Appetisers were on the menu this week in the Market Kitchen and our international cookery students really impressed us with the range of different appetisers they produced.
Because the students were making a selection plate of appetisers they had to make not only 2 dishes this week but 4, with each consisting of numerous elements! The first that they produced out of the four was a spinach omelette, which they would later use on the appetiser selection plates.
After the students had finished making their spinach omelettes, they started working on preparing the rest of their appetiser selection. As part of the selection they made Short Crust Pastry – flans which they filled with a beetroot filling, Chicken Satay skewers and Bilinis, which are mini pancakes topped with cream cheese, smoked salmon and red onion.
It was impressive to see the range of creative ideas students had when it came to plating up their food, and we were even more impressed that they had produced great results whilst making technically challenging elements, such as the short crust pastry. Preparing pastry is notoriously difficult as the ingredients need to be at kept cold and the way in which it is cooked plays a huge part in achieving the perfect pastry. Trainer Chef Greg highlighted to the students how important temperature can be when is comes to short crust pastry. Using colder temperatures and chilled ingredients, such as chilled butter help ensure that not as much water is absorbed by the flour and also that the butter doesn’t melt into the flour when kneading the dough. Even though the pastry was challenging the students still managed to produce some great looking flans that contrasted amazingly with the beetroot filling.
When it comes to appetisers there are so many ways that food can be presented, but as the students found, one of the most important things is keeping the appearance of each appetiser consistent with others. This is no easy task when you are pressed for time, however the students still each present a beautiful display of appetisers that looked very very “appetising”. Well Done Everyone.