Catering Experience

For the past few weeks the cooking group have been extremely busy catering for several events, including the Rathbone’s first ever open AGM.
This has been a great experience for the group, providing them with a fantastic challenge and opportunity for work experience in a professional environment.

The group were involved in the whole process from the food prep to baking the cakes and putting all the sandwich variety’s together.
As you can see the group worked efficiently and professionally all the while learning about the do’s and dont’s of catering.
Here is an example of the menu which we provided for an event at the west norwood leisure center, which was really well received!
Not only did the group make all the food but they professionally packaged it and delivered to the various events, following the whole process from start to finish.
Overall the whole group are really proud of their acheivements over the past few weeks and the feedback from those we have catered for has been consistently positive.
The positve impact on the group has also been notable- One member commented on how much they have learnt and how much more confident they are now. Another member described how good it felt to receive so many compliments about the food they had made.
Hopefully we will continue to work on getting more and more catering experience and build on the groups skills.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

The group chose this classic Italian dish because they wanted to find out how to make it all from scratch.

We started with the meatballs:
We used lean beef mince, grated onion, crushed garlic, Italian seasoning, cinnamon, breadcrumbs, an egg, salt and pepper….

…. After all this it was time to get our hands dirty and mix all the ingredients together: 

We then made individual meatballs by rolling out small portions if the mixture between the palms of our hands. It was important to make them all a similar size so they cooked evenly.

These meatballs can be fried but we chose to oven cook them to reduce our fat intake.
Whilst the meatballs were cooking away in the oven we got on with making a tomato sauce.
We finely chopped onion, red pepper and garlic and cooked them, until soft, in a drizzle of olive oil.

We added 4 tins of chopped tomatoes, salt, pepper, Mixed herbs and a teaspoon of sugar to balance the flavour. 

We let this simmer for half an hour before blending the sauce for a smooth consistency. We had to be very careful as the sauce was hot.

 

By this time the meatballs were cooked so we added them to our sauce.

The only thing we didn’t make from scratch was the pasta!

With a little Parmesan on top this made for a filling and authentic Italian dinner. The sauce was rich yet fresh and the meatballs were tender and full of flavour.
Everyone really loved this recipe and are keen to try it and home.

Stuffed mushrooms

One member of the group found a recipe for mushrooms stuffed with bacon and cheese and wanted to try it out.

First we got large cup mushrooms and removed the stalks, chopped them and put them in a bowl to use later.

We then seared the underneath of the mushroom for one minute in a hot pan.

We then started on the stuffing. We used the chopped mushroom stalks from earlier and fried them with bacon and some garlic until cooked.
Then in a bowl we mixed bread crumbs, single cream, ground almonds, lemon juice, fresh basil and goats cheese.
We then added the fried bacon and mushroom stalks to the mixture and stuffed the mushroom cups and put in the oven to cook for 15 minutes.

Once they were golden brown we took then out and served them with an avocado, spinach and salad.

The group really liked trying something new. The mushroom was really tasty with a crunchy top and a warm, gooey middle. It was perfectly complimented by a fresh salad with a sharp vinegarrette and creamy avocado.