Category Archives: Recipes

Shh… Covert Cookery lessons – it’s fun with fish now…

Well next in our series of covert cookery lessons we thought we would do something with a product oft maligned and feared by the cook.

We thought the use of fish would whet the appetite and would also give you budding chefs chance to hone some more of those knife skills with the following planned itinerary

09:30 am – Arrival and greeting with coffee/tea & biscuits

The following Lunch Menu served at circa 12:30pm will be

Tassette “Lady Mariniere”

- a small cup of a delicate prawn, saffron & Pernod soup

● ● ●

Fillets of fish “en papillote”

- the prepared fillets of fish steamed in a paper bag served

with a classic butter sauce.

New Potatoes

● ● ●

Apple Tart Tatin

- classic upside down glazed apple tarts served with a dollop of creme fraiche

● ● ●

The lesson will include the following:-

●  Filleting the fish – how to fillet both a flat & round fish

●  Making a simple fish stock

●  Chopping vegetables for the soup and making the soup

●  Making a tart tatin.

There are 2 spaces per lesson and so it will be very much “hands on” one to one tuition and could ideally suit a novice or nervous cook as well as those more competent looking to hone their skills. (Please advise your level on the booking form so we can balance the classes)

Recipe Sheets and Hari Covert Apron will be included to take away at the end of the day.

Suggested Donation per person £75 including the lunch – please bring your own wine if you so wish. Water provided.

Proposed Dates are as follows 12th, 13th, 26th or 27th February 2013

To Book your places then please complete the following form.

We will contact you within 24-48 hours to confirm your place with a credit card number.

They came, they learned and they conquered…

photo (65)So that is our first series of Cookery Lessons done and dusted here at Hari HQ. We had a blast and it was as educational for me as it was for those taking part – at least I hope so…

The idea was to offer some basic culinary techniques to give the novice and nervous cooks a little more confidence and also some of our secrets. We have some now rather popular features on our menus and I am always keen to share them.

So we decided to hold some rather exclusive little lessons – how to bone a chicken  and the making of a stock followed by using the jointed bird in a simple dish and the stock used to make a soup.

We also made our now somewhat infamous “Moodley’s” Beer Bread and also our rather moreish porridge oat biscuits to go with a simple selection of cheeses.

What might seem simple for me proves challenging for others but the main thing I tried to do was to de-mystify it all and illustrate cooking is not hard!

What is most important beside the right ingredients is to put it simply just good organisation. So many cooks and chefs for that matter overcomplicate things so much that is when things can so easily wrong!

So our students got well into is with some basic knife skills…the cornerstone of any good cook is how they handle their tools of the trade and so many fail to learn this. Practice make perfect and learning these basics is vital.

Jamie Oliver illustrates this well here  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGQltxIipFg

There are plenty of others on the web so get surfing.

The jointing of a chicken was slightly more of a challenge and what seemed more amusing was how squeamish people are about holding and touching the meat! I guess we have become anesthetised by ready portioned and pre packed food! Still they all managed it and if they have all now forgotten about it this little video on the BBC website should refresh their memories

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/techniques/jointing_chicken

It was a busy lesson what with making the stock, soup, biscuits and bread but as we sat down to eat the labours of the morning it became clear to me that to make it easier you need to have the confidence and belief in the skills you have and well one attendee Michelle texted me later the same day after her lesson to say the following…

“I can’t thank you enough – had such an amazing time – laughed at my knife skills and touching a chicken let alone boning it. Amazing”

The recipes for each of the dishes (apart from the chicken) can be found by clicking each link

Porridge Oat Biscuits

Moodleys Beer Bread

Curried Parsnip Soup

Pea & Curry Soup

If you are looking to purchase some chef knives I can recommend the following site for a next day delivery.

http://www.nisbets.co.uk/2/Kitchen-Chefs-Knives/c01c02.r10.1

You only need to purchase a few but it will be a great investment and remember to keep practising. I am just putting final touches to the next dates so watch this space!

Happy Cooking – Hari Covert

Shhh…. “Covert” cookery secrets revealed

This has been something we have been keen to do for sometime…so I thought we would take the plunge and see if we could set the ball in motion this side of Christmas.

I have decided to offer some rather exclusive cookery lessons that will I hope encourage the novice cooks out there to give it a go and also have some fun at the same time.

For three days on 17th 18th & 19th December and then 10th & 11th January 2013 I will be offering the following days as what I am calling “Covert Secrets… revealed”

We will start at 9:30am and finish at circa 12:30pm when we will all sit down to a meal of what you have been busily preparing.

The idea is to give you an insight into some of the dishes we cook and serve at our Hari nights but also show you some tricks and tips to you budding cooks. It would ideally suit the novice cook but all are welcome as we will start with the basics.

●          Chopping and Knife skills… the cornerstone of any decent kitchen

●          Boning a Chicken and preparing a stuffed breast ready to make into finished dish.

          Gratin Dauphinoise – a simple version in a flash

          Making a stock – one of the building blocks of cooking

          Hari’s Porridge Oat Biscuits for Cheese

          Making a home-made soup with a fresh bread roll.

It will be a full “hands on” lesson and all recipes will be provided to take away with you.

There will be just three spaces each day and the price for this unique event will be £75 per person.

This will include your own apron (as a memento of your day) to take away, recipe sheets and a three course lunch (including soft drinks) after your lesson…

This could make an ideal Christmas gift for a loved one…?

We are also hoping to make these lessons a regular event and if you are interested in taking part then please just fill out the booking form below and tick the future dates box. We will then contact you to discuss further.

Leeks, Leeks, Glorious Leeks…

Well it is almost a year since we posted a favourite recipe of ours using that lovely new season veg… the humble Leek. Symbol of Wales and well a good all round versatile vegetable.

We were alerted to a recent competition calling for our favoured leek recipe so thought we would enter the Pressed Leek Terrine as ours… Have you got something better?

If you do you could win a £200 restaurant dining voucher for a good night out!  Check it out here

Runners Up could win a copy of Kerstin Rogers SupperClub Cookbook

We feel our Leek Terrine is a great dish that can be adapted any number of ways and styles. Perfect for vegetarians or with the addition of other items can be quite exotic! Might just have to see what else we could come up with to use those lovely Leeks in again!!!

Good Luck

Moodley’s Beer Bread… the recipe

The recent dinner at the Olive Stores in Brenchley was a hit and the Beer Bread we served with the main course seemed to go down well.

As promised to the those attending I have put togther the following recipe that you can view here

Please feel free to share and your comments are always welcomed…

Hari C

PS… Feb Menu coming soon so watch this space

“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” – Benjamin Franklin

Well now this will be the start of a few posts on the subject as we are planning some upcoming events that will feature the “Nectar of Gods” as some like to call it… I have been experimenting today as I found a rather simple recipe on the net for a bread incorporating Beer!

I was recently having a look round a Kentish Brewery by the name of Moodley’s – based on a farm near to Penshurst they are a micro (small) brewery that produce a range of bottle conditioned ales. More about them on some later posts but suffice to say I had a bottle of each of their current beers to try. I had a bit of their Toad Bitter left so thought I would try the following recipe!

It was a very simple one and I have to say the end result was a big hit.

Beer Bread…

375g of Self Raising Flour

3 tablespoons of Caster Sugar

330ml of the chosen beer

Mixed together as a batter and poured into a very well-greased bread tin produced one rather crusty sweet and yeast smelling loaf with a good crust after 45 minutes baking!

The beer I used as I said was the dregs of two beers I had been tasting – predominately Toad Rock Bitter and then a splash of Penshurst Pleasure both from Moodley’s Brewery. The dregs of the Pantiles Porter will now end up in a Chocolate Porter cake I am planning to make next but I will be paying the brewery another visit to restock supplies just as soon as I can… you should check them out as they are really all rather something special and they have quite a story to tell and worthy of wider recognition to a discerning public…

We will be doing our bit on that but more about that… a little bit later

Gruel like you have never had…

Porridge Oat Biscuits plus Banana and Date Chutney

Well it seems to be a bit of a talking point these days with my special porridge biscuits that I always serve with cheeses. They have become something of a signature dish but I cannot claim to have invented them but adapted from a similar style of biscuit that I saw at a friends Michelin starred restaurant in Manchester a few years ago.

I thought I would share the recipe as it is suprisingly very simple and just needs to be made a bit in advance.

You will need some baking sheets covered with baking parchment as basically you make a normal batch of porridge made with milk… I normally use fresh semi skimmed milk and once cooked I then throw in a generous handful of sea salt (sel de guerande) mixed with some ground freshly roasted szechaun peppercorns. This salt and pepper mix once mixed in produces a nice salty and fragrant flavour.

I pour the porridge out onto the baking parchment and then using a palette knife spread it as thinly as possible onto the parchment and if you have time leave it to cool and dry naturally for a shortwhile then do so.

If pushed for time then place the trays straight into a preheated oven 120 to 150 degrees centigrade for 40-50 minutes. Check them after twenty or so minutes as if beginning to harden you can then remove the biscuit sheet from the parchment and turn to aid the drying process. They need to turn a light golden colour and to be totally dry and once they have reached this stage just leave them to cool before breaking them into shards. Store in an airtight box until required, they will keep easily for a couple of weeks if fully dried out.

So as you can see a very simple and easy recipe. They have become something of a favourit here in the “Covert” household especially with a soft, runny and smelly cheeses so enjoy…

Cheers

Hari