Green tea salmon with coconut rice

This is an easy yet delicious meal that one of our members found online.

We seasoned the salmon fillets with salt pepper and lose green tea and pan fried.

We also made coconut rice by cooking the rice in coconut milk and adding some garlic and thyme. We also prepared a fresh salad to go with it. 
The green tea salmon was really tasty and we recommend that you try this quick and quirky recipe at home. The group commented on the fresh flavours and how this is the perfect Spring/Summer meal.

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.

Raspberry Swiss roll

First we combined 3 eggs with 75g of caster sugar.

We then folded in 75g of self raising flour.
We then spread the mixture onto some grease proof paper .
This then went in the oven at 200 ° c for 7-10 minutes or until lightly brown and springy to the touch.
We then turned out the cooked sponge on another bit of greaseproof paper and spread raspberry jam and fresh raspberries on the sponge.
We then rolled it up and decorated with icing sugar.
The group were really proud of how this turned out. One member said that it felt really good to make the dessert from scratch and that they felt it was something they could make at home for their family.

Beef Wellington

Traditionally a beef Wellington uses a fillet of beef, which is very expensive so we found a thrifty alternative using mince beef.

First we put the mince beef in a bowl with chopped onion, garlic, 3 eggs, sage, parsley and tomatoe ketchup. And we mixed this all together. 
Chopping the onions.
Adding the eggs.
Adding the herbs.
Mixing it up.
We then shaped the mixture into two loads…
We cooked these in the oven for 20 minutes and allowed to cool for 20 minutes.
In the mean time we sautéed some chopped mushrooms with garlic and a knob of butter.

We also rolled out the puff pastry ready for the meatloaf. 
Once the mushrooms were softened we drained them and spread them on the rolled out pastry.

We then added the cooled meatloaf on top and wrapped the pastry around it.

After scoring the pastry we cooked for 35-40 minutes.

We served the beef Wellington with roasted vegetables.
One of our members gave this dish a 10/10! Everyone enjoyed their meal. 

Tomatoe and Basil Soup

Firstly we had to prepare the tomatoes by washing and cutting them into quarters. We then had to cut out any hard cores out of the tomatoes to help make a nice smooth soup.

We then chopped an onion, a carrot and a couple of celery sticks.
We then heated some oil in a pan and cooked the onion, celery and carrot for a few minutes until soft.
We then added tomatoe purée, the chopped tomatoes, a pinch of sugar, some black pepper and bay leaves. We gave all this a stir and cooked for 10 minutes to allow the tomatoes to stew.
We then added the stock and cooked gently for 25 minutes
We added fresh basil and blended for a smooth consistency.

We served with a dollop of single cream on top. This soup was really fresh and tasty! 

Aubergine and chickpea curry

The group wanted to make a vegetarian curry so our new volunteer found this recipe which everyone seemed to want to try.

First we chopped all our ingredients and got all our spices ready to use.

We used chopped onion, tomatoes, Aubergine, two cans of chickpeas, two cans of coconut milk, mustard seeds, garam masala, chilli powder, tumeric and ground coriander.
First we browned the Aubergine in the pan for 5 minutes before putting to one side.
We then cooked the onion, mustard seeds and other spices for a minute to release the flavours.

We then added the tomatoes and coconut milk and let it simmer for half an hour. 
After the half an hour of simmering we added the chickpeas and Aubergine and let the mixture simmer for a further 10 minutes.

We served the curry with cous cous. 

The group liked the curry but thought it needed a bit more chilli and maybe something sour, like some fresh lemon, to cut through the dish a bit.

Broccoli and Feta Parcels

The group came up with this as a starter but is also great for a snack too. We used Filo pastry and seasoned the broccoli with mustard seeds, garam masala, salt and pepper.

First of all we chopped the broccoli and feta.
We then cooked the broccoli with some mustard seeds, garam masala, salt and pepper.
We then cut the Filo pastry into strips (about 5cm wide) and added a bit of the cooked broccoli and crumbled on the feta on one corner of the pastry.
The group then did their best to fold over the pastry to make samosa style parcels.

After the parcels were brushed with a bit of melted butter, they were cooked in the oven for 10-15 mins at 180 degrees until golden brown.

Every one liked the parcels, and enjoyed the flavours and textures.

Pineapple upside down cake

First we started with the topping. We melted 50g of butter with 50g of soft brown sugar.

Weighing out the ingredients.

Melting butter and sugar.

We poured the melted mixture into our dish and laid pineapple slices on top with glacé cherries in the middle of the pinapple rings.
We then mixed 140g of caster sugar with 140g of butter until fluffy and pale. 

We then beat in two eggs…

… And added 140g of self raising flour, 50g desiccated coconut and a teaspoon of baking powder.
We added 6 tbsp of milk to lighten the mixture and poured it on top of the pineapple.

It then had 25- 30 mins in the oven at 180 degrees.

When it came out the oven we let it sit for 15 minutes before turning it out onto a dish.