Instant Banana Ice Cream

This is recipe for a quick fruit ice cream has been loved by everyone that has tried it on our Love Food Hate Waste cookery classes.

We all must have had a surplus of bananas at one point in our kitchen, some just sit and get forgotten about, turning brown and squishy before we eventually just throw them away.  But did you know that you can freeze a banana?!  A great practical tip that we covered in our classes, following Love Food Hate Waste’s message of “The Freezer Is Your Freezer’ we wanted to show just how useful the freezer can be for you and this recipe sums that up a treat.  Just peel your banana and freeze in a freezer bag!  You can either slice them up or just pop them in whole.  Great to add directly to smoothies, defrost for making cakes or use immediately from the freezer for this delicious instant ice cream.

A perfect recipe for using old, tired bananas.

Ingredients –

  • 4 very ripe bananas, peeled, cut into chunks
  • ¼ tsp vanilla essence
  • 3-4 tbsp icing sugar, honey or sweetener, to taste
  • 150g/5½oz Greek-style yoghurt (or an equal a mixture of 100ml double cream and 50 g clotted cream for luxury version)

Method –

  1. Spread the banana chunks out on a tray and transfer to the freezer. Leave the banana in the freezer until frozen all the way through (about one hour), or just use frozen bananas if you already have some.
  2. Place the frozen banana chunks into a food processor. Add the vanilla, sugar, honey or sweetener and half of the yoghurt (or cream). Turn on the processor and blend for a few moments. Then, while the processor is still running, pour in the remaining yoghurt.
  3. Blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Serve at once.  If you are making this ahead of time, just place the ice cream into a container suitable for the freezer and freeze until needed.  The ice cream will need to then ‘warm up’ a little before eating as it freezes quite hard.

A Christmas Supper Club

Our final Supper Club for 2015 was a sumptuous seven course feast for our guests, celebrating the start of the Festive Season and the Christmas break for our Birmingham based Cookery School.

Resident Chef, Chris Hughes, designed a tempting menu for the diners to enjoy and one that really show cased his wonderful talent of creating delectable dishes.

The evening started with guests being welcomed into our private dining room to enjoy the Chef’s cocktail, a “Christmas Gin Fizz’.  A cocktail made with a wonderful spiced sugar syrup and Jayne’s homemade Sloe Gin, guaranteed to make everyone feel at ease and slip into the Christmas spirit!

Chris then welcomed the Supper Club into our cookery school Kitchen where the first course of ‘Wild Salmon – Kitchen Cure, Smoked belly, Beetroot & Juniper, Horseradish’ was served to our Birmingham diners.  The flavours of Beetroot and Horseradish presented themselves in the form of Beetroot Macaroons with a Horseradish Cream, a delightful mouthful of both sweet and savoury.  We gave everyone the chance to pipe and fill their own too, with mixed results!  Moreish mouthfuls of Salmon Belly and cured Salmon accompanied a short demonstration of filleting a Sea Bass, a dish to appear further along the evening.

With the Cookery School team in full flow in the Kitchen preparing the next dishes, diners took their seats in the cosy, warm and welcoming dining room and the wine pairing for the evening commenced.

Beautifully presented dishes followed one after another throughout the Supper Club, starting with a dish of Jerusalem Artichoke, pulled Pheasant and Penny Bun.  Adorned with Nasturtiums from our own gardens and parsnip crisps the bar was set high for our feast!

A dish of ‘Line caught Bass, Masala spices, Lentil Daal, Pickled Carrots’ was followed by ‘Rump of Venison, Winter Squash, Pearly Barley with Brussel Sprouts and Pancetta Risotto and all were welcomed and enjoyed by the diners.  These beautiful savoury dishes were then followed by our cheese course.  A simple Stichelton Cheese Tart with Port soaked raisins was to fit the bill.  A base of crispy shortcrust pastry and the dish was like a superb cheese and biscuits!

With the Supper nearing the end, a palate cleanser was served.  A fresh Clementine Jelly topped with a Star Anise & Cinnamon Sugar and Pomegranate Granita, such pretty colours together in a dish!  The final course of our Christmas Supper Club was our Chocolate & Sour Cherry Trifle with Malted Milk Parfait and a White Russian.  Rich and delicious, a superb end to a Christmas feast.

Our Supper Clubs continue in 2016 with another Butchery Masterclass with Roger Brown Butchers of Harborne on January 22nd.

Thank you to all that have visited our Cookery School and Supper Clubs throughout the year, we look forward to welcoming you back very soon.

A Supper with Celebrity Cook Sophie Grigson

A favourite of ours at Kitchen School are our Supper Clubs.  They bring together fantastic local chefs and cooks with the best seasonal ingredients, add the lovely Birmingham diners looking for a good meal out and we don’t think you could get much better.

That was until we persuaded one of Britain’s most loved cooks, author of over 20 cook books, Sophie Grigson up to Birmingham!

Sophie joined us as our guest chef for our Seasonal November Supper Club and along with fellow cook Amelia Earl, chose a menu of The Autumnal Abundance of Fruit.  Sophie likes to surprise and delight with her recipes, offering the diner something unique, but always delicious.  This time around, they wanted to intrigue us, bringing fruits into the savoury dishes and vegetables into the sweet ones.  Expect the unexpected!

Sophie started the evening with a hands on make your own canapé, using baked ricotta and roasted grapes, a great way of getting everybody to relax and into the swing of the evening.  Our diners were then invited to our sumptuous dining room where the starter of Double Duck was served.  Amelia had semi cured the duck breasts in a wonderful scented array of spices, accompanied with Sophie’s duck rillettes and satsuma salad, dinner was off to a good start.  The main course was Pork shoulder from our local butchers, Roger Brown in Harborne.  Sophie cooked it with a mixture of quinces, onions, herbs, chilli and a secret sauce!  A pudding that I can safely say no one had tried before, a Sweetcorn Brûlée was the end to the meal.  The supper club definitely lived up to it’s Autumnal Abundance of Fruit theme.

It’s fair to say that the supper club was a roaring success.  Our Birmingham diners were delighted to be able to sit with Sophie for some of the courses, asking about her Cookery School, Sophie’s Cookery School (Oxford) and a persistent pleasant demand for her next cookbook!

I’m not sure if there was a stand out dish of the night, I’m still dreaming of duck flat breads and Sophie’s salted caramel popcorn with Szechuan pepper, we’re glad of left overs with recipes like these being created in our kitchen.  If you missed out, Sophie and Amelia will be joining us again in Birmingham for a Supper Club in the Summer of 2016, make sure to book your place early as if this time round was anything to go by, it’s going to be mouthwatering.

Quick home salted-cod canapé

One of our favourite recipes from the Stress Free Canapés class is this tasty and very quick fish bite.  Beautiful with a garnish of twisted radish, a sprinkle of black sesame seeds and some Nasturtium Flowers or baby Nasturtium leaves.

Get ahead and make the salt cod mix up to 2 days before hand, the assembled canapé can be made up to an hour before you need them.

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Ingredients:

  • 150g piece cod
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • Tiny clove garlic, crushed
  • 125ml olive oil
  • 25g fresh breadcrumbs
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • Bag of radishes
  • 20 crostini bases (ready-made or see below)

Method:

  • Put the cod in a plastic box and sprinkle with 2 tbsp salt. Leave to marinate for 1-2 hours.
  • Rinse the fish well to remove all the salt. Poach in a large pan of simmering water, until it flakes. Remove the skin and bones.
  • In a small food processor, whizz the cod with the garlic. Add the breadcrumbs a few at a time, adding more to thicken the consistency, whizz again, and then trickle in the oil with the motor running, to make a soft textured paste.
  • Pipe on to crostini for a perfect finish and garnish to taste or form mini quenelles of salt cod on top of a radish base for something a bit different.

 

Recipe adjusted from Xanthe Clay.

Mint and Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Mint and Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

A bit of a play on a recipe with this one.  A superfood dessert which tastes like a creamy ice cream, but is dairy free and packed full of highly nutritious ingredients.  Excellent for when you need that sweet fix after a meal, or just at anytime of the day, but don’t want to load up on sugar.

It should really be known as Banana and Spirulina Ice Cream, but it tastes like such a wonderful mint and choc chip I don’t think many would guess!

Ingredients

  • 4 frozen bananas, as ripe as possible
  • 2-3 drops pure peppermint extract
  • 1 tsp. spirulina
  • Handful raw cacao chips

Ripe bananas are better for you to eat than unripe bananas because the starches are fully developed into sugars, which make the fruit easier to digest.

Spirulina is a highly nutritious blue-green algae, high in protein and amino acids, including the essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA). It is rich in minerals, vitamins, beneficial pigments and antioxidants, and is the richest beta carotene food, with a full spectrum of 10 mixed carotenoids. It is also rich in chlorophyll, fatty and nucleic acids and lipids.

Method

  1. Peel very ripe bananas, slice and freeze them in a freezer bag.
  2. Using a food processor, blend the frozen bananas along with the peppermint extract and spirulina.
  3. When it’s looking like breadcrumbs, empty into a large mixing bowl and with a wooden spoon, start stirring and mixing. This starts the break down the edges for the frozen crumbs and before you know it, forms a smooth, ‘soft-serve’ ice cream.
  4. Add the raw cacao chips and mix in, then serve straight away.

If you’re making the ice cream ahead of time, then place the ice cream into a tupperware and freeze until needed.  It will need about 5 or so minutes to thaw a little before serving again.

You can find Spirulina and Raw Cacao Chips at Holland and Barrett.

chefs and producers wanted

Kitchen School’s expansion plans begin.

We are developing a new programme for the autumn and are seeking freelance chefs, food producers, cooks and restaurant partners for our classes and events.

The majority of our classes are evening and Saturdays, with a daytime class held occasionally. We also run a popular Friday night supper club series where we demonstrate a dish or process and dine together.

We have two new programmes where we are seeking new recruits:

1. Artisan Series. In this programme we want to develop opportunities to meet and learn from the producer.  This is intended to be a programme of cooking and eating events with artisan producers, cooks and food experts to deepen our knowledge of food and how ingredients are made. We are looking for farmers, cheesemakers, fishmongers, wine producers, bakers, cake makers, cured fish & meats, fermenters, brewers and even deli owners even who can shed light on produce.

2. Meet the chef. We already offer a one day masterclass series with our resident chef Chris Hughes, but we wish to extend this and include many different cooking styles, regional cuisine and restaurant operations.

We are keen to offer ongoing partnership arrangements or simply pay for your time.

If you are a restaurant, producer, chef, cook, butcher, baker, or even make beautiful candlesticks, and think you would like to pass on your amazing skills, then please get in touch with us immediately!

Email jayne@kitchenschool.co.uk or call 0121 643 1378.

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Pimms Jelly

Pimm’s jelly dessert

(SERVES 10)

Everyone loves jelly, reason enough to include it with our favourite recipes, but it also makes the perfect make ahead pudding.  Especially when it’s slightly alcoholic(!) served with a cucumber sorbet, candied mint leaves and marinated cucumbers as we did for our Lamb Supper Club.  Slightly adapted from the original, we served our jelly in beautiful glasses, perfect for showing off those set raspberries and basil leaves that run throughout the jelly.

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Ingredients:

  • 700ml of water
  • 300g of sugar
  • 1 lemon, unwaxed, peeled and juiced
  • 50g of root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 100ml of Hendrick’s gin
  • 200ml of Pimm’s
  • 10 gelatine leaves, soaked in cold water
  • 1 punnet of raspberries
  • 1 bunch of basil, half the bunch reserved for garnish

Method:

  • Bring the sugar and water to the boil. Once boiling, add the lemon juice, lemon peel and grated ginger. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 5 minutes
  • Pour the contents of the pan into a bowl, store the bowl in the fridge until chilled. Once chilled, add the Pimm’s and the Hendrick’s
  • Pour 200ml of the Pimm’s mixture into a pan and reheat gently over a low-medium heat. Dissolve the soaked gelatine sheets in the liquid and once dissolved – pour back into the bowl containing the rest of the chilled Pimm’s mixture
  • Strain the jelly mixture into a large jug and pour the Pimm’s mixture into your doughnut moulds and fill up to half way (there will be liquid leftover which will be used in step 8). Leave to set in the fridge
  • Once the jelly has set, remove from the fridge and place 3 raspberries and 3 basil leaves into each mould. Fill to the top with the remaining liquid and leave to set in the fridge
  • To serve. Unmould the set jellies by dipping each of the moulds in just boiled water for 10 seconds. Invert onto plates and press together the mould and the plate. In one movement, give a firm shake to unmould.
(this recipe is from the wonderful Great British Chefs website)

Jerk Chicken

With summer finally making itself known, it’s time to dust off those barbecues and start cooking al fresco.

We’re lucky enough to have a fantastic earth oven at Edible Eastside, our Kitchen Garden, and a barbecue too!  So we brought down our community cookery class from Smethwick on a beautiful summers day and treated them and ourselves to a morning cooking outside, baking bread in the earth oven and even on the barbecue, absolutely delicious.  The star of the feast was this delicious Jerk Chicken.

(This excellent recipe comes well tested from The Guardians Felicity Cloake, a particular favourite at Kitchen School are the How To Cook The Perfect…recipes)

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp allspice berries
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 
4 spring onions, chopped (use the white part and most of the green)
  • 3 scotch bonnet chilies, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 
6 chicken legs (thigh with drumstick attached), skin-on (or 6 thighs and 6 drumsticks)

Method

  • Pound the allspice and the peppercorns in a pestle and mortar to a powder, then add to a food processor along with the cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme, spring onions and chillies. Whizz to a purée, then stir in the sugar, salt, soy sauce and lime juice.
  • Pour the marinade into a bowl then add the chicken and massage it into the meat, making sure you get it underneath the skin. Cover and leave to marinate for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
  • Light a barbecue and allow it to cool to a medium heat – you should be able to hold your hand over the grill for 4 seconds without getting singed. Add the chicken and sear on both sides, then move to the edges of the barbecue, put the lid on the barbecue and cook for about 25 minutes, turning occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Alternatively, pre-heat the oven to 180C and then cook the chicken in a roasting tray covered with foil for about an hour, until cooked through.
  • Heat a griddle pan on a high heat, and then sear the legs on both sides until charred and crisp.

Sweet Potato and Date Brownies

It’s Healthy Eating Week, which has inspired Bethan, our newest member of the team, to try a slightly different bake.  A healthy chocolate brownie, perhaps not the most obvious choice!

The past few weeks has led to a lot of research into wellbeing foods, eating less sugar and the latest cooks to grab the nations eye, Deliciousy Ella, Hemsley & Hemsley, and Madeleine Shaw are but a few.  I found this recipe on Twitter (from Deliciously Ella), where else would you go to now for the latest recipes(?!) and decided to give it a go with a little tweak.  Very simple and quick to put together, it has a wonderful squidgy soft centre, like the best brownies and is rather tasty.  It lacks the sugar high and intensity of a traditional brownie, it has no added sugar, but is packed full of vitamins and antioxidants in the sweet potato.  So a sweet treat that is good for you, why not try!

Ingredients

  • 500g of peeled and cubed sweet potatoes
  • 80g ground almonds
  • 100g plain flour
  • 20 dates (stoned)
  • 100g dark chocolate (use one that is 85%)
  • 3tbsps maple syrup

Method

  • preheat the oven to 180°C and line a square baking dish with greaseproof paper.
  • place the prepared sweet potato into a steamer for about 20 minutes, until the potato is really soft.  If you don’t have a steamer you can pop a colander over a pan of simmering water, the sweet potato in the colander, with a lid on top, to get the same effect.
  • whizz the dark chocolate in a food processor until it is has formed a chocolate ‘dust’, then pop to one side in a mixing bowl.
  • place the dates into the food processor (no need to wipe clean from the chocolate) and add the soft, slightly falling apart steamed sweet potato.  Whizz up to form a rather creamy puree.
  • Combine this puree with the dark chocolate in the mixing bowl, along with the flour, ground almonds and maple syrup.
  • place the mixture into the prepared dish and bake for about 20 minutes until a skewer comes out clean and dry.
  • allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before eating, the brownies need this time to stick together properly it seems.  Then cut up into squares and enjoy!

I found that the brownies lasted for a fair few days in a cake tin and look even more appetising with a dusting of raw cacao on top.

Kitchen School merging with Edible Eastside

Screenshot 2015-02-03 08.36.08The future is promising for Kitchen School. In 2015, we plan to merge with our sister garden project and create another school in Digbeth. This school will consolidate all of our thinking about farm to fork learning.

We are also expanding our food supply service to restaurants and retailers. We want to your views!

If you are a restaurant, chef retailer, or interested customer, please can you fill in our form or else download the survey and email it back to us. Thank your your time. Download the link below:

Questionnaire for Restaurants and Independent Delis and Retailers