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

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2 thoughts on “They came, they learned and they conquered…”

  1. It was a straight forward and busy morning for my lesson. Boning a chicken was slightly easier than I thought, I’ll never buy pre-packed chicken again. Since the lesson, I’ve baked 8 loafs of beer bread, my husband has had several gratin potato dishes, I’ve thrown out my old useless knives, settling with a new set and purchased a mandolin. Cooking is easier and a lot more fun now – I use any excuse to julienne my carrots! A great lesson. Thank you, Sylvia.

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    1. Hi Sylvia
      Thanks so much for your lovely positive comments… I am so pleased we have inspired you to experiment more and invested in some new knives etc… Take care with the mandolin they can be vicious if you are not careful! Hopefully see you again at a future cookery lesson or maybe one of our dinners…
      Keep on cooking
      Hari C

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