Thursday, 6 August 2020
Wednesday, 5 August 2020
Saturday, 25 July 2020
Friday, 24 July 2020
Tuesday, 30 June 2020
- The thing about Delia is... her recipes always work. This was the thing people used to say. As Delia Smith herself said: “Who on earth would write recipes that don’t work?” Who indeed. That said, I could name quite a few.
Delia has also said that she has no intention of showing off, but simply encouraging healthy eating through home cooking. The key thing here is basics. While there are many people who either cook instinctively or have learned from family members, for most people the basics don’t come easily for those who aren’t kitchen trained.
The definitive solution to this is a school curriculum which includes food nutrition and a scientific approach to tasty healthy eating. Not only can learning these skills be great fun, it is becoming increasingly clear how important it is to eat healthily for your future wellbeing. The rise of obesity leading to diabetes is at a peak. The importance of diet - along with exercise - has proven to be the answer to good health. (Obviously not smoking and not taking drugs or drinking too much alcohol have a part to play). But having a good diet is a good start.
I think there would be a huge benefit if schools and colleges were to provide Delia-style cooking and nutrition classes. It doesn’t need to be their chosen course but perhaps a free period option. When I was at college my free period courses were French cuisine and flower arranging, and they’re skills I have taken with me to adulthood. Even just one school/college period watching an episode of Delia’s How to Cook could inspire so many. Well-balanced meals - whether meat based, vegetarian or vegan - with emphasis on food budgetIng is also essential, and could set a child or young adult on the right course for life.
There has been a generational issue here. A lot of children a couple of generations gone were latchkey children; arriving home to an empty house as both parents were at work. Often this was a necessity, in order to keep the family clothed and fed. Tinned food (not all bad) became the norm. Then we had microwave - or ‘ping’ - meals, which were a godsend to working parents. Tasty though the ‘ping’ meals were and inarguably convenient, they often contained additives, colourants and lots of salt and sugar. And as a consequence, some children grew up with that being the only way of cooking their parents knew.
Of course, plenty of children have the encouragement from their parents to eat healthily and participate in the preparation of their meals if they are lucky enough to find the time. But the stress of homework, after-school activities and day-to-day commitments leave even less time to think about family meals.
I have found it difficult to find suitable cookbooks for both young children and children in their teens, which cover the very basics of cookery. Social media tends to show the end results, but not how to get there. Television could provide an answer to this and instead of predominantly competitive programmes like children’s bake-off or junior master chef, why not provide cookery programmes for children based on learning to cook from scratch? No one is too young to learn, on varying levels, about food and nutrition. Family mealtimes can be very relaxing and become a special stress-free time to spend together. Get children involved. Whether it is measuring, chopping, mixing or tasting, this can only be good for their outlook on food, where it comes from, cooking, eating, and can develop their tastes for years to come.
Modern cooking should not be all about competition, but perhaps more a celebration of good and healthy food. Most of all, enjoying the experience of cooking and eating tasty, healthy home cooked dishes.
Because once you know the basics, the world is your (proverbial) oyster.
Tuesday, 24 January 2012
500g (1 lb) skinless, boneless chicken breast fillets, cut into bite-size pieces
4 spring onions, sliced diagonally, chopped
For marinade: In a dish or bowl, blend cornflour with rice wine (or dry sherry); stir in lemon juice, soy sauce, chilli, ginger and garlic. Blend and stir in chicken strips to coat. Cover and refrigerate to marinate for 3 to 4 hours.
In a wok or large frying pan, toast the sesame seeds over medium heat, shaking the pan until the seeds are a golden brown colour. Remove seeds and set aside.
To same wok or frying pan, add vegetable oil and heat slowly.
Drain chicken, reserving marinade, and stir-fry in wok a few pieces at a time, until browned. Remove chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the spring onions and stir-fry 1 minute more.
Return chicken to pan, together with reserved marinade and sesame oil stir over medium high heat for another 2 to 4 minutes, or until the ingredients are evenly coated with the sauce. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top and serve immediately.
2 spring onions, very finely chopped
1 clove garlic, grated
1" fresh ginger, peeled and grated
Wednesday, 11 January 2012
For the filling you will need 2 eating apples, peeled and cut into thin slices and 3 tbsp raspberry jam.
Top with flaked almonds before baking and brush with warm apricot jam when you remove it from the oven.
For the pastry
4 oz cold butter, cubed
8 oz plain flour
1 oz icing sugar
1 egg, beaten
Rub the cold butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Sieve the icing sugar into the mixture and stir to combine.
Add the beaten egg and bring it together with your hands, forming a dough, rest the dough in the fridge while you make the almond sponge.
For the sponge
200 g butter, softened
220 caster sugar
2 tbsp plain flour
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
220 g ground almonds
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, stir in the vanilla and lemon zest.
Add the beaten eggs a little at a time, beating the mixture between each addition.
Fold in the flour and ground almonds until it has all been incorporated.
Pre-heat the oven to 180C
Grease a loose bottom flan tin with a little butter. I used a 8" x 10" rectangular tin but a 10" round tin works just as well.
Roll out the pastry and line the flan tin.
Spread the raspberry jam evenly over the base of the pastry and lay the sliced apple on top of the jam.
Spoon on the almond sponge mix and even over the top with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle over the flaked almonds.
Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 25 minutes until the sponge is golden and bounces back when pushed.
Remove from the oven and brush with a little warmed apricot jam.
Leave to stand 10 minutes before serving.
Monday, 9 January 2012
1 pack ready rolled puff pastry
200g soft goats cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 small red onion, finely sliced
100 g chopped walnuts (hazlenuts are also good)
Pre-heat the oven to 200C
Cut out 5" rounds from the puff pastry, lay them on a baking tray.
Spoon 1 tsp maple syrup on each pastry round and spread to 1/2" from the edge of the pastry.
Scatter over some red onion slices and top with a slice of goats cheese.
Press some chopped walnuts into the cheese and spoon over 1/2 tsp of maple syrup.
Brush the edges of the pastry with the beaten egg and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and risen.
This dish requires a little preparation but is well worth the effort. Hot, sweet, sour and very fresh and light. Ingredients 110g rice nood...
Some hae meat and canna eat, And some would eat that want it But we hae meat, and we can eat, Sae let the lord be thankit. ...
I made this pie at the weekend + 1 for the freezer, great pie, the second one almost didn't make it to the freezer. The perfect accompa...