprised with what you create!

Bolton Kitchen Guide – Utensils!

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

I hope you found our kitchen guide useful! Kitchens form continent to continent do differ due to the different cooking methods thats are adopted in each. As well as the appliances shown in the Kitchen guide there are also a few utensils you may come across which you may not really know what to do with!!

Not wanting to leave any stone unturned here is short practical guide to some of the not-so-fmailiar utensils you may find in a European kitchen.

Garlic press
It may look like a strange set of pilers but the handy little contraption helps to crush garlic to a nice fine paste for you to use in whatever you wish! Saves time and energy and stops your fingers smelling of garlic for days after!

Potato masher
As the name suggests this mashes potatoes. Get some aggression out and mash some patotoes with a bit of milk and butter to creamy perfection with this bad boy. About 10000000 times better than a fork for mashing gives you great mash in less than a minute

Cheese greater
While it may look like some sort of strange torture devise it is actually just for grating cheese into tiny little slithers.

This complex of kit can be used to a whole rang of dishes and is simply to help you mix up a batter or a cake mix with easy. You can also get electric version but thats just lazy!

Salmon Fishcakes – the recipe!

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

So as you saw in the Falmouth Campus Cook-Off video, it was a tough competition between Tremough and Woodlane campuses – both teams really impressed the judges with their culinary skills. But of course there was only one winner! We’re not going to spoil who won here – but we WILL share one of the recipes you’ve seen in the film. Cook up some yummy, easy and fishy Salmon Fishcakes and get yer hands dirty!


• 300 g potatoes
• 100 g salmon fillet, skin on and no scales on the skin, all bones removed
• A small handful of fresh parsley
• 1 egg
• 1 lemon
• Olive oil
• 1 tablespoon plain flour (extra for dusting)

1) Prepare your fishcakes
Bring a large pan water to the boil. Peel your potatoes, chop them into even sized chunks, add to the boiling water and bring back to the boil. Rub the salmon fillet all over with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. When your potatoes have half way cooked, place the salmon into a colander, then cover this with foil, and place the colander over the pot of boiling potatoes. Turn the heat down and cook for 8-10 minutes, until the salmon and potatoes are both cooked. Remove the fish from the colander and put to one side. Drain the potatoes in the same colander, then return them to the pot and let them steam dry for a minute. Pick the parsley leaves and finely chop them, discarding the stalks. Mash the potatoes, spreading the mash round the sides of the pan to help it cool down quickly. Remove any skin from the salmon. When the potatoes are cooled, put it into a bowl and flake the fish into it with 1 tablespoon of flour. Add the egg and chopped parsley with a really good pinch of salt and pepper. Finely grate over the lemon zest, then mash and mix it up really well.

2) Make Your Fishcakes
Dust a plate with a little of the extra flour. Divide your fish cakes into 4, lightly shape and pat into circles about 2cm thick, dusting them with flour as you go. Put them onto a clean plate also dusted with a little flour. – If you are going to freeze them at this point, wrap them in clingfilm and put them into the freezer. Otherwise simply pop them into the fridge for an hour before cooking – this will allow them to firm up slightly.

3) Cook Your Fishcakes
Put a large fry pan on a medium heat and add a couple of lugs of olive oil. When the oil is nice and hot, add your fishcakes and cook for about 3 – 4 minutes on each side or until crisp and golden – you may need to cook them in two batches. Serve straight away, with lemon halves for squeezing over, serve with lovely vege or a cool crisp salad. These fish cakes also go really is you use tuna instead of the salmon!

Chicken Katsu Curry

Friday, March 11th, 2011

If you liked Japaneasy then give this ago and you won’t be let down!!


• 100g flour, seasoned with lots of salt and pepper
• 1 free-range egg, beaten lightly
• 200g Japanese panko breadcrumbs
• 4 boneless chicken breasts
• 100ml groundnut or vegetable oil
• Steamed rice and salad to serve

For the curry sauce:
• 1 tbsp groundnut or vegetable oil
• 1 onion, peeled and chopped
• 5 whole garlic cloves, peeled
• 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
• 2 tbsp plain flour
• 1 tbsp medium curry powder
• 600ml chicken stock
• 2 tsp honey
• 1 tsp soy sauce
• 1/2 tsp garam masala


1. Curry sauce: Heat oil in a large pan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, then throw in the carrots and sweat slowly for 10 minutes with the lid on, giving the odd stir, until softened and starting to caramelise. Stir in the flour and curry powder and cook for a minute.
2. Slowly pour in the stock until combined (do this gradually to avoid getting lumps). Add the honey, soy sauce and bay leaf and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, so the sauce thickens but is still of pouring consistency. Add the garam masala, then pass the sauce through a sieve (unless you prefer a chunky sauce).
3. Chicken: Now prepare the chicken. Lay the seasoned flour, egg and breadcrumbs on separate plates. Coat the chicken in the flour, then dip into the egg and finally into the breadcrumbs.
4. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the breaded chicken breasts for 5 minutes on each side, or until golden and cooked through. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and leave to drain on kitchen paper. Slice the chicken diagonally and serve with the sauce drizzled over, steamed rice and salad.

Country Cooks – Nigeria v Haiti Recipes!

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Liked the look of the food? We’ll here are the recipes


• 200 g (1 lb) lean beef or chicken
• Vegetable oil for frying
• 1L (1-3/4 pt) stock or water with 3 crushed stock cubes
• 3 large onions, finely chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
• 2-3 chillies (hot peppers), finely chopped
• 4 large tomatoes, blanched, peeled and blended or mashed
• 45 g (3 tbsp) tomato paste
• 250 g (8 oz) each of assorted chopped vegetables, e.g. carrots, green beans, mushrooms, peppers
• 500 g (1 lb) long-grain rice
• Lettuce, parsley or fresh coriander and hard-boiled eggs to garnish


1. Cut meat or chicken into 5 cm (2 in) cubes or small pieces and season with salt and pepper. Cover and allow to stand for 1-2 hours.
2. Heat oil in fry-pan and fry the meat or chicken pieces until brown. Remove meat from oil and add to the stock in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Simmer on low heat until meat begins to soften, then remove from heat.
3. Drain excess oil from fry pan leaving enough oil to fry onions, garlic and chillies (hot peppers) until golden. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, half the combined vegetables and 250 ml (8 fl oz) of stock from the meat mixture.
4. Stir well, adjust seasoning and simmer on low heat for 5-7 minutes. Add this vegetable sauce to the meat mixture in the saucepan and simmer gently. Finally, stir in the uncooked, long-grain rice. Adjust the seasoning again, cover and simmer slowly on low heat for about 15 minutes.
5. Arrange the remaining vegetables on top of the rice and continue to simmer until the rice absorbs all the stock, softens and cooks, and the meat is tender.
6. It may be necessary to sprinkle additional water mix to help the rice cook. If so use small amounts at a time of approximately 250 ml (8 fl oz) lightly salted water.

Serve hot, garnished with chopped lettuce, parsley or fresh coriander (cilantro) and hard-boiled eggs.