Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Tuscan Style Sausage Pasta

So for lunch today we had Tuscan style sausage pasta, here's my way of doing it.

you will need

Pork sausage meat
Diced onion
Cajun spice
Veg stock
Chopped tomato
Penne pasta

OK so fry your sausage meat like its mince beef. Chuck in your onions Cajun spice and veg stock. Then your chopped tomatoes season to taste, chopped tomatoes can taste tinny but chucking in a bit of sugar takes that away. Lob in your penne  pasta. Job done! I whacked on some garlic bread with mine. See my previous bread recipe and brush with garlic butter. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Chicken Caesar Salad

So todays lunch was chicken caesar salad, an easy one I know but not so easy when u have 30 mins to serve 90 and plate them as they come in! For this I used diced leg and thigh fried with onion and white wine. In the salad mixed french leaf red and yellow cherry toms diced cucumber home made garlic croutons and my favourite micro herbs. Simple ingredients that do the work for you and all we have to do is put the effort in to presenting them! Have a go!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Like what you see? Follow me.....

So in the hope that you like the recipes, tips and information I'm posting on this blog I've added a follow button so you can keep linked to The School Kitchen.
All you need to do is go on the follow button on the side tab... I'd really appreciate it! Thanks

Caramelised Onion and Cheese Tart

Ok so for lunch today we had caramelised onion and cheese tart with honey thyme and rosemary roasted new potatoes, and green beans. The picture doesn't really do it justice! Followed by chocolate cake and chocolate ganache. For the tart I chucked some sliced onions in a pan with sugar and a good knob of butter, high heat till really brown. While thats happening roll out your pastry till about 5ml thick and line your chosen dish. When the onion has cooled a bit lob in some grated cheddar ( I use mature ) then spread it on your pastry. Cook it on 180c for about 20 mins. Top tip! let it cool before you cut it ( I used a pizza wheel ). And for desert see the chocolate cake recipe! Easy! Have a go!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Sweet and Sour Sauce

So its that time again! Lazy Sunday! And chinese takeaway for dinner which reminded me to post the best sweet and sour sauce base I know. So I use equal vinegar sugar and water. Reduce them in a pan with some tomato puree. Job done! You can chuck in what vegetables and fruit you like now. Enjoy.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Helping with the right choices

The biggest part of being at a boarding school isn't just the level of education its making it a home for the students that go there and a big part of that is the food. Sounds a bit silly but you get out what you put in. If the students aren't happy with the food provided it can have an affect on how they perform in lessons so we try to get them involved as much as possible, we hold a food council every term to try and fathom out what they really like and what's not a winner! It also gives us a chance to explain that even though I'd love to give them deep fried chips every day and chocolate its not what's best for them. With that in mind we hold a dish of the week competition where one of the boys gets to pick a meal of his choice for the entire boarding house admittedly it normally involves fries but it gives us as chefs chance to take that bacon cheese burger to a new level. And since we changed the standards from school canteen to restaurant and the way we take pride in how we plate the food I'm seeing more and more ask for chicken Caesar salad and duck chow mein. I'd much rather give seconds or thirds on a quality salad than frozen burger and chips and when you get some of the younger ones coming up and saying it was amazing you know you've done a good job. I wonder how many of them would have even entertained the idea of a healthy lunch before the improvements we have made??

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Lemon Mousse

Everyone loves a good desert and this one turned out to be a real winner! Here's how I did it. So I had a bit of vanilla sponge wasn't enough to ice with lemon and really wanted a lemon desert. So I smashed it up so it was like bread crumbs and squeezed in the juice of 4 lemons then crammed it into 2 baking trays about half a cm thick and baked it in the oven 150c for 5 mins to set the base. Then I got some of my homemade yoghurt chucked in some more lemon juice and zest and whipped the life out of it. All that I had to do now was plate it so cut small disks piped on the mousse mix and dusted with cadburys chocolate powder. Its not what you have got its what you do with it. A little effort goes a long way!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Thai Style Beef Salad

So today's lunch was Thai style beef salad, sometimes the simple ingredients make the best dishes. All we have to do is think about how they get on the plate. For this I used beef strips lemon grass ginger chilli and garlic, a touch of soy and a bit of beef stock plus the salad. Cherry tomatoes red and yellow for colour bean sprouts beet shoots and the cucumber I sliced into ribbons just for a bit of difference. Not hard but looked very chefy and went down really well. Try it!!!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Chicken Biryani

Today's lunch was chicken biryani with home made naan and mango raita. Not bad eh!! Here's how I did it.

For the biryani

Sliced onion
Chicken ( I use diced leg and thigh, better flavour and breast can be dry )
Chicken stock
Salt and black pepper
Curry powder
Dry rice

In a pan fry your onion chilli and garlic, get them nice and brown chuck in your chicken, when its nearly cooked give it a good whack of curry powder ( I know its cheating and I do use proper spices but its Monday and I've got £4 a day! ) its really important at this point to cook your spice for a good 5-10 mins this is called cooking out, basically it won't taste powdery. Now lob your rice in and if your using stock powder now's the time for that too. Stir it until its all coated then add your water/stock like your making risotto, a little at a time until the rice is cooked and you get the consistency you want. Done, I roasted some peppers and threw them on top last minute for a bit of decoration.

Naan bread my way

So I used my bread recipe and added some caraway seeds.

500g flour
7g yeast
300ml warm water
100ml oil ( sounds a lot but really helps the naan )
Pinch salt
Pinch sugar
25g caraway seeds

Mix the dry ingredients and slowly add the water and oil knead until  its a nice firm dough, leave to prove until double the size. Squash it back then shape into small balls, flatten them with a rolling pin into a naan shape. Lightly oil a frying pan ( I use a pastry brush ) and throw in your dough, brown on both sides brush with butter and eat with your amazing biryani!! Enjoy!

Saturday, 17 November 2012

What We Make

OK so I was thinking its probably time I told you also the things we make in house.

It all started when I thought it might be a nice idea to make our own bread rolls for the table at dinner, then I thought well they like yoghurt so I'll make that as well and so we progress. Heres the full list

Bread rolls and most bread products ( pizza bases garlic bread, I'm working on croissants )

Cereal ( granola )

Greek yoghurt


Cream cheese

All of our cakes and biscuits

All our cold meat for the salad bar is cooked then sliced in house

By making these small changes we have complete control over quality and saves loads of money!!

Now we can afford to have things like smoked salmon on the salad bar and sirloin steak as a treat for dinner, I think that people tend to forget or just don't care what we feed our future. School shouldn't just be about educating the brain its the palate too.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

My Team

Right then its probably about time I said something about my team! I won't name them but I'll give you the low down on what they do. So there's me chef manager I do the early shift ( breakfast through to lunch ) and I've got a couple of food service assistants, one in at 7:30 am she helps serve the breakfast mid morning break and lunch then I have another FSA in at 9:30 am she helps wash up and throws together the salad bar and to be fair one of my most creative employees. Then we have the evening chef who does the afternoon snack and 3 course evening meal he also has 2 FSA's to help clean and wash up. I've also got a stand alone weekend chef. So not a massive team but all very adaptable and without their hard work and full support none of the changes I've made or my crazy ideas would come to life. So thanks guys I really appreciate it!!

Todays Lunch

I know its been done before but it has now become a favourite so once again wild mushroom risotto! But this time with the addition of a mature cheddar cheese chard and as always Thai Basil Micro Basil Micro Mizuna and beet shoots with their choice of bread.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Salad Bar Latest Addition!

Ok so our salad bar runs along side lunch and dinner but I thought if they dont want the main then there should be another few protein choices available. I always cook my own gammon joint for sliced cold meet chicken drums eggs and cheeses (mature cheddar and brie). Not enough for me so I tried them with smoked salmon, which they loved. So in an attempt to make it even more restaurant style and to try and satisfy my needs ( I always want to go a step further ) I made my own cream cheese and chucked some chives in, lined a mould with smoked salmon put the filling in and turned them out. Couldnt make them fast enough!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Tomorrows Menu

OK so here's the run down for Tuesday 13th November


 The usual suspects! 7 different cereals including my own home made.

Toast and the normal jams and spreads.

And sausages with poached or fried egg.

 Morning Break

Home Made Calzone Pizza.


Pasta Carbonara with home made tagliatelle and hand made garlic bread.

Mini Gateaux.

Afternoon Break 



Soup to start.

Chicken and Mushroom Pie.

Sticky Date and Walnut Pudding with Custard.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Cheeky Chicken Chasseur

OK so tomorrows lunch is chicken chasseur a bit of a classic and not exactly my normal menu choice but thought it would be a good idea to see what I can do with it. So the idea is to get whole chicken legs and half them so we have a drum and thigh each, I just think it looks nicer on the plate. I'm going to slow roast them on about 100c with sliced mushrooms diced banana shallots tarragon and white wine. I'm not expecting the chicken to colour much so I'm going to drain the juice and use that for the sauce. Once drained whack the heat to full and crisp the chicken, stick some chopped tomatoes in the juice kept from the chicken and reduce on the hob. Heap some rice in a bowl arrange the chicken drum and thigh on the rice then pour some sauce over. Lovely

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Chinese Beef Noodles

One of my favourite foods is Chinese. It took me ages to figure out how to execute it properly but now I've mastered the key ingredients its all good. The thing to remember is its all about the balance. So, the main ingredients are

Chinese 5 spice

Today we had beef noodles. I use stir fry beef strips. First fry your onion chopped garlic chilli and ginger. Its all about how much you like it, its not set in stone so use as much or as little as you like. Then throw in your meat. If im using chicken I always use technique called velveting, mix egg white and cornflour and coat your raw chicken this will keep the meat moist and completely change the texture. Fry it till its cooked and check for seasoning. At this point its time to add your 5 spice stock sugar and honey. You need the honey to make a glaze for your dish. Remember balance so add a little at a time and keep tasting!! Chuck in your cooked noodles or rice test for seasoning again then add your soy. Job done. You will notice no salt went in, this is because soy is salty anyway. Obviously you can add vegetables but what you use again depends on your own taste, its your dish your way. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Chocolate Cake

OK so everyone loves chocolate cake right? The trouble is that when you add cocoa powder it can become dry. Here is my recipe and method.


500g butter/Marge
500g sugar
500g self raising flour
8 eggs
75g cocoa powder
100ml oil

 Beat the life out of the butter sugar eggs and cocoa powder for a good 5 mins, gently old in the flour, if you mix it too hard it will ruin the gluten and the cake won't work. Chuck in your oil, pour your mix into your chosen cake tin or muffin cases and cook on 150c for 30 mins, depending on how deep your cake is. Check it by poking a skewer in the middle if it comes out clean its done. I top mine with a ganache. Basically melt chocolate in a bowl over hot water then lob in some cream until it gets to a sauce, when it cools it thickens. This is also great for making chocolate truffles just roll the cooled mix into balls and coat with anything you fancy. I use vermicelli cocoa powder and coconut.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Home Made Cereal

Ive been making this cereal for a while now and to be honest its a lot tastier and healthier than most of the others available. It takes 15 minutes to make and lasts a good 2 weeks in an air tight container. So the basic mix is half honey to porridge oats. For small quantities its easier to use cups. So 2 cups oats 1 cup honey I use just sultanas in mine due to certain allergies but you can use any dried fruit and nut combo you want. In a pan put all your ingredients over a low heat and mix until they are coated and start to clump together. Transfer to a baking tray and cook in the oven for 10 mins on 160c. Take out and leave to cool completely, this will crisp up the cereal. Decant into an air tight container and job done. Perfect winter fuel, try it!

Friday, 2 November 2012

Back to School

So here we are again another half term over!!!! coming up next week we have a Bonfire Bangers and Mash Bonanza, Winter Warmers and a few other fantastic recipes and pictures of what we are doing thrown in as well!! Hope you all had a good break.