Archive for July, 2012

Day 17

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Twice baked Cheese Souffle    (Page 67)


Very Messy Sugar Spinning


Salmon En Croute (Page 310)


Day 16

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Matching Wine to Food


Lamb Rump, Caramelised Onion & White Bean Puree    (Page 189)
Red Wine & Juniper Berry Sauce        (Page 296)
Courgettes with Lemon Gremolata    (Page 101)


Bread & Butter Pudding    (Page 37)
Walnut & Raisin Bread    (Page 375)

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Vegetarian One Day Course…with Piedmontese Peppers

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

We have just finished a very successful one day vegetarian cookery course. Here at the Gables, we love vegetarian food and encourage our students, even the determined meat eaters, to think of vegetarian food as an exciting and varied alternative menu. Students on our vegetarian courses are often interested not only in the health benefits of eating less meat but also in providing exciting food for their vegetarian friends, many of whom have been making do with second rate offerings for years!

To try and inspire you to add a little more vegetarian food to your diet, we are going to share with you one of our favourite vegetarian recipes from our book ‘Simply 3-5’ – Piedmontese Peppers. These Northern Italian peppers make a delicious starter or a light supper dish, with crusty bread to mop up the juices. They also happen to be vegan. Enjoy!

Piedmontese Peppers

Piedmontese Peppers


Serves 4

4 thin slices onion

4 small tomatoes, cut in half and deseeded

2 red peppers, cut in half and deseeded

1 tbsp dried time

2 tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 180⁰C.

Place 1 onion slice and 2 tomato halves in each pepper half, sprinkle with thyme and then drizzle the olive oil over.

Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the peppers are tender but not collapsed.

Day 15

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Prawn Cocktail

Grilled Cod & Caviar Sauce

Fruit Tartlets

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Day 14

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Pheasant Casserole with Madeira & Grapes (Page 167)
TarteTatin (Page 352)
Berry Jam (Demo)

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Australian Christmas in July

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nibbling at your nose, Christmas Carols being sung by a choir…”

At the Gables, we are very proud of Australian connections. Two of our partners are dual Australian and British citizens, which gives us a great insight into life on the other side of the world. One custom we would like to share with you, which we came across on our last visit to Melbourne, is ‘Christmas in July.’

As it is summer in Australia during the Christmas season, most of our warming and stodgy traditional Christmas food isn’t really appropriate (would you want to eat Christmas pudding and custard when it’s 40 degrees outside?) So some Australians choose to have a small Christmas celebration, which mainly focuses on food, on the 25th of July instead, when it is Australian Winter.

In honour of this and our Australian heritage, we have decided to share with you one of our Christmas favourites (however unseasonal it may be!) from our Easy Christmas Cooking One Day Course. You could use any fruit cake for this recipe and we think it would make a lovely dessert even on a warm summers evening.


Serves 6

450g Christmas cake, cut into 1.5cm slices

2 tbsp Cointreau

1 tbsp finely grated orange rind

2 litres vanilla ice cream, softened

Line a 14cm x 21cm loaf tin with clingfilm.

Brush cake with Cointreau.

Stir orange rind into the ice cream.

Spread half of the ice cream mixture into prepared tin and tip with slices of cake then remaining ice cream.

Cover with cling film and freeze until firm.

Use a hot knife to cut terrine into 6 slices.

Day 13

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Ballottine of Chicken
(Page 16)

Croquette Potatoes
(Page 117)


Vegetarian Burgers
(Page 62)

Leek Roulade & Ricotta
(Page 196)

Carrot & Cumin Burger Buns (Handout)

Day 12

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Sushi Rice (Page 341)
Vermicelli Noodle & Vegetable Parcels (Page 237)
Minced Pork & Prawn Spring Rolls (Page 332)

Ensure the spring roll is completely sealed before deep frying or it will burst open.

When layering up the sushi rolls be sure not to spread the rice and fillings to thick…A little goes a long way!

Beef & Black Bean Sauce (Page 24)
Sweet and Sour Pork (Page 342)
Cashew & Chilli Chicken (Page 58)
Egg Fried Rice& Seaweed (Page 131)

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Day 11

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Pork Escalope in Calvados Sauce
(Page 277)

Fondant Potatoes
(Page 171)

Brown Bread Rolls
(Page 44)


Meringues (Page 220)

Italian Focaccia

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012
A view over beautiful Lake Como

A view over beautiful Lake Como

We had an Italian One Day Course running this Saturday and it has reminded us of our recent travels there. Nothing quite beats walking through the Italian Mountains during the day and watching the sun set over the Italian Lakes with a cool, crisp glass of wine in the evening. Italy is a superb and varied country and it is well worth visiting places a little of the beaten track, especially if you want to try some really authentic Italian food. You will soon discover that Italian food is as varied as its landscape and it is far, far more than just pizza!

One traditional Italian recipe that we have found and loved is for Italian focaccia. This delicious, rosemary scented bread will always impress guests – just don’t expect it to hang around for very long! We like our focaccia best served on its own with some extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. When something is this delicious, it doesn’t need any fancy extras.

A student prepares their own focaccia in the school (Photo:Nigel Denham)

A student prepares their own focaccia in the school (Photo:Nigel Denham)


750g (1½lb) strong white flour
1 x 7g (¼oz) sachet fast-action dried yeast
3 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
3 tbsp olive oil
250ml (8 fl oz) tepid water

Put the flour in a bowl and add the yeast and rosemary.

Make a well in the centre of the flour, add the oil and water. Mix to a soft dough.

Lightly oil a large bowl. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. Place in the bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place to double in size (about 1 hr).

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knock back. Knead for 2-3 minutes until smooth. Roll out dough to form a 5cm (2 in) thick round. Cover and leave to double in size for about 1 hour.

Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.

Bake in a preheated oven at 190ºC, 375ºF, Gas 5 for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Day 10

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Food Hygiene Exam

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A New Course Begins…with a Lemon Posset

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

We have just started another intensive residential four week course here at the Gables, which means that the school is full of new enthusiastic students ready to develop their cookery skills and take their first steps to becoming trained, confident and happy cooks. As we write this, we can smell their first batch of fresh bread rising in the oven (is there a better smell on earth?)

We are going to share with you today a very simple recipe which the students learnt to make on the very first day of their course – a Lemon Posset.

Possets can trace their roots back to medieval times although they only began to take on a form which would be recognisable to the modern cook in the 16th century. Our lemon posset is incredibly easy, and makes a perfect dinner party dessert as it can be made in advance. We recommend it be served with a candied piece of lemon peel and an amaretti biscuit.



(Serves 6)

600ml (1pt) double cream

140g (5oz) caster sugar

Juice of 2 lemons

Tip the cream and sugar into a pan and slowly bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Boil for exactly 3 minutes, then remove from the heat.

Whisk in the lemon juice and pour into small glasses, leave to cool.  Chill overnight until set.  Serve with amaretti biscuits.

NOTE:  Time the boiling exactly.  This is a luscious velvety dessert which is easy to make.

Day 9

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Brioche “Eggy” Toast with Taleggio Tomato & Parmesan (Page 41)


Baked Honey Glazed Ham (Page 170)

English Scones (Page 318)

Flaky Pastry (Page 138)



Day 8

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Chicken Tagine with Almonds, Dates & Honey (Page 78)

day5_1 Try not to stir the tagine too much during cooking as the chicken will break down.Serve with a pickled cucumber salad:

Mandolin sliced cucumber, red onion, white wine vinegar and sugar. Yum!

Caramel Oranges (Page 56)

When caramelising the sugar ensure the sugar is dissolved over a slow heat and then bring to the boil slowly and water the edges of the pan to prevent burning. When the cold water is added to form the syrup allow time for the caramel to dissolve naturally without stirring. day5_1


Corianders, Cumin & Turmeric are the basic spice of all curries. Turmeric is used mainly for colouring.Fresh chilli & ginger should be stored in a dark cupboard in an open container. Not in the fridge as they will rot. day5_1

Saffron is the stamen (pollen) of the cartwrightianus crocus. It takes 80,000 stamens to produce ½ kg of Saffron.

Masala means a mix of spices. If buying jars of paste always check the label for freshingredients.

Soy Sauce can be dark (aged) or light (young). Chinese Soy is sweet, Japenese Soy is Salty. Always buy the best you can afford.

Crispy Fish Salad & Chilli Lime Dressing Chicken & Coconut Milk Soup (Pages 80, 94)

Green & Red Curry Jasmine & Yellow Rice (Pages 78, 24, 298, 299)

Food for Rainy Summer Days – Carrot and Courgette Soup

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

We are assured that it is in fact the height of the British Summer, although you would forgive us for being a little doubtful here at the Gables. We would so love to be giving you some beautiful barbeque recipes but sadly the rain is still pouring over our herb garden and our barbeque is sitting forlornly underneath its rain cover.

We’ll keep our fingers crossed that soon barbeque season will begin but for now we thought we would share one of our favourite foods for rainy summer days – Carrot and Courgette Soup. This simple soup (which is taken from our recipe book ‘Simply 3-5’) came to us from our very good friend, Kate, and we now regularly make it, especially at this time of year when courgettes are in season. The courgettes add a fantastic texture to the soup, making it deliciously creamy in spite of the fact that it contains no cream at all! All you need is some fresh crusty bread and you have a delicious and wholesome meal.

Carrot and Courgette Soup
Serves 4

25g butter
300g carrots, peeled and chopped
250g courgettes, chopped
600ml vegetable or chicken stock
1tsp sugar
1tbsp tomato puree

Melt the butter in a saucepan and gently fry the vegetables for 10 minutes without colouring.
Add stock, sugar and tomato puree.

Simmer for 30 minutes then process or blend until smooth. Season to taste.

Day 7

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Fresh Pasta & Bolognese Sauce (Page 31)

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day5_1 Pasta flour mixed with a little semolina works well in the mix. (150g)
Add 1-2 eggs, pinch of salt, tbsp oil, mix until sticky on the table and then knead until stretchy. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for ½ hour.
Be sure to coat the pasta in Bolognese sauce before serving. YUM!

Impossible Pudding (Page 183)

The bottom layer is like a pastry because the butter and flour have sunk, the centre should have a custard consistency and the top a slightly browned crust due to the coconut which has floated to the top. Also works well with orange or lime with the rind added in. day5_1

Ravioli Cappellacci with Tomato & Onion Sauce (Page 293, 360)


Smoked Haddock & Asparagus Open Ravioli    (Page 324)

day5_1 Try to cook the fish evenly by trimming the thinner bits off the side and add them to the pan a little later than the fatter bits.
Plunging the asparagus in cold water after blanching in boiling will help keep them bright green.

Panacotta with Summer Fruits & Raspberry Coulis (Page 246)


July Seasonal Spotlight – Raspberries

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Juicy red raspberries are in season this month and at the Gables we thought we would share with you some of our favourite easy raspberry recipes from our book ‘Simply 3-5.’
We all know that raspberries make beautiful desserts, but how often have you tried them in a savoury context? One of our most popular starters is Fresh Goat’s Cheese with Raspberry Coulis. This may sound a little unusual but the sweet and sharp coulis works beautifully with the rich goat’s cheese. We are sure you will love this when you try it!

Fresh Goat’s Cheese with Raspberry Coulis

Fresh Goat’s Cheese with Raspberry Coulis

Fresh Goat’s Cheese with Raspberry Coulis

Serves 4
2 small goat’s cheese logs
225g fresh raspberries
25-30g caster sugar
Salad leaves, to serve
8 mint leaves, finely sliced

Chill goat’s cheese well then cut each log into 10 rounds.

Crush the raspberries with a fork and press through a fine sieve to extract the juice. Add sugar to taste, but make sure that the coulis stays sharp tasting.

Divide the salad leaves between the plates and place 5 rounds of cheese on top. Drizzle with the raspberry coulis and sprinkle with mint.

Note: We use La Buche goat’s cheese logs but any creamy goat’s cheese will work. This is so simple but so delicious.

And now for a show stopping raspberry pudding! Our Lemon and Raspberry Baskets look beautiful, take minutes to prepare and taste fantastic. What more could you ask for?

Lemon and Raspberry Baskets

Lemon and Raspberry Baskets

Lemon and Raspberry Baskets

Serves 6
50g dark chocolate
200g good quality lemon curd
250g mascarpone
150g fresh raspberries
6 brandy snap baskets

Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 2 minutes on High, stirring half way through.

Stir together the lemon curd and mascarpone. Divide half the raspberries between the baskets and spoon over the lemon cream and top with the rest of the berries.

Drizzle the dark chocolate over the baskets and lave in the fridge to set for 5-10 minutes. Serve immediately or the baskets will go soft.

We hope we have inspired you to use this beautiful seasonal ingredient. Let us know how you get on and if you have any suggestions of your own!

Day 6

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Goujons of Lemon Sole with Parmesan Breadcrumbs (Page 157)

Roll in flour, dip in egg, coat in breadcrumbs. Then deep or shallow fry till golden. The breadcrumbs can be sifted to make them finer.


Batter can be an alternative to bread crumbs:
50g of Plain flour, 1 tbsp of oil, salt, warm water and 1 stiff egg white.

Steak & Kidney Suet Pudding    (Page 339)

day6_1 Skirt cut of beef works best in a slow cooked suet pudding (3hrs +) although braising steak would also work well. Avoid using stewing steak as this is usually a mix of offcuts from the butcher. The meat should be shaken in flour before being placed in pudding and a tbsp. of water added to create a gravy. Add any other fillings to taste.
Suet is the fat surrounding an animal’s kidney and can be asked for at the butchers. However a box of “Atora” is far easier and has less of an overpowering flavour if being used in sweets such as Spotted Dick, Jam RolyPoly etc. day6_5

Profiteroles, Crème Patissiere & Chocolate Sauce (Pages 285, 113, 86)


Day 5

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Espagnole Sauce (Page 134)

The Espagnole sauce could be described as the “Mother Sauce” as it will form a base start for a variety of other sauces. Its colour will be a dark brown or orange depending, again on the ingredients used.

Likewise a white béchamel sauce will form the start of most white sauces.


A Mediterranean style recipe:

Shallots, Butter, Garlic, Capers, Olives, TomatoConcasse (peeled and de-seeded) & Basil Chiffonade (sliced in long thin strips). Add all ingredients to equal amounts of espagnole sauce and stock and heat gently until desired thickness and quantity. YUM!

Tagliatelle& Mussels in Saffron infused sauce (Page 348)


Day 4

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Carrot & Orange Soup (Page 105)

Crème Du Barry (Page 112)

day4_1 Louis XIV had a mistress by the name of Madame Du Barry who had a particular liking to cauliflower. He ordered his chefs to create many varieties of cauliflower dishes and named them after her. Crème Du Barry was one of her favourites.
Calamari (Page 52)

To prepare:

Pull gently from the head and remove as much intestine as possible. Cut off tentacles just behind eyes and remove the beak. Pull out the quill and remove the skin. Wash through with cold water and slice to desired size. Ensure calamari is dried before deep frying.


Mayonnaise (Page 217)

day4_3 The bright yellow colour will vary depending how yellow the yolk of the egg is and also the type of mustard; English will be more yellow than Dijon.

When buying mayonnaise be aware that it is almost impossible to make a “low fat” one. So if it says light on the bottle ask what is in it – innit!

Roast Beef (Page 411) Yorkshire Puds (Page 387/8)

Gravy from the roasting pan:
Take the juices from the tin with minimum fat, avoid burnt bits.
Make a roux with 2-3 tbsps of flour.
Add a splash of red wine and a tsp of mustard.
Add stock and water to taste & desired thickness. YUM!


Fruit Crumble (Page 28)

day4_5 A variety of dry ingredients can be mixed in at the rubbing in stage. Oats & mixed nuts works well.

If you prefer the fruit softer and sweeter then gently heat in a pan with some sugar before layering the dish.