Archive for August, 2012

Goodbye and Good Luck to our July Students

Friday, August 24th, 2012

We have recently said goodbye to another cohort of our four week residential students. We are always proud of what our students manage to achieve when they come on our courses. They see themselves transformed from nervous novices to confident and happy cooks!

Today, we would like to share with you the menu that our July students designed and prepared themselves for their final dinner. On each course, our students are given the chance to show off what they have learnt by preparing a three course meal for guests that they have invited to the school. This is often seen as the highlight of the course, as it confirms to students just how far they have come since they began their journey with us. It also offers students a chance to wow their friends and families with their new skills. Our July students wrote and planned the menu themselves, dividing into teams to tackle each component.

We were so impressed by their Mediterranean inspired feast that we thought it was worth sharing with the world! We would like to thank them for their enthusiasm and wish them all the best for their many and varied future plans! (All photos: Steve Brown)

The Gables School of Cookery – Student Dinner

Mediterranean Canapés



Duo of Soups :-

Tomato with Red Pepper & Butternut Squash

Served with a Homemade Brown Bread Roll



Moroccan Spiced Chicken Tagine

Served with a Sweet Red Pepper stuffed with Almond Couscous and Green Bean Parcel wrapped in Parma Ham



Citrus Trio:-

Lemon and Ginger Cheesecake, Lime Posset and Caramel Orange dressed with a Lime and Mango Coulis


Handmade Chocolates


August Seasonal Spotlight – Beetroot

Monday, August 6th, 2012

August Seasonal Spotlight – Beetroot

Beautiful, deep red beetroots are in season this month. Sadly, none of our beetroots have survived the slug onslaught in the Cookery School vegetable patch this summer. One year, we grew so many beetroots that we didn’t know what to do with them. We ate as many as we could, pickled the rest, filled the pantry cupboard to the brim and still had to force large jars of pickled beetroots upon anyone who came to visit! Still, we are sure we are not the only ones who have similar green-fingered problems. We read one story about a woman who was forced to abandon enormous marrows, wrapped up like babies in newspaper blankets, on strangers’ doorsteps in a similar glut.

Our Cover Star

Our Cover Star

One of our favourite ways of using up our beetroots that summer was in our Asparagus, Pear and Baby Beetroot Salad, which we think is so delightful to look at that we gave it the cover slot on our cookery book ‘Simply 3-5.’ Fortunately, it looks as good as it tastes. For those of you who are not green fingered, the recipe merely calls for a jar of baby beetroot. If you have been more fortunate than us this year, or have bought your own raw beetroot, then boil it until tender and allow it to cool before adding it to the salad. About 4 medium sized beetroot should be enough but you can alter the quantities in times of beetroot plenty.



Serves 6

2 bunches asparagus, trimmed

2 small pears, skin on and sliced thinly

1 jar baby beetroot, drained

100g rocket

50 Parmesan cheese, shaved

Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and add the asparagus. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until just tender. Drain and rinse under cold water. Slice in half length ways.

Toss together asparagus, pears, beetroot and rocket leaves. Season to taste. Arrange on a platter and top with Parmesan cheese.

Day 20

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Full English Breakfast


Summer Time and the Pudding is Easy

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

There is something so very appealing about a perfect white meringue nest covered in cream and studded with beautiful seasonal fruit. People may think that meringues are too complicated to bother with, but we assure you that they are not! And homemade meringues are so far superior to those powdery shop-bought versions that it’s really not even worth comparing them.

Luscious Meringues ready for piping (Photo: Nigel Denham)

Luscious Meringue ready for piping (Photo: Nigel Denham)

As it is now August and so many lovely fruits are in season, we have decided to share with you one of our Gables favourites – Meringue Fruit Baskets. Our students make these baskets as part of our Four Week Intensive Course and they are often surprised to find out how easy it is to make professional looking and (more importantly!) delicious tasting meringues. If you are not a confident piper then you can spoon the mixture into four equal rounds, which may not look quite so impressive but will still taste fantastic. Remember: Make sure all your equipment is clean and free from grease before you start or you will face meringue disappointment!

(Photo: Nigel Denham)

(Photo: Nigel Denham)


Makes 4

2 egg whites

125g (4oz) Caster Sugar

Whisk the egg whites with an electric whisk until firm. Add the caster sugar, 1 tsp at a time and whisk until the mixture is firm and shiny.

Use a medium star nozzle and pipe circles, on baking parchment, building up the sides to form a basket.

Bake in a preheated oven at 120⁰C for about 1 ½ hours until firm. Allow to cool.

Fill baskets with whipped cream and seasonal fruit.

Our favourite combination is peaches and blueberries, the flavours and colours complement each other beautifully, but you can be as adventurous as you like! These meringue baskets can also be adapted to the changing seasons. We even serve a Christmas version with warm cooked apples and cinnamon.

Day 19

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

End of Course Dinner



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Day 18

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Jointing Chicken & Stuffing (Page 338)

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Chocolate Mousse (Page 85)
Brandy Snap Baskets &Tuiles (Page 36, 365)

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