If you have attended our Wednesday cookery clubs, you will be familiar with our approach, our classes are not specific to a particular subject, instead we do what most people would do in their own home when you open your cupboards, fridge and freezer and make a meal from what is in there. Together with guidance from a chef the group always makes a delicious meal that we eat at the end of class. There is even food left to take home for later!
As the weeks go by, it is lovely to see how our regular students have become really good cooks, and pastry chefs! During the session they learn about proper cooking techniques –all our teachers are trained chefs and they always teach how to cook like the professionals do; and our students become really confident in the kitchen. Of equal importance is the fact that our students also learn how to put together meals from what is available. This is really good news as it encourages people to be savvy with their shopping and also to avoid wasting food.
In terms of shopping it is really useful to go to the market or supermarket and look at food that is in season, plentiful and therefore inexpensive; this means that by using our approach you can buy the best there is to offer, make something delicious with it and then make something different by making a few changes. By doing this you can make more meals, there is no waste and both your health and your pocket will benefit as a result!
For May we offer a dish that uses seasonal food and even things you can grow. This is a simple side dish that you can serve as part of a May bank holiday meal and it is very seasonal. You can try this served with a poached egg or to accompany grilled meat or even delicious roast lamb!
Italian braised peas, broad beans and new potatoes – recipe from the kitchen cooperative.
4 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
500g asparagus, tips put to one side, stalks finely chopped
400g small Jersey Royal potatoes (or other new potatoes), scrubbed and halved
a handful of parsley and another handful of mint, leaves picked and finely chopped
400g freshly podded or frozen broad beans
400g freshly podded or frozen peas
A squeeze of lemon juice, to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil, to finish
Salt and black pepper
1 Place a large, wide pan over a medium-low heat and warm up the oil before adding the onion, garlic and asparagus stalks. Add a good pinch of salt and sweat gently for 10 minutes until soft, but not coloured.
2 Add the potatoes, half the herbs and a splash of water. Stir well, turn the heat down to low, cover with a lid and leave for 15 minutes.
3 Meanwhile, bring a small pan of salted water to the boil and add the broad beans, boil for 1 minute before draining. Remove the lid from the wide pan and stir in the broad beans and peas. Season well with salt and pepper and add enough water to come halfway up the vegetables. Cover with a lid and leave to simmer for a further 15 minutes, lifting the lid and stirring occasionally; if the mix becomes dry you can add a little bit of water.
4 Taste and check that the broad beans, peas and potatoes are completely soft and tender. Continue cooking if not. Stir in the asparagus tips and give them a minute or two to cook through. Stir in the remaining herbs, check the seasoning, then squeeze in a little lemon juice to taste. Finish with a generous glug of extra-virgin olive oil.
If you live in EC1 you can attend our low cost cookery classes every Wednesday at 11am for adults for only £2.50 and if you want your children to learn cookery you are all invited to come on Wednesdays at 4pm at the amazing low cost of 50p per person. To book just pop in to St Luke’s Community Centre and book at reception.