Monday, 27 February 2012

"Kebabs are like sex"

According to Masterchef 2011 winner, Tim Anderson.

This evening, the American chef gave a cooking demonstration to Lincoln students at Tower Bar, the SU hangout. He started out by doing a posh beans on toast, or rather 'toast on beans' as he called it. I couldn't help but think whoever had designed the posters advertising the event must be kicking themselves for using the tag-line: "Fed up of beans on toast?" Haha.

Photo: Aimee & I with
Masterchef winner, Tim Anderson
So he started with a few kitchen tips, nothing out of the ordinary really; make sure you have a sharp knife, yadda, yadda, yadda.. Nothing I didn't already know. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm not up there with the likes of Heston and Gordon, but I do like to think I have a bit of a clue when it comes to cooking, largely down to my - what I think is only appropriate to describe as - obsession, with food.

He moved onto chopping onions and garlic, before pan frying in a little olive oil. He added tinned butter and cannellni beans, and a tin of chickpeas too, frying them off for a little while before adding peeled plum tomatoes and heavy pinch of seasoning. As for the bread, he toasted a thick slice of granary, before dicing into 'croutons', and tossing in olive oil and salt. He topped the bean mixture with the 'croutons' and served with torn basil leaves.

I thought this was a pretty cheap, economical meal idea for students, although I'm not much of a fan of beans on toast at the best of times. Might try using the bean mixture as a basis for a pasta bake instead.
Photo: 2011 Masterchef winner
Tim Anderson in action

Next, he moved onto a lamb kebab. Hence, the "kebabs are like sex"; something people are a bit ashamed to talk about, indulge in usually whilst drunk, and often regret the next day. Thought that was a pretty good comparison, and particularly apt to the room full of students.

He started as before by chopping garlic and onion, this time red onion, frying them off in a little olive oil, before adding some cardamom pods and toasting until they were fragrant and aromatic. Next, he added some lamb meat. Tim used quite a good cut of shoulder, but advised that the cheaper cuts such as neck and breast would work well too, and are good for the old student budget.

As he allowed the mixture to reduce down, he whipped up a quick cucumber raita, but don't ask me how - my raita comes out of a Patak's jar.

Onto the "once in a lifetime competition" - the words of the Facebook event, not mine! The omelette challenge. Not Saturday kitchen style, but 'quality' style instead. BORING. Anyway, he declared one of the fairly lacklustre-looking omelettes the winner, and the lucky budding chef in question won a gorgeous wicker basket of store cupboard ingredients! The cheek! Especially seen as though they will probably just go back to the student dietary staples of Supernoodles and Dominoes' pizza anyway.

After a few questions and a couple of photos/autographs/etc, Aimee  and I left Tower Bar slightly less inspired than we had hoped. But then again, not everyone can be born culinary geniuses like ourselves!

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