Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Cooking Demonstration at the WI

April's WI meeting was a cooking demonstration by a lady named Christine Rogers. She does it all right in front of us - no TV tricks involved  - and makes it all look easy. She did all this in one hour and fed us dinner. Actually, most cooking is fairly easy with a bit of planning and organisation. We've all just been brain-washed into thinking it is really hard so we'll buy more convenience products; mind, she uses convenience foods in the demonstrations which is partly how she managed to do so much in so short a time.  I would probably only attempt one or two of these at one time and would do more from scratch to save money.

Anyhow, she doesn't always provide recipes, so I took notes. I'll share them here in case they inspire you.  (I hope I got this all right - if anything looks really crazy to you, please let me know).

Curry Pasta Salad
- saute a diced red onion in some oil
- cook some pasta spirals (shapes hold the sauce better than spaghetti) - I think she cooked about 500 g (a whole packet as they are sold here)
 -add a dessert spoon (between a teaspoon and a tablespoon) of madras or rogan josh flavoured paste from a jar to the saute'd onion (Indian food shops sell this)
 - 2 tablespoons of apricot jam also goes in with the onion
- coat the cooked pasta with a little mayonnaise, then add the onion mix and some raisins
- garnish with tomato slices and serve warm

Cold Chicken Salad
- start with nuggets of cooked chicken (apparently one can buy bags of this at the supermarket); she used two bags; cooked turkey or ham would also work in this recipe
- chop up some spring onions
- halve a cucumber and scrape out the seeds with a spoon (they are too watery for this dish) and then chop the cucumber 
- slice a mango length-wise, one cut on either side of the stone; on each half make a grid of cuts (slice vertically & horizontally) and then parallel with the skin to add diced mango to the salad (might work well with peaches or pineapple if mango is not available)
- add handful of coriander leaves
- add juice of 2 or 3 limes (depending upon how juicy)
- drizzle with vegetable oil
- can make the day before and chill overnight

Bean Salad
This is best the next day, after the flavours have had time to marinate.
- diced red onion
- a selection of tinned beans (she used kidney, garbanzo and something else...)
- diced red and green bell pepper or you could use a tin of corn or some peas
- dress with honey mustard dressing from the supermarket

Fruit Salad
- 2 large oranges, sliced
- 3 small tomatoes, sliced
- sprinkle with chopped spring onions

Orange Torte with Almonds
She did bake the cake ahead of time. She told us how:
- 3 eggs
- 8 oz of caster sugar (I've yet to get my head around the different types of sugar, I'd probably go with just regular sugar, but this might not be right)
- 9 oz of ground almonds 
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
- whisk the egg and sugar
- boil a whole orange (!) for one hour and then blend it to a pulp; add to eggs and sugar, add ground almonds and baking powder
- cook for 50 minutes in the oven (she didn't say what temp - I'd look up other similar cakes and experiment)
- serve with blueberries and vanilla yogurt
- lasts in the fridge 2-3 days (not in our house it wouldn't!)

She's always full of tips and ideas, eg buy salmon fillets from Lidl, wrap in parma ham slices and bake for 8-9 minutes. Doesn't that sound delicious?


Gam Kau said...

Yum, sounds like a lovely day out! If there is food involved I'm usually pretty happy. :)

Beryl said...

Those are unusual but delicious sounding dishes. (Except for the fruit with the onions, but maybe it works too.)