Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Week 3... and a healthy eating fundalmentalist

 A whole Lamb, just thought you may like to see it

Ok I lied again, I didn't post a recap of last week on Saturday evening like I said I would, what can I say, a bottle of Vino Tinto got in the way... so here is a very very brief recap on what we covered in no particular order last week at Tante Marie.

Pâté de foie de volaille (Smooth chicken liver Pâté) with Melba Toast, Pâté demi-feuilletée (flaky pastry), York fingers, Crème de tomates with croutons, Pavlova, Rack of lamb with garlic and parlsey crust, Potato purée with leeks, Bread rolls, another go at Pâté demi-feuilletée and finally we learned to make a 'Water lily napkin' to serve our bread rolls on.

Told you it would be brief!

There was not a huge deal of cooking last week as you can see, this was mainly because we had three demonstration mornings, a theory class and all day Monday we did our RSPH Level 2 in Healthier food and special diets... and this is what I want to talk about.

I guess the clue was in the tittle “healthier food” and should have prepared myself and the rest of the class for what lay in store, although I still think it would have come as a bit of a shock. We spent the day learning about healthier cooking methods, eating a balanced diet, special dietary needs of some people such as Celiacs who are gluten intolerant and so cannot eat wheat products for example. All very good.
One of our lovely Government handouts so we can eat properly.  I dont see 
the Pie group on here though??? How curious.

It was the “healthier food” section that was the winner on the entertainment front. I mean, why didnt I ever think of making a bechmel sauce with milk and thickening it with cornflour... no need for the butter used in the the roux, oh and while we are at it we can use skimmed milk to ensure that it completely devoid of any flavour. Salt, we dont need salt. Are you mad? Have you gone insane?Whats that you say? We could use low fat margarine to make our pastry with? Are you being serious sweetheart, are you? And the day progressed on this note. At first I thought the lady teaching the course was a comedian with a uncanny flare for a dead-pan delivery of her routine.... I was wrong. Seriously wrong!

Now don't get me wrong I understand the point of the course, its hypothetical, its the “theoretically you could do this” line, which yes indeed you theoretically could. But lets be honest here, just because you could does not in any way shape or form me that you should! If you cant enjoy food, if you cant have your butter, your salt, your cream... then what is the point. Give me a intravenous drip and feed me the nutrients I need to survive.

And this was what I think most of my fellow classmates were thinking. We are on a course learning classical French cooking techniques, and yes we use lard, we use cream, we use butter, we use salt, we make pastry all the time, and no we have never used margarine to make it! And this lady, lovely as she was, was attempting to rock the very foundations of what we were learning, it was as if she was trying to tell us that indeed the world is flat.

Enough of the ranting, I want to talk about the highlight of last weeks food very quickly, and that was the rack of lamb. My butchery skills are limited to hacking apart whole chickens whilst at Uni and trimming a couple of whole fillets of beef so just the perfectly cylindrical eye of the fillet was left whilst on a yacht. Getting stuck into a rack of lamb and French trimming it, removing all the meat, fat and sinew from the bones was great fun... and it tasted bloody good too.

Unfortunately there are none of my pictures of any of this due to the thieving scumbag who stole my camera, however the recap of this weeks work will indeed be in full technicolor. You lucky lucky people you!

p.s. Please tell me any of your amazing substitutes for creating low-fat versions of things that should not be eaten in a low-fat form... I have a pen and paper ready to make notes.... promise.


  1. Loving the blog Dylan..... I graduated last March and it is fab reminding myself of the things we did. Am really missing it.... hope you enjoy it as much as I did... but look out, serious workload ahead! Alessia

  2. I remember one of Rick Stein's comments "I'm a member of the salt party". Couldn't agree more. The reason healthy food makes you thinner is it's horrible to eat. Would I really want to eat like a rabbit, be completely miserable and live that extra three years? DEFINITELY NOT! I'd rather enjoy life and food and go out with a bang!

  3. Thanks for the comments guys, Alessia I am enjoying it right now, cant wait for the work load to pile up and make it a bit more challenging... I love getting stuck right in!

    Brightlight... its all about moderation at the end of the day, do that and you can eat what you like!


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