Thursday, 2 August 2018

Well its been very much over a year since i last posted on here and it has been a very busy year for me from work to competitions. i have nearly finished my first year as an apprentice at Northcote manor and its been such am amazing learning experience so far, doing this apprenticeship is allowing me to develop and learn the key skills and attributes needed by any chef starting out in the catering  industry.
I entered into a competition called the future chef competition and this is open to 12-16 year old's across the UK, their are a total of four heats across many months for the first round we had do develop a two course menu that was designed around seasonality both courses had to be costed to reach a budget and had to be completed in a certain time limit. I manged to make my way through that round and all the way through to the national round which was held in London at the kingsway college, we were invited down to London the day before the competition for a special banquet for all the competitors and judges . Over 12,000 people entered the competition and i managed to get into the final 12 for this round we had to create a 2 course menu for three people from a list of ingredients that we were given a couple of months before this day, i worked with Northcote and my college to design and develop a delicious 2 course meal which was a Turkey wellington with dophinouse potatoes tender stem broccoli and a sauce then for dessert i created a choux bun with a vanilla creme pate, apple compote and a butterscotch sauce sadly i didn't win but overall the whole experience was a great learning curve for me and will aid me with my career i hope to do more competitions in the future as i get older And learn new skills and techniques.

A couple of months after the National finals of the future chef competition i was granted permission of Blackburn college to feature my main course as part of  student lead evening titled a taste of spring, at this event we served around thirty people consisting of parents teachers and regular customers. For my dish i was able to work with a college tutor to add some more elements onto my plate such as a parsnip puree and parsnip crisps, this experience was amazing because it gave me an insight into what it is like to be conducting a service of food that you have developed yourself.

I will try to update you more often when i have time in between work and college, thank you to everybody who has viewed this page as i wouldn't of been able to get where i am now without you.
Thank you

Below are some photos from the past year.




Sunday, 5 February 2017



Ingredients:

120g Caster sugar 
2 Medium eggs 
100ml Double cream 
50g Icing sugar 
½ tsp Vanilla extract 
100g White chocolate  
Mango 
2 Strawberries


Method: 

Meringues 
First separate the two eggs. Add the egg whites to a bowl and whisk until they form soft peaks. After this gradually add the sugar at regular intervals until it regains glossy white peaks. Pre-heat the oven to 110°c. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and pipe small rounds of meringue approximately a 1 ½ inch diameter. Repeat this process until the baking tray is full, making sure to leave a gap between each one. Place into the oven for 35-40 minutes ensuring that they don’t brown. Remove from the oven and set aside 
Chantilly Cream  
Using a whisk, whip up the double cream and the icing sugar until it resembles light fluffy peaks, once this has been achieved add the vanilla extract and whisk again. Place into a medium sized piping bag with a ruffled nozzle, refrigerate until needed                  
Mango Puree 
Peel the mango and roughly chop it, add the mango chunks into a blender and blend until it has a smooth texture. Put the mango puree into a sieve to remove any of the residual water, following this spoon the puree into a squeeze bottle and place into the fridge. 
White Chocolate Shards  
Fill half of a medium pan with boiling water and place over a medium heat. Break up the chocolate into individual chunks and add to a glass bowl, place the glass bowl on top of the pan of boiling water. Stir the chocolate regularly so that it doesn’t burn, once fully melted pour the chocolate onto a covered baking tray making sure that the chocolate evenly covers the tray. Place into the fridge to set, after the chocolate has set cut into small triangles and re position back in the fridge to reset. 
Garnish 
On the plate pipe a line of cream, on top of this line up seven meringue discs with a small amount of cream between each one. Pipe the mango puree, that you made earlier, on to the outside of the meringues, slice the strawberries into thin slithers and insert between the meringues. Add the white chocolate shards onto the top of the meringues (use a little bit of cream to keep the shards In place if needed). Adjacent to the meringues pipe a Chantilly cream ribbon across the plate adding some of the mango puree to the corners. Finally roughly chop any leftover meringues and sprinkle them over the plate.   

For any uk residents you can find this recipe in Lancashire and North west magazine this month, it is available in leading supermarkets and newsagents in and around lancashire. http://www.lancmag.com/

Saturday, 14 January 2017

If you missed on my recent radio interview on 6tr you can listen to via this link Radio interview, i hope you all enjoy it and i want to say thank you to you as i would not have these opportunities without you. Thank you, i hope you enjoy this. To check out was else i am doing visit my twitter page @theroottofood.





Sunday, 23 October 2016

This recipe is the heart of all flavors from the sharpness of the brandy cream to richness of the butterscotch sauce this dish never lacks flavor. When creating the dish I was trying to add various flavors that all work together, presentation is a key part of cooking and i pride myself in being able to present my dishes in the best way possible. This dish is a beautifully seasonal dish that is best served in the autumnal months. 

Ingredients:
300g plain flour 
150g butter softened  
Pinch of salt 
30 ml water 
350g pumpkin 
70g caster sugar 
1/4 tsp salt 
1/4 tsp nutmeg                                            1/2 tsp cinnamon  
1 medium egg 
15g butter 
90 ml milk 
60 ml Double cream 
5ml French brandy 
15g Raspberries  
15g Blackberries 
2-3 Borage flowers 
80 ml single cream 
78g brown sugar 
25g butter 


Method
Using a serrated knife cut the pumpkin into segments, remove the skin from the pumpkin and weigh 450g of the pumpkin this is more than required, once completed chop the pumpkin into evenly sized chunks.

Next place a large saucepan with a liter of water to boil, once the water is bubbling add the chopped pumpkin and leave to simmer for 10 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender. Remove from pan and drain.

After this mash the pumpkin until there are no lumps, pass the pumpkin mixture through a fine sieve to make a smooth puree, put the pumpkin into a bowl cover with cling film and place in the fridge until needed. 

The next step is to make the pastry, in a bowl rub the flour, salt and softened butter between your thumb and forefinger until the mixture takes after fine breadcrumbs. Once this has been achieved add the water at a steady pace until resembles a smooth dough. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest for 30 minutes.

As soon as the time has elapsed take out the fridge and split into 4 even segments roll out each one until they have a diameter of 16 cm, after this pick up the pastry with the rolling pin and place over the top of a 4cm x 10cm cylindrical spring-form baking tins. Push the pastry into the base of the tin and press gently into the sides trim the excess pastry and chill till the pastry is hardened. Pre-heat oven to 180 c 

Following the previous step place some baking parchments into the pastry lined tins and fill with baking beans and bake for 10 minutes. 

In a large bowl whisk together the caster sugar, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon until thoroughly incorporated, add the eggs, butter, milk and pumpkin puree and whisk again. Increase the oven temperature to 220c, pour the mixture three quarters of the way up pastry cases place on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes after this time decrease the temperature back to 180 c and continue baking for a further 35 minutes.

During this interval position a medium sized saucepan on a medium heat, place in the single cream, brown sugar and butter whisk continuously, raise the heat to a high heat and leave to simmer whisk occasionally for 2 minutes. 

Once the timer for the baking of the pumpkin pie has been completed take out the oven and leave in their tins to cool for 5 minutes, after this remove from the tins and allow to cool for a further 10 minutes.

Into a mixing bowl whisk together the double cream and brandy until soft peaks form, spoon the cream into a piping bag and place into the fridge until needed. 

To serve, slice the pumpkin pies in half, add the butter scotch sauce and decorate with piped brandy cream, raspberries and borage flowers. Enjoy   

Saturday, 24 September 2016

During august i had a trip to america with my family, it was my first time ever going to america so it made it even more exciting over the two weeks that i was there i did a multitude of different activities such as visiting universal studios. During my time there i decided to create a video of the holiday but i wanted the video to commemorate my trip as i could be a once in a lifetime trip so i decide to make a one second everyday video and this is the outcome.

   

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

This week I decided to make a panna cotta the only thing was that the flavour that traditionally paired well with it was a bit boring, so I decided to spruce it up a little bit by adding a citrus flare to the dish so I added lemon zest to the panna cotta instead of a vanilla bean. To accompany this beautifully smooth panna cotta I made a mixed berry coulis this made the dish pop with flavour and colour. I would like to announce that The Root to Food has now got its own instagram account follow this link(.https://www.instagram.com/the_root_to_food/?hl=en) and don't forget to press that follow button.

Lemon panna cotta with a mixed berry coulis

Ingredients
2 Gelatine sheets                                                         
200ml Milk
200ml Double cream
1 Lemon zested
20g Sugar
50g Raspberries
50g Blueberries
50g Red currents
100g Caster sugar

Method

1.  Firstly fill a medium sized bowl with cold water, place the gelatine into the bowl and leave to soak

2. Next pour the milk, double cream, lemon zest ad sugar into a medium sauce pan and place on a medium heat, bring to a boil. Using a sieve, sieve the panna cotta mixture into a separate sauce pan. (Making sure that all the lemon zest has been removed).

3. Remove the gelatine from the water and squeeze until most of the water has been removed, place the gelatine into the panna cotta mixture and stir until dissolved. Pour the mixture into square shaped moulds and leave to set in the fridge for at least two hours.

4. For the mixed berry coulis put all the different berries into a medium sauce pan and turn the heat to medium to high heat, stir, after this add the sugar and allow to simmer. Remove the berries from the pan and discard, place back on the heat and allow to thicken.

5.  To serve place a table spoon of mixed berry coulis at one side of the plate and drag to the other side using a spatula, gently place the panna cotta onto the large section of coulis. Lastly to decorate add two blueberries and two purple pansy's.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

This week I wanted to create a dish that featured mushrooms, so I did some searching and I found multiple recipes that contained mushrooms then I thought about what do mushrooms generally go with, chicken was most commonly used in dishes with mushrooms in so this was meat part of the dish decided. Next I went on to look accompaniments that would go with dish I already had a few ideas about what kinds of vegetables I would like to include, the first vegetable was broccoli but I wanted the broccoli to have more finesse so instead I used tender stem broccoli this added lots of different components to my dish I used the stem and the florets of the broccoli. One of the other pieces in my dish was the potato cubes this made the dish have a completely different texture because of the crisp outside. The final component to my dish was the red wine reduction, when picking out the red wine I used a fruity red wine as this complemented the chicken and mushrooms really well.

Wild mushroom stuffed chicken with a red wine reduction, tender stem broccoli and potato cubes.

Ingredients:

2 Large chicken breasts                                                     
200g Mixed wild dried mushrooms
150g Tender stem broccoli
100g potato
250ml Red wine (good quality fruity red wine)
2 Shallots (Diced)
1 Sprig thyme
1 Tbsp Tomato puree
500ml Chicken stock

Method

1. Firstly Boil a kettle with 500ml of boiling water, place the mushroom into a bowl cover with the 500ml of boiling water leave to rehydrate for twenty minutes. After the twenty minutes has elapsed drain the mushrooms, set aside.

2. Secondly butterfly the chicken, to do this place the chicken on a chopping board, place a sharp knife half way down the chicken breast, cut through three quarters of the chicken breast and open until flat. After this put the mushrooms a third of the way into the chicken breast, tightly roll the chicken and mushrooms until it forms a cylindrical shape. Tightly rap the chicken in tin foil making sure to keep the cylindrical shape, twist the ends of the foil in opposite direction until tight against the chicken. Place the chicken in the fridge.

3. Pour the 500ml of chicken stock into a medium sauce pan and reduce until you are left with 125ml of chicken stock, set aside. In another medium sauce pan place the red wine, diced shallots and sprig of thyme, reduce this until you yield 85ml of the red wine mixture. After the red wine mixture has reduced place the chicken stock into the same sauce pan stir and reduce this until you get 170ml of the red wine reduction, Strain and set aside, place in a preheated oven (gas mark 7) for 30 minutes.

4. Slice the potato's into 1x1 cm cubes, deep fry them in oil until golden brown ( 2 minutes), set aside. Chop the stems of the broccoli into 2 cm rounds, next slice the florets of the stem and separate. place the broccoli into a small sauce pan of boiling water and boil for 2-3 minutes.

5. Take the chicken out of the oven and the foil, place in a frying pan and sear until golden brown. Cut in half at a 45 degree angle, using a pastry brush dip the end of the brush in the red wine reduction and brush the plate a few times, place the chicken on top of the reduction. Next dot the rest of the vegetables around the chicken.   


 
    

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