Category: School Food Blog

Change of Chef

Our Chef has moved on to bigger and better things – we have to say thanks to Chef Max who has worked tirelessly in our kitchen and has allowed us to build up the catering provision and ensures we always get our 5 stars for food safety.

We welcome Chef Mark, who is already known to us as he has been Max’s deputy for a couple of years. Come and say hello to Chef and as he always welcomes feedback from students and staff.

 

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Breakfast Club

Our new breakfast club started after the Christmas break.

From January 2018 we will be open from 07:45 until the registration bell at 08:30 in the Dining Room. We will be providing a full fresh breakfast service from the Kitchen it doesn’t matter if you prefer porridge, cereals, fruit or a bacon butty we will have it ready for you.
Please contact the school for more details and a brochure.

Payment for breakfast will be via Parentpay, if you do not yet have an account please contact your child’s tutor for an activation letter.

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That’s a proper Scottish Shortbread….

Chef on a Mountain

About this time last year, I was wandering up the highest mountain in the UK, ice axe in hand, crampons on, the sun shining and the drift of snow spray gently hitting my face. Following in the footsteps of great men such as Eric Shipton, Lowe and Bourdillion climbing Ben Nevis.

After completing the climb I went for a wander around Fort William and found a lovely little restaurant and bar serving Teas and Coffees and of course, if necessary a ‘Wee Dram’. As the temperature of the summit of The Ben was roughly -13 according to my trusty Suunto Core, I was in need of something hot. So I looked at the menu and decided to go for a cup of honest Tea.

On the side of my tea cup there was a little biscuit, about 2 inches across, neatly rounded and still warm from the oven. Clearly lacking the sugar to function, I scoffed this without even thinking about it.

It was quite honestly the greatest piece of shortbread I have ever tasted. This may have been something to do with the ordeal that I had just faced and the hunger pains that come with that sort of exercise. But I felt compelled to ask the proprietor to give me the recipe instantly. He ushered me into his little kitchenette at the back of his bar and whispered in my ear that it was very simple and all I needed to do was google it.

So here you go…….Max’s Shortbread Recipe

½ pound of Plain Flour

½ pound of Self Raising

1 pound of Butter, chopped

Pinch of salt

1 pound of granulated sugar

Method:

Add sugar and butter into the mixed and blend slowly, add self-raising flour and allow to mix. Slowly add the plain flour to reach the consistency so the mix does not stick to the side of the bowl. If the mix still sticks to the side of the bowl then add a little more flour.

This should allow the gluten to stretch to form a grainy dough. Once you are happy with the mix then remove and make into a sausage shape. Cut slices in the sausage making round biscuits and form using your hands.

Pop in the oven at 180 degrees for 7-10mins until golden brown.

Take out and sprinkle with granulated sugar or maybe demerara and allow to cool…..

That’s a proper Scottish Shortbread….

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Let’s Talk Turkey!

Let’s talk Turkey!

Let’s talk turkey, no pun intended! The lead up to Christmas is always fraught with decisions to be made and people to feed. We feel it more than most here in Kitchen HQ at CCC. We order in from our butchers over 90kg of turkey and de bone these hours before serving them. The oven time require for this amount of 10kg turkey is about 7-10 hours on a slow roast at 140-160 degrees. The reason for slow roasting our turkeys is it keeps the meat tender and does not allow the breakdown of proteins just the fats in the turkey.

At home, all you have to do is very simply, buy yourself a nice fresh turkey and brush with seasoned butter (butter with a pinch of salt, pepper and any herbs you have hanging around the kitchen) and pop in the oven at 140-160 degrees (Yes, it is THAT simple!). Go out for a walk or a game of football, work up an appetite and come back and check on it every hour or so until golden brown on the top and the juices are running clear.

This is the most important bit….

We need to let the turkey rest…..for about 30minutes or so……take it out of the oven and let it sit on the side for this period. The bones in the turkey have now been charged with heat and will continue to distribute that heat to the turkey over the next 30mins so it will continue to cook or ‘hold’ but what this also does is just lets the meat relax without the pressure of being heated up giving you a better turkey experience.

And…..what’s more this is the same principle for pretty much any type of roasted whole bird or joint…

Happy Cooking!

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Rabbit Stew

Autumn Rabbit Stew

From Max and Mark in the Kitchen

As the nights grow longer and the days grow shorter, as the light closes in and the colours start to change or bodies begin to feel a little sluggish and our moods change slightly.

I absolutely love this time of year because the world changes a little. It becomes crisp and cold and colours change. The produce we eat also changes, things become available that were previously unavailable such as a passion of mine…..Game.

I love game, and November is the best time of year for game. Venison and rabbit become readily available from your local butcher. A whole rabbit only costs a couple of quid and can feed 3-4 people.

Rabbit Stew Recipe

  • 140g prune
  • 50ml brandy
  • 50g soft brown sugar
  • 2 rabbits, jointed
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 rashers smoked streaky bacon, sliced into thin strips
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 150ml red wine
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • chopped parsley

and rice, to serve

Method

  1. Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Put the prunes in a bowl with the brandy and brown sugar, stir, then set aside to soak.
  2. Dust the rabbit in the flour. Heat the oil in a large flameproof dish and brown the rabbit all over until golden – you may have to do this in batches. Set the rabbit aside. Add the bacon, vegetables, garlic and herbs to the dish and fry for 5 mins until starting to colour.
  3. Pour in the red wine and scrape all the goodness off the bottom of the dish. Add the chicken stock and put the rabbit back in the dish with the boozy prunes, then cover and cook for 2 hrs, stirring occasionally, until the rabbit is totally tender. Serve scattered with parsley and rice on the side.

 

How many people reading this have ever eaten rabbit?? Believe it or not rabbit stew is one of my favourite things to cook. It is so simple to create and has such a subtle flavour when cooked properly with bacon, shallots and lots and lots of goodies. It is warming and soft and perfect for the long evenings as it is slow cooked.

I am also a huge fan of deer, not only to look at but to cook. Roasted venison is found in most good restaurants this time of year and is surprisingly easy to cook being such a lean meat. Venison also goes really well with jammy winter berries and fruit which are perfect to cheer you up over the colder period of the year.

Get out to our Local Butcher Barry’s and talk to Justin about game and you won’t be disappointed.

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Reminder to sign-up for Parentpay

Our new cashless system is working really well in the Dining Room. Our queues are smaller and we are getting really good feedback from students and parents alike.
As we now have well over half of the school signed up and using the system we are going to remove another cash drawer after the Easter break. This will leave only one till where cash is accepted. It is likely to be busy at that till so we would recommend getting signed up as soon as possible!

Remember that you can either use ParentPay online or through PayPoint with cash at local stores in and around Carterton.

To sign up for either you will need the letter we have sent home as this contains the login details for ParentPay or the barcode required for Paypoint. If you would like another letter please get in touch through your child’s tutor or the school office.

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An extra week for biometric forms

We have allowed an extra week for parents to return their biometric consent forms. This also applies to ParentPay and Paypoint signups too. We will be registering students on the system this Thursday and Friday and students will then be able to use their thumb print at the tills for payment.

If you have already uploaded funds to your child’s account and you need them to be able to draw against the funds this week then we can do a lookup on the system, please ask at the till.

We have been re-printing forms when they have been requested and these have been handed out by tutors. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the College if you have any issues with either the form or ParentPay.

 

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Don’t forget to return your biometric consent forms

We will soon be starting the registration process for our new biometric cashless catering system. We need your biometric forms returned in the first week of term.
If you would like to be issued with a new one please let the school office know.
We would also encourage parents to sign up to Parentpay at the same time as we will stop accepting cash this term.
Please do get in touch if you have any questions.

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Food for thought…..from your friendly team of chefs! Max and Mark

Following on from our recent lessons with the Year 7’s on healthy eating….I thought I would post about how important healthy eating is…

For instance do you know how long it take for you to burn off 100calories at a walking pace?

The first 5 people to knock on my door with the correct answer (staff and students) can help themselves to a piece of flapjack (which equates to roughly 100 calories….tad dah!)

Have you ever thought ‘I feel really sluggish today’?

As the days close in and the weather gets colder, it is import to make sure you are eating enough greens (Brussels sprouts are coming into season….YAY!) because these can actually elevate your mood! They contain a select combination of fibre, vitamins and iron to perk you up a bit! A piece of fruit twice a day, packed with Vitamin C will also do wonders for your immune system!

Over and out!

Max and Mark

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Roast turkey for Dinner

We pride ourselves on the home cooked food we serve. Here is a quick look at our lovely roast Turkey lunch!

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