John Wardle's Blog Page - Disaster Chef 2016

Week 5 – Spaghetti Vongole

John Wardle Week 5

Well, final week already and definitely the biggest challenge to date. I have always avoided making pasta because I thought it was outside my capabilities, although now my skill level and confidence level are both high.

John Wardle Week 5John Wardle Week 5

Following the recipe I prepared my dough. I did note Raymond mentioned water in his video and I added about a tablespoon to bring the dough together, no problems so far!  Halved and wrapped in cling film, it chilled for 20 minutes.

John Wardle Week 5John Wardle Week 5

Having watched Raymond’s video again very closely and studied his technique, it was time to make the pasta. With the Pasta Roller attachment fixed to the Kenwood Chef Titanium (‘mother ship’), I started the rolling process. Once level six was achieved, the Pasta Cutter attachment was attached but my first attempt failed - it just gathered up and hung below. Obviously the dough was too moist. On the second attempt it worked, and I had something that resembled spaghetti!!  A radiator airier on the back of the kitchen door was utilised to dry out the spaghetti.

John Wardle Week 5John Wardle Week 5

Moving on to the next phase, I ensured the clams were all closed and clean, I then prepped the veggies. The spaghetti had dried out and looked weird, but it cooked perfectly. The shallots and garlic were sautéed and I then boiled the wine. In went the drained clams for just over two minutes to make sure they were all open - I discarded three.  The spaghetti was added to the clams and tossed together with the herbs, lemon juice and tomato to produce a good looking dish.

John Wardle Week 5

Served with a chilled glass of white Sauvignon, my wife said it was the best yet! So thanks to the Kenwood Disaster Chef Team, it’s been an amazing journey and I’m looking forward to carrying on improving and trying out new and exciting recipes with my Kenwood Chef Titanium.

John Wardle Week 5

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Week 4 Thai Minced Turkey Salad

 John Wardle Week 4John Wardle Week 4

I am really enjoying the competition and the set challenges so far as it’s pushing the boundaries of my ‘blokey’ cooking and I’m eager to keep developing my culinary skills. I’ve found the Kenwood Chef Titanium has given me the confidence to cook more as it makes the preparation of food so much easier.

John Wardle Week 4John Wardle Week 4

Being a little paranoid over timings and with deep concentration, I prepared the turkey mince, stock, garnish and salad prior to cooking.   

John Wardle Week 4John Wardle Week 4

Using the various attachments on the ‘mother ship’, I blended the vegetables, minced the turkey, blitzed the herbs and mixed the sauce. I even used the Julienne blade in the Food Processor attachment to julienne a carrot for the salad. Surprisingly everything went according to plan!

John Wardle Week 4John Wardle Week 4

Now it was time to cook. Heating the oil until it was smoking hot (no I didn’t set off the smoke alarm!), I stir-fried the veg, followed by the turkey mince. Lowering the heat, the stock was then added and the smells made me very hungry. With the stock adsorbed, I plated up and added a little salad, finishing with the garnish of mixed herbs and crushed nuts.

John Wardle Week 4

I was happy with the finished dish as it smelt wonderful and tasted delicious even if it was slightly salty (must have overdone the fish sauce). Much to my delight my wife and daughter enjoyed it too. My daughter, a keen observer of health and fitness said it was within her dietary ‘syns’ for the day and even took home the recipe.

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Week 3 – Family Friendly Two Way Burger

John Wardle Week 3

Mince! And I’m not cooking my usual blokey ‘spag bol’ so this dish is definitely out of my comfort zone this week.  

John Wardle Week 3          

The pressure is on as burgers are on today’s menu and two of my biggest critics are coming to tea …….. The grandchildren!!!

John Wardle Week 3

The Kenwood Multi Mill attachment made short work of the onion, garlic and thyme and the pulse setting gave me complete control. Then, having stripped the meat of excess fat it was time to mince.

John Wardle Week 3John Wardle Week 3

I loved the Food Mincer attachment, it was fun to use and it was good to know exactly what was going into the burger. Whilst mixing all the ingredients with the k-Beater, I found both the hinged splash guard and the in-bowl illumination feature of the Kenwood Chef Titanium invaluable in assessing the mixture consistency.

Shaping and adding cheese & chilli to the meat went well and into a pre heated oven they went.

John Wardle Week 3

John Wardle Week 3

Using a combination of homemade wholemeal and supplied brioche buns, I plated up the delicious, juicy burgers as my eager critics were waiting at the table, knives and forks at the ready. I then sat back and awaited with bated breath their verdict.

John Wardle Week 3

Overall verdict from kids and adults was a big thumbs up, moist and succulent – success!

John Wardle Week 3

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Week 2 – Banana Bread

John Wardle Week 2

I love baking bread so I was confident this week before reading the recipe and realised it’s more like a cake. Combined with the fact I’ve never baked anything gluten free before………… I don’t feel so confident now!

John Wardle Week 2

Preparing my apple sauce with no issues I then carefully and accurately measured out the ingredients. All went well, even the separating of the eggs as I followed Becky’s example.  Using the Kenwood Chef Titanium and Food Processor attachment was a new experience and certainly worked well, and I managed to keep all my fingers!!

John Wardle Week 2

Having all the equipment in one place and attached to the ‘Mother Ship’ was a definite advantage. It smelt really good as I poured the mixture into the loaf tin, then into the oven it went. An anxious 55 minutes later, out it came having passed the skewer test (I thought), but it was split lengthways and resembled a bread pudding. Had something gone wrong??

John Wardle Week 2

My second attempt I made sure to double check everything, trying not to over mix the batter and cooked on a lower shelf. Result?..................Phew!!!!! Much better, but still not certain.

John Wardle Week 2

Samples of my wares were taken to LoveBread, my local community bakery, where the bakers said it was tasty, looked a bit doughy but didn’t stick to the roof of your mouth. I was even told that as far as gluten free goes, it’s not bad.

John Wardle Week 2

 

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Week 1 - Tuile biscuits

John Wardle Week One

It can't be as easy as it seems on Raymond’s video.........can it?

John Wardle Week One

I started mixing with the Kenwood Chef Titanium and, with only a couple of minor incidents with the eggs, I finished off with two creamy batches of plain/lemon and chocolate/cinnamon mix.

What a dream job the Flexi Beater attachment made, and the in-bowl illumination feature was inspirational, making the whole process so much easier.

John Wardle Week One

After an hour in the fridge, it was time for the next stage. Will my home made stencils work?

John Wardle Week One

Spreading and using the stencils was not a problem – just like using Polyfiller!!! 

I used various toppings of crushed pistachio, almond nuts, orange and chocolate, and then popped them in the oven.

John Wardle Week One

On my first attempt the paste was too thick, taking nearly 10 minutes to cook and they didn’t look too attractive. So on all the rest I reduced the thickness and cooked for 5 minutes, draping the hot biscuits over a rolling pin to give them a little shape and they turned out thin and crispy.

After 3 hours in a container they had started to go soft, but my local pharmacy tasters thought they were delicious.

John Wardle Week One

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