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Monthly Archives: April 2009

Mango Chutney An Indian chutney traditionally served as a condiment with curries. Rich, sweet and spicy, it is also excellent with cold chicken, ham, salads and mature cheddar cheese. To produce you will require 3 large mangos, 1 large red onion, a medium green chilli, 2 cloves of garlic, a thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, 250ml of white wine vinegar, 200g of castor sugar and 2 tsp of garam masala. Peal the mangos, remove the flesh and chop into small chunks. Place into a pan. Deseed the chilli and cut to a fine dice. Peel and chop the onion, garlic and ginger and add to the pan along with the chilli. Add the white wine vinegar, castor sugar and garam masala. Bring the to the boil, stirring continually. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the liquid has reduced and the juices are thick and syrupy. Remove from the heat and spoon into clean jars while still hot. May be used immediately but will improve greatly with age.

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Hell’s Kitchen A reality based television programme first broadcast in the UK in 2004. It features untrained prospective chefs competing for the prize of ‘chef’, under the supervision and tutelage of a famous mentor. Gordon Ramsay and Gary Rhodes have both taken on the roll in previous additions of the programme. The current series is lead by Marco Pierre White, who takes on the position of head chef for a second year. Marco anticipates this series of Hell’s Kitchen will be both inspirational and entertaining, and is planning to keep his famous temper under control. Brooding rather than boiling. “I’m chilled and laid back in my old age,” he says. “I control things by saying nothing, by being very quiet. I don’t have to shout, scream, swear or put people down. You don’t get respect by doing that.” He hopes to inspire the contestants and dissolve their fear, and they will have to hold their nerve if they are to serve a three-course meal to a restaurant full of celebrity guests, while cutting the mustard with the head chef. Even tantrum and temper free Marco is not to be trifled with, just ask Gordon Ramsay. Each night the two chefs that impress the least will be banished from the kitchen, made to serve tables in the restaurant as punishment. Marco will later yield the ultimate power, sacking the contestant he feels is least up to the job. So how do you impress the man many regard as the Godfather of modern British cuisine? Simple, by being “…respectful, hardworking and by trying their hardest,” says Marco. “By doing those three things their chances of survival are going to be greater.” It will not be a natural talent that wins this addition Hell’s Kitchen, but someone with the ability to learn Marco’s dishes and quickly master his skills.

Clostridium Perfringens Also called Clostridium Welchii, its as common as Salmonella, especially in large scale catering establishments and canteens. Often found in beef and meat pies the spores can survive cooking temperatures and multiply during the cooling process. It is anaerobic, oxygen destroys the bacteria, so is often found deep with in a sauce, stew or soup. The bacteria is rod shaped, no flagella, surrounded by a capsule of jelly. It produces heat-resistant spores. 100 000 spores per gram of food is a dangerous does. It is always present in soil, a large proportion of meat and poultry is contaminated and about 2% of the population carry the bacteria in the gut. The disease produced is neither infective food poisoning nor toxic food poisoning, but half way between the two. The bacteria do not produce toxin within the food. When Clostridium Perfringens is ingested it produces spores in the intestine. The spore is coated with a toxin that irritates the gut and makes you feel ill. It prefers higher temperatures, the optimum being 46 degrees. It grows very fast, doubling every 10 minuets. It can survive bellow 15 or above 60 degrees. It produces a gas as it grows, tiny bubbles may be seen in standing stews or soups, containers may swell. The symptoms are severe abdominal pain and diarrhoea, lasting between 12-14 hours. Victims become carriers, with 50-80% still infected by the spores after 2 weeks. The rapid and through cooling of food and effective reheating will reduce the possibility of infection. Food held for service must not fall bellow 60 degrees.