Chicken Kiev Recipe

Chicken Kiev

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 75g unsalted softened butter
  • Chives
  • 1 lemon
  • 25g parmesan cheese
  • 150g panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 25g plain flour
  • Pinch of paprika
  • Salt and pepper

Method

1. Pre heat oven to 180c. Trim up the chicken breasts. Lay them down on what would be skin side down on your chopping board, using a sharp knife make a deep pocket inside the breast. The easiest way is to push the point of a knife into the fat end, keep going halfway into the fillet. Be careful not to cut all the way through or the butter will leak out when cooking. Repeat with the remaining breast.

2. Now we are going to make the garlic butter so peel your garlic and finely chop it down making a paste as directed by me, put it in a bowl with your softened butter, finely chop the chives, zest and juice the lemon mixing that altogether until evenly dispersed then season with salt and pepper.

3. Grate the parmesan into a bowl then add in the breadcrumbs, crack and beat the egg into another. Mix the flour, paprika, salt and pepper in a third bowl. Dip each breast in the flour, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs, repeating so each kiev has a double coating. Chill for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

4. Heat some vegetable oil in a suitable pan over a medium heat. Fry each kiev for 2 minutes each side until golden. Transfer to a baking tray and cook for around 25 minutes until cooked through.

Lentil & Spinach Dhal Recipe

  • 50g green lentils
  • 50g red lentils
  • 10g unsalted butter
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 red chilli
  • Ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 500ml water
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • Baby leaf spinach
  • Coriander
  • Salt and pepper
  • Natural yoghurt

Method

1. Cover the lentils in cold water 30 minutes before you make the dhal.

2. Heat a heavy based frying pan and add in the butter, finely dice the red onion, chilli and ginger and fry with the cumin until nice and brown.

3. Add in the soaked lentils, 500ml water and ground turmeric then cook for around 30 minutes until the lentils are nice and tender.

4. Take of the heat and add in the spinach, roughly chop the coriander adding that in also along with salt and pepper to taste, serve with some natural yoghurt.

Wholemeal Roti

250g wholemeal plain flour

Salt and pepper

250ml cold water

Extra wholemeal flour

Method

1. Place the flour into a mixing bowl, season with salt and pepper then make a well in the centre. Add the cold water and mix together to form soft dough.

2. Scrape out onto a clean work surface. Work until the dough is soft and elastic in texture this will take around 5 minutes.

3. Divide the mixture roughly into 8 and roll out with a rolling pin trying to keep them as round as possible. Heat a non stick frying pan, lightly brush with some vegetable oil and cook the roti for 1 minute either side until they are nice and brown.

4 Stack on top of each other with a piece of grease proof paper in between each. Re-heat to serve.

Hot Cross Buns Recipe

Ingredients

  • 300ml milk
  • 50g butter
  • 30g yeast
  • 500g strong flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 75g sultanas
  • 50g mixed peel
  • 1 orange
  • 1 apple
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 75g plain flour
  • 75g apricot jam

Method

1. Bring the milk to the boil, then remove from the heat and add the butter. Leave to cool until it reaches a comfortable temperature to dip your finger into with out it hurting, for anyone with a temperature probe that is 37c. Stir in the yeast and leave to activate for 30 minutes.

2. Put the strong flour, salt and caster sugar into a bowl. Make a well in the centre. Pour in the yeast mixture, then whisk an egg and add that into the mix also. Bring everything together with your hands until you have a sticky dough.

3. Tip on to a lightly floured surface and knead by holding the dough with one hand and stretching it with the heal of the other hand, folding it back on itself. Repeat for 5 mins until smooth and elastic. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a damp piece of kitchen towel and leave to rise in a warm place until it’s doubled in size.

4. With the dough still in the bowl add the sultanas, mixed peel, zest of the orange, peeled and then finely chopped apple, ground cinnamon and the mixed spice. Knead into the dough, making sure everything is evenly dispersed. Leave to rise until doubled in size, again covered with a damp piece of kitchen towel

5. Knock back the dough then divide into 15 even pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth ball on a lightly floured work surface. Arrange the buns on lined baking trays, leaving enough space for the dough to expand. Cover with a damp piece of kitchen towel and then set aside to prove until doubled in size once more.

6. Pre heat the oven to 200c. Mix 75g plain flour with cold water to make the paste for the cross, add the water a little at a time, so you add just enough for a thick paste. Put into a piping bag with a small nozzle. Pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses. Bake for 20 mins on the middle shelf of the oven, until golden brown.

7. Gently heat the apricot jam to melt, then sieve to get rid of any chunks. While the jam is still warm, brush over the top of the warm buns and leave to cool.

Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni Recipe

  • 1 red onion
  • Olive oil
  • 1 large aubergine 
  • Thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 250g ricotta
  • 50g cooked spinach squeezed of excess liquid
  • Parmesan
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
  • Ripe vine tomatoes
  • Rocket

Method

1. Pre heat the oven to 180c, Peel and finely slice the red onion.

2. Heat a sauté pan and add a touch of olive oil then cook the onions on a medium heat until very soft and slightly golden. Set aside to cool.

3. Slice the aubergine into 6 even strips lengthways. Put the thyme, garlic and a little salt on your chopping board and roughly chop into a paste using your hands to coat both sides of your aubergine slices with your paste, put them on a lined tray and in the pre heated oven for around 6 minutes or until they are just cooked.  

4. Prepare the filling by mixing the now cooled onions, ricotta, spinach and a good amount of grated parmesan add some nutmeg then mix well, taste and season if required. Now transfer this mixture into a piping bag.

5. Pipe a log of mix the width of the aubergine strip at one end. Use the top part of the aubergine and roll it towards the bottom. Roll all 6 slices then sit to the side. Place them evenly on an oven proof dish, drizzle with some olive oil, put any excess ricotta mix on top and grate a little more parmesan over them before sticking in the oven for 8 minutes. Chop your ripe tomatoes and mix with some rocket dressing it generously with olive oil and serve straight away together.

Game Meat: What it is and Why Should you Try it

At The Cook School, we encourage our customers to try new dishes, get out of their comfort zone and learn about the food that’s being prepared. This is why we are committed to maintaining strong relationships with our suppliers, including The British Game Alliance (BGA), to keep us and our customers, educated on the food we are eating. Our Game Night Cook @ Home classes are fast approaching, and we want to reassure our customers that it’s attainable, easy to cook and most importantly delicious. 

So what is Game? Many of us associate Game with high-end restaurants that are out of our reach, whilst some are not exactly sure what it is, and this is because it’s not commonly eaten. Game falls into two categories: the first is feathered game or game birds, including grouse, pheasant, partridge, quail, wild duck, wood pigeon, snipe and woodcock. The second category is furred game, which is hare, rabbit, venison and ‘wild’ boar.

We caught up with Louisa North, Head of Operations at the BGA, to explain what the BGA is, and what they do. 

Tell us about the BGA?

We are a not-for-profit organisation who were set up to promote, assure and develop Game to the public. When you see our logo, it signifies that the game has come from BGA members who are adhering to our high welfare and environmental standards. It’s similar to the Red Tractor, you know certain standards are followed from farm to plate. Our Marketing Board aims to reach out to new markets and consumers.

What Game do you assure? 

We assure only Feathered Game which includes pheasant, grouse and partridge. 

Pheasant is the most popular because it’s easily available and it tastes similar to chicken. There’s a misconception that it it has an overpowering gamey taste but that’s because in the past people hung it for days. As part of our standards, the birds have to go into the chiller within 2 hours of being shot. Grouse is slightly more expensive so is seen by  many as a treat. 

There are many health benefits in consuming Game, could you tell us what they are?

It’s one of the healthiest meats available, it’s high in protein and very lean so perfect for those who are training and trying to gain muscle. It’s also high in Iron and contains higher levels of many nutrients including vitamin E, Vitamin E and Selenium.

What measures are you taking to promote Game meat?

We do a range of things to raise awareness of Game meat. We have a Commercial Director who approaches restaurant chains, stadiums and other new markets for it to be sold into. We run a consumer-facing campaign called Eat Wild, which focuses on the understanding how to cook game with videos, blogs, and recipes; not the shooting. Collaborations with Chef’s such as Gizzi Erskine helps us to break down the barrier that Game is elitist, and expensive, whereas everyone can have it in their diet. 

Last year, we worked with Holme Farm Venison to  put game into Sainsbury’s. This is the first supermarket that has stocked assured game meat which we were excited about.

How has the Pandemic affected sales?

There has been a massive rise in Game sales in the last year, however, the supply has been unstable with restrictions affecting shoots. People have had the time to cook and become more experimental while stuck at home. The Cook School @ Home classes have been great for us, we have had people contact us to say that’s the first time they’ve tried Game and they loved it. Also, our collaboration with Mac n Wild was a huge success because it allowed people to cook Grouse in their homes following a simple recipe. 

What ethical actions are followed by your members?

I’m a flexitarian and want to know where my meat comes from. At the BGA, we ensure that the shooting has been done as ethically as possible. The birds don’t leave their natural habitat and live in the wild from 2 months to up to 3-4 years. We protect their environment so they have the best possible life, unlike chickens where there’s a strong possibility they’ve been caged most of their lives.

What would you recommend to someone who is going to try Game meat for the first time?

My personal favourite is partridge because it has a sweet and unique flavour. However, I would recommend pheasant because anything you can do with chicken, you can do with pheasant and it is readily available. It doesn’t take as long to cook as chicken, and you can serve it slightly pink. If you do over cook pheasant, it will become dry so be careful. 

Learning more about The British Game Alliance has been invaluable to us here at The Cook School and we are proud to feature Game meat in some of our Zoom classes. It’s  many health benefits and knowing that shooters follow ethical standards makes us feel excited and reassured. The game used in all our boxes is BGA assured.

If you want to expand your palate and try something new, visit our website to book into one of our British Game classes on the 2nd and 3rd of April. 

Indulgent Chocolate & Orange Tart Recipe

Sweet Pastry

  • 150g Cold Unsalted Butter
  • 300g Plain Flour
  • 100g Icing Sugar
  • 1 Egg & 1 Yolk
  • Water

Method

1. Dice the cold butter evenly then put it into a tub and refrigerate until it firms up again if it softens too much. Now add it into the plain flour and rub between your fingers until it becomes a crumb-like consistency.

2. Sieve in the icing sugar and mix so that everything is all evenly incorporated. Whisk up egg and the egg yolk and put in to the mixture. Bring together until this forms pliable dough, I have put water on the recipe as you might need a touch in the mixture.

3. Form into a disc shape and flatten down gently before wrapping in cling film and refrigerating for 15 minutes.

4. Spray your chosen tin with a little bake spray or a brush a touch of oil on it. Roll the pastry out on a floured surface and line your tin being careful not to tear it at all, now refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to firm up again. While the pastry is in the fridge pre heat your oven to 180c.

5. Make a cartouche with some greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans and bake for 20 minutes, carefully lift out cartouche and bake for another 10 until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes before using.

Chocolate & Orange Tart

  • 3 Eggs
  • 300g Light Brown Sugar
  • 150g Butter
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 50g Plain Flour
  • 50g Cocoa
  • 2 Oranges
  • 1 tsp Cointreau
  • 50g Dark Chocolate

Method

1. Pre heat the oven to 180c. Beat the eggs and sugar together until a smooth aeriated mix is formed. Melt the butter slowly and sit to the side before stirring in the vanilla and the now slightly cool melted butter.

2. Sieve the plain flour and cocoa in and fold it into the mixture being careful not to knock out the air that has been generated earlier. Zest and segment the oranges, add the zest straight in and chop half the orange segments roughly adding them into the mix along with the Cointreau.

3. Give it 1 last mix before scattering the chocolate over the pastry case and pour the filling on top. Bake for 30 mins until firm with a slight wobble. Serve at room temperature with some nice ice cream and the remaining segments of the orange.

Happy International Women’s Day 2021

Today we celebrate women and their achievements. We are all aware of the challenge’s women have faced in both their personal and working life, which is why it’s essential to raise awareness obias, and take action against equality – especially in the workplace. This will help create an inclusive world for generations to come.   

There’s still a lot of work to be done. Figures from the Employment Data (2016) for Scotland show that the employment rate for women stands at 69.2%, whilst men are significantly higher at 76.9%. Of course, we have to consider the national changes in patterns of employment in the last couple of decades. Women want to work, and so the economy is adapting by creating more part-time opportunities, for example.   

Figures for women in senior roles are even more disappointing. A recent report from the Scottish Feminist Organization found that Scottish leadership positions across politics, business, the public sector, the media, culture and sport, only 27% are filled by women. This is why we feel it is important to bring some positivity to these figures by sharing a success story of our own from this company 

 Aileen Dick, our Operations Director set up the Cook School Scotland back in 2008. This was a great opportunity to get insight and advice on how to become a successful female entrepreneur:  

HOW WAS THE COOK SCHOOL SET UP AND WHAT MAKES IT UNIQUE? 

It started off from our family run business, Braehead Foods, and there was nowhere for Chefs and Suppliers to come together for training apart from Colleges. We also allowed students to come in and use our facilities for hospitality training through the week with Chefs, and for the rest of the week, we opened up to the members of the public who wanted to learn how to cook.

WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE THE COOK SCHOOL?  

I was at school. I worked part-time at a Dental Centre and was planning to go to college to study Dental NursingWhen I left school, I was working for Braehead Foods until my college course startedbut I got stuck into the business and never left since. I have worked in every part of the business from delivery in vans, warehouse, accounts and telesales.  

WHAT DO YOU DO FOR MOTIVATION & ENCOURAGMENT? 

I love food. I love going out for dinner, or staying inside with a nice mealI have always enjoyed cooking from scratch and I always make the meals at home. Having this passion for food motivates me to make my business a success. There are days when I’m feeling down or having a bad day, but always have people around me at home and in the workplace who will give me encouragement and support, and I think that’s important to have. 

WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU FACED IN THE WORKPLACE? 

I have been told I’m emotional, and I’m sure a lot of women have been told this. I am emotional, but it is because I’m passionate about what I do, I want things to go right and I care. 

also feel women need to be confident and assertive to show that they mean business so they get their point across. When I used to work in deliveries, most of the Chefs were men and it was different for me. I think women sometimes feel intimidated by men, and so they need to become more confident in themselves. 

HOW DID YOU FIND THE SKILLS TO START UP A BUSINESS? 

I learnt a lot from my dad running Braehead Foods growing up. What also helped was getting to know all the roles within the business. I have an appreciation for every role within the company – especially the van drivers; they have one of the toughest jobs. Working whilst going to college allowed me to gather the experience that was later utilised setting up The Cook School.

IS IT DIFFICULT TO BALANCE WORK LIFE AND HOME LIFE? 

I don’t think I have met any mums who can say they have a perfectly balanced work and home life. I am lucky to have my mum and husband who are there to support me with the kids. I know when I am in the office, I don’t have to worry about the kids. 

WOULD YOU LIKE TO EVENTUALLY TAKE A STEP BACK FROM THE BUSINESS AND FOCUS ON FAMILY LIFE? 

No, I’m happy with the way things are. There’s only so much Blippy and Tractor Ted I can watch. When I come into work, I can get my mind into action and mentally challenge myself. I would love my children to see my businessand witness the hard work it takes to run it like I had with my dad 

HOW HAS THE PANDEMIC AFFECTED THE BUSINESS AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ADAPT? 

As lockdown happened, I gave birth to twins, and went on maternity leave. Thankfully the team have kept the business going by undertaking training, connecting through Zoom. We then came up with the Cook @ Home classes which have been a success, and it has completely opened up our customer base to UK wide. We also have Cook School in a Box, which allows our customers to enjoy a pre-prepared meal. Again, we ship across the whole UK.  

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS WHEN THINGS GO BACK TO NORMAL, POST COVID? 

We are planning to do a mixture. I cannot wait to see our kitchen in full swing again and to have customers cooking with Stuart, but we will also continue our Cook @ Home classes too. It’s excellent for corporate events where staff are scattered all across the UK and get to interact and have a night out together on our Zoom classes. 

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO IS PLANNING TO START THEIR OWN BUSINESS? 

Take as much advice as possible. Try not to take criticism negatively, instead, turn it into something positive. I would be lying if I said starting and maintaining a business is easy, but if you enjoy what you do, you are more likely to make it a success.  

Long  gone are the days when we were expected to stay at home and look after the children, society is adapting to our ambitions, and we can be whoever we want to be. Aileen’s story is one of many successes out there, and we hope that this will encourage women of all ages to go out and take the risk; whether that is starting up a business, following a dream, or to go for the sought-after senior role. Of course, there will be obstacles, but one thing we know for sure is that we are strong, adaptable and determined to overcome them. 

For TODAY ONLY, we are offering our customers 10% off our Cook School at Home classes. Just use the code WOMEN10 at the checkout. Enjoy!

Scottish Steak & Sausage Pie Recipe

Ingredients

  • 250g Diced Shoulder Steak
  • Plain Flour
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • ½ Onion
  • 1 stick of Celery
  • ½ Carrot
  • 2 Chestnut Mushrooms
  • 25g Butter
  • Thyme
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • Lea and Perrins Sauce
  • 1 tsp Tomato Puree
  • 100ml Beef Stock
  • 2 Pork Links
  • 500g Butter Puff Pastry
  • 1 Egg

Method

1. Check your diced steak making sure there is not an excessive amount of fat on it. Season the plain flour sparingly with salt and pepper.

2. Heat a heavy based pan up to a high heat. Now dust the diced steak in the seasoned flour and seal it in batches to keep the temperature of the pan high. Remove the meat from the pan and sit to the side

3. Finely dice the onion, then peel and finely dice the celery and carrot. Chop the mushrooms and heat the butter in the same pan that the meat was fried in before browning all the diced vegetables.

4. Now pick some thyme leaves and add that along with the bay leaf the browned meat and a dust of plain flour, add in a splash of lea and Perrins and the tomato paste before adding in the beef stock. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for an hour and a half or until the beef is tender.

5. Preheat the oven to 180c. Cook sausages, then dice up and add to steak mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to a dish to cool down this will make it easier to line the pie dishes.

6. Brush pie tins with oil and line carefully with puff pastry. Be careful not tear the pastry now put lined tins in fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.

7. Fill generously with steak and sausage mix and brush rim of pie with a little beaten egg carefully before cutting an appropriately sized lid and sealing it on top.

8. Eggs wash thoroughly and bake in the oven for around 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Chocolate Fondant Recipe

Ingredients

  • 125g Dark Chocolate
  • 125g Butter
  • 150g Caster Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 35g Plain Flour

Method

1. Melt chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of simmering water until all incorporated together, lift to the side and let it cool slightly.

2. Whisk eggs and sugar together until well combined then whisk into the flour.

3. Stir both mixtures together and pour into buttered moulds, preferably small pudding basins. Bake at 190c for 10 minutes making sure the centre is still runny. Serve with some good quality ice cream.

Enjoy!!!

Homemade Pancakes Recipe

Ingredients

  • 150g Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 30g Caster Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 150ml Milk
  • 15g Butter
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Knobs of Butter to cook with

Method

1. Sift flour, baking powder, salt & caster sugar into a bowl. Whisk up egg adding in the milk. Melt the butter before whisking this into your mixture.

2. Now add the wet mixture into dry mixture beating vigorously so no lumps are in the batter it should be quite thick but this is the consistency we are looking for.

3. Heat an on stick frying pan up to medium heat add a tiny amount of oil, evenly dispersing it in your now warm pan then add a knob of butter once that melts add in a ladle of batter. Wait until the top of your pancake begins to bubble then turn it over and cook until both sides are golden brown.

4. Repeat until all batter is used up then serve with your favourite toppings.