The first Cook-Along!

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Risotto round 2! This time a pea, asparagus mint and pancetta number (keeping it seasonal! It’s finally time for greeeeen!)…and, more importantly, cooking live with my fellow WeCooks in their kitchens! I sent out the ingredients and equipment list beforehand so everyone had time to get to the shops without rushing, and could have everything set up. 2pm rolled around: mise en place ready, laptop and camera set up, I was ready as I’d ever be! After a brief chat about what the plan for the session was, we began. I have to say, I was wildly apprehensive about how this would go. But actually, it worked really well! Everyone kept pace, and we all made it work with the variety of ingredients we were able to find. A few technical details to iron out to make it truly awesome, but all in all, it was a success. The group were, as always, heroes, and made some beautiful plates of food and learned about the intricacies of executing the perfect risotto. One mother and daughter duo really stole the show for me because: love this. But everyone was simply great. A few people just watching and taking notes, others in […]

Courgettes, risottos…& courgette risotto!

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I’m sure when I announced that the upcoming session last night was focused around the humble courgette, a few people’s brains glazed over. It’s not usually a vegetable which gets the heart rate up (is there one? Except artichokes for everyone now, obviously, as detailed below…). Extolling the virtues of this glorious vegetable wasn’t actually that difficult because most of us love a courgette. We tend to do one and the same thing with it though: spiralize it (I’m now guilty of this too…raw with pesto!! Yes!), stir fry it, slice it for a salad, grate it into cakes, use to top pizzas, marinade/pickle it, grate it into pasta sauces, boil it and marinade it in herbs and olive oil, cut it up and add it to risottos, scoop it out and stuff it, batter and deep fry it as chips/part of a plated of deep fried battered mixed veg and or fish…wait, this is more than you probably do with it, right? Humm.. Anyway, I then shared the joy of the risotto. Why your sofrito (and what that is) is so important and how to nail it, what does the wine do anyway, does it really matter how much […]

Off-The-Cuff Soufflés & Timekeeping…

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Last night we had a strict deadline as we were all taking part in Clap for Carers at 8pm. This was actually great since it actually encouraged me to wrap up in good time and not get tempted to let the social festivities overrun! Keeping with the egg-white theme I appear to have started, I braved showing the group how to make soufflés… a sometimes tricky enough task on its own, without navigating the dynamic of a video call and executing everything in one tiny corner the of the kitchen! I also admitted to being guilty of doing just what I criticise contestants on Come Dine With Me of doing: “oh well I’ve never made this dish before, but I figured I’d give it a go tonight, on national television, for a competition – what could go wrong?” Now I’ve made plenty of soufflés so that wasn’t the challenge, but I decided to try a very much off-the-cuff recipe for twice baked red pepper, courgette and basil soufflés with a cheese and wine sauce…very much hoping for the best! The multiple cameras worked really well again, though still waiting on a better set-up to be delivered (pegged at end of […]

Artichokes & Multiple Cameras!

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“I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone so excited about artichokes…” This was what my Mother said shortly after I finished last night’s call. Probably fair. I love an artichoke! There was a great group online with me and I was trying a new method of using multiple cameras for different things: close ups, shots inside the pan whilst the magic of cooking occurred…etc. Worked really well! Genuinely felt like I was on some sort of Saturday morning cooking show! All had seen an artichoke (one had even grown one!), and eaten them either as hearts in oil, on pizza or retro style of boiled whole with dip for the leaves, but none had ever prepared or cooked one. Love that as a jumping-off dynamic! So much to share! I had spiky artichokes and tema artichokes from Italy, and globe artichokes from the UK. From how to choose them, the delight of prepping them, through to finishing them 3 different ways: Tema artichoke hearts pickled with Moscatel vinegar, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, thyme and garlic Globe artichoke hearts braised in wine, thyme, parsley and stuffed and baked with herby breadcrumbs Spiky artichoke hearts, raw, as a deliciously simple salad of […]