Antony Worrall Thompson

 

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Antony Worrall Thompson - Carving Bread

Asparagus

Chips

 Leftover tips

Mushrooms tips

Pizza tips

Various tips

  Christmas tips

 

Asparagus

How wonderful English asparagus can be, even if it does only have a six-week season from the beginning of May to June 21. So make the most of it now! It is such an adaptable vegetable and can be used for so many different and delicious dishes. The supermarkets have some great offers on locally grow asparagus so have a go: you can roast it, barbeque it, sauté it or turn it into a salad.

A favourite starter of mine is prosciutto wrapped asparagus. Simple to make, blanch the asparagus in boiling salted water for 5-6 minutes, depending on the thickness of the spears. Drain and plunge into cold water, then wrap around a slice of Parma or Seranno ham. just before serving, pan-fry in a little olive oil to crisp up the ham. This can then be served with a drizzle of olive oil and some shavings of Pannesan, or alternatively with a hollandaise sauce or a salsa verde.

Chips

TOP CHEF DAVID WILBY GIVES HIS TIPS ON MAKING
 THE PERFECT “CHIP SHOP” CHIPS

Antony Worrall Thompson’s right-hand man and executive chef David Wilby believes the British know how to make the best chips and – in the run up to National Chip Week (February 21-27) – reveals his recipe for fabulous fries and hand cut hunks.

“Greasy, limp and soggy chips can be a thing of the past with the right ingredients and the right techniques,” says David, who works alongside Worrall Thompson in running The Greyhound pub, near Henley-on Thames, Windsor Grill and Kew Grill restaurants and Windsor Larder delicatessen and catering service.

David and Antony’s restaurants are famous for their hand cut ‘chunky’ and ‘skinny’ chips, with the Grills selling more than 200 kilos of chips every week alongside succulent British steaks!

 

“Good chips can be really difficult to find outside the chip shop these days,” says David, who gives intensive training to all his restaurant chefs on the art of the perfect chip. “Many pubs and restaurants use frozen chips and very few attempt to hand cut because it’s so labour intensive. But we British have always appreciated what makes a good chip and we work hard at AWT Restaurants to make them the best in the business.”

 

David’s top five chip tips

 

1. Pick your potatoes. We only use ‘floury’ Maris Pipers in our restaurants because they give just the right crispy, golden exterior and fluffy interior once cooked - waxy potatoes are no good for frying.  We buy them unwashed – the dirt protects them from sunlight and keeps the potatoes in tip-top condition. If you want really superior chips, Mayan Gold cannot be beaten. This is an old fashioned variety that’s not widely available but has a wonderful flavour.

 

2. Prepare properly. Wash and peel your potatoes and dab them dry with a paper towel. Cut them into 3 quarter inch by 3 quarter inch batons about 3 to 4 inches long (thicker cut chips tend to be slightly lower-fat because they absorb less oil) and make sure they are all of an even width so they cook at the same rate.

 

3. Cook twice. Always blanch your chips first in cool oil in a deep, heavy-based pan (or preferably in a deep-fat fryer) at around 140 degrees for around 8 minutes and then leave them to cool properly. Then, just before serving, pop them into very hot oil (around 180 degrees) for 2/3 minutes. Drain on kitchen towel and serve hot.

 

4. Watch the heat. Always have a thermometer to hand so you don’t under heat or, more importantly, over heat your oil (many accidents are caused through neglected chip pans).

 

5. Flavour with fat. Personally, I love frying chips in beef dripping as this give incredible flavour but good old vegetable or nut oils work well too (and are better for you!).

 

Leftover tips

Hollywood's Brown Derby Restaurant made Cobb Salad famous in the 1920s when restaurant manager Bob Cobb invented it to use leftovers and now with the credit crunch upon us it’s our turn to ‘re-do’ food.

How many times are those leftover vegetables, roast potatoes, even meat from the Sunday roast just binned, too many? Sorry to get on my high horse but the months ahead are going to be tough both for all of us as individuals and households but even more so for our farmers and for businesses. Be sure to refrigerate leftovers promptly and use them within one or two days or freeze. If you have any doubt about whether any food is still safe to eat, throw it out!

We all need to make economic use of all the odds and ends that invariably get leftover from previous meals or forgotten in the fruit bowl

 Bread

Leftover tip

1.Any left over bread which is on it’s way out can be blitzed up with salt, pepper and any herbs and frozen down as breadcrumbs to make into stuffing or to top casseroles.

2.You can also use bread, croissants etc to make bread and butter pud – you can jazz it up with fruit – dried or fresh, spices, jams etc.

3.Make croutons - Toss cubed bread with olive oil, salt and ground black pepper, spread onto a baking sheet and cook in a 175ºC/ Gas Mark 4 oven until they begin to colour.

4.French toast is a great way to use up bread that is going stale along with those eggs loitering in the corner – beat an egg with a splash of milk, a pinch of sugar and a pinch of salt. Soak flour slices of bread in turn in the milk on both sides and then fry in melted butter and serve with maple syrup.

 Fruit

 Leftover tip

1.Use the glut of fruit around to make jams – if you don’t grown your own; go blackberrying, look out for fruits which are reduced in the supermarkets to turn into jams and compotes

2. Make smoothies, muffins, pies/tarts with fruits in your fridge that are starting to go soft.

3. Don’t waste money on potpourri – put leftover lemon peel on fire to give a zesty aroma around the house.

4. Freeze leftover lemon and lime peel so when a recipe calls for zest, you can just grate it without wasting the rest of the fruit.

Rice

 Leftover tip

1. Cooked too much? Fry up chopped veggies – onions, peppers, mushrooms, maybe add some meat – chopped ham, bacon, chicken or even cooked prawns. Add the rice and heat through for a quick stir fry.

2. Cooked white rice can be frozen after it’s cooled, so if you can’t use it right away, put it in an airtight container and freeze it.

Mashed Potato's

 Leftover tip

1. Make potato cakes – mix mash with other left over veggies, make into patties, fry and serve with apple sauce for a delicious supper.

2. Potato scones - add enough flour to your left over mashed potatoes to make soft dough, roll out in thin rounds and cook both sides, in a dry frying pan, until it starts to brown. These can be eaten plain with a bit of butter or jam or use them as wraps to house your leftover veggies or even stew. These potato scones will also freeze well so you can make up more than you can eat and freeze for emergency suppers.

Vegetables

 Leftover tip

1. The good old bubble and squeak – fried up leftover veggies – the chief ingredients are potatoes and cabbage but any other leftover vegetables can be added – delicious served with cold left over roast.

2. Five a day omelettes – chop up & fry any vegetables lurking in your fridge or larder that have seen better days, stir into some beaten eggs and season, cook, top with a slice of cheese and fold over.

3. Leftover onions and red/green peppers can be chopped and sealed in bags and kept in the freezer. It's economical and time-saving, too so that next time you need chopped onions, just pull a bag out of the freezer!

4. Pot luck soup – keep a bucket with a lid in your freezer for leftover veggies – once a week make into soup – the children will love seeing what comes out of the bucket they put their leftover in!

Roasts

 Leftover tip

Store your leftover meat in the fridge, ensuring it’s cooled and packaged within an hour of finishing your meal.

Wash your hands thoroughly, use clean utensils throughout, and ensure the meat is piping hot before you serve it when you reheat it. Chop any left over roast meat or poultry and freeze and used in a casserole later in the week however meat in prepared dishes (like stews or curries) keeps better than plain diced pieces, which can dry out on defrosting.

Roast Up Colcannon
Chop left over roast into small pieces and mix into mashed potatoes, cauliflower and leeks. Serve piping hot as a main dish with a little mustard.

Patties
Mix finely chopped left over roast with an egg, breadcrumbs, a pinch of sage and pepper. Shape into patties and fry in butter. Serve hot in burger buns.

Leftover meat like roast beef, turkey or chicken can easily be used in sandwiches for tomorrow's lunch.

Leftover ham makes great ham salad or you can use it to make ham and pea soup.

Meatballs
Leftover meat of any type makes great meatballs! Blitz it in a processor (or chop finely by hand) with an onion or two, an egg, and seasonings of your choice. Lamb, for instance, suits rosemary, garlic, oregano and lemon zest; beef deserves plenty of garlic and oregano; pork is great with dried apricots. When the mixture is mouldable, form it into meatballs and shallow-fry them until golden, then drop into tomato sauce to simmer until they’re thoroughly reheated. Great served over spaghetti!

Cornish Pasties
The perfect way to use up leftover beef or lamb – fry some chopped onion and add finely-diced potato and a pinch of chopped herbs (rosemary, thyme or oregano), before adding the shredded meat. Roll out some shop bought shortcrust or puff pastry, and cut into large circles. Fill half of each circle with the meaty mixture and brush the edges with egg, then seal tightly using a fork. Sit each pasty seam-upwards on a baking tray, brush with more egg, and bake until golden. Eat hot, warm or cold!

Mushrooms tips

I love cooking with mushrooms as they are so versatile and earthy! However, a word of warning: treat them with respect. They are very fragile. They really don't need peeling and are not fond of water - so simply rub off any dirt. There are many great varieties and the more artisan, wild mushrooms, such as ceps and chanterelles; are great to stir-fry. Oyster mushrooms are perfect in risottos and for tonnes of taste opt for chestnut mushrooms. The trumpet-shaped chanterelles are brilliant to use with creamy scrambled eggs and gigante mushrooms are ideal for stuffing.

Antony Worrall Thompson - Mushrooms - Tips

Pizza tips

1. lf you don't use the basic dough all in one go, divide it into portions and put each one in a floured polythene bag. These should keep for 2-3 days in the fridge. When you want to use them, let them stand at room temperature for 2 hours tirst, to re-awaken the yeast.

2. For the salami pizza, you can ring in the changes by using pepperoni slices instead.

3. When preparing the classic tomato pizza base, be aware that oregano is an oily herb and the flavour is intensified when dried, so use sparingly.

4. For Caesar chicken pizza, experiment with cheeses. Fontina is an Italian cows’ milk cheese and well worth a try.

5. You can substitute red onions for Spanish ones in the onion and Gorgonzola pizza.

6. Other fruits, such as apricots, plums, peaches or nectarines, would also be brilliant for the raspberry pizza.

Various tips

To make your own crostini, use thinly sliced ciabatta or French bread. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with a little rock salt and bake at 160°C until golden brown. Also, any dessert wine will do if you can’t get Vin Santo.

Cheddar or Camembert can be used in the cheese and champagne soup, instead of Emmenthal.

Remember it’s important to keep the asparagus green and crunchy. Floppy asparagus will be messy with the eggs.

lf you want to spice up the bruschetta of beef, add a little horseradish sauce.

For the deep fried Camembert, if the cheese has a chalky centre it is not fully ripe. lt ripens from the outside in.

Sumac has a lovely citrus tang which goes very well with white fish. If you have some remaining from the tiger prawn recipe, rub a little on your fish before grilling or frying.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

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