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In this weeks newsletter we look at Strategies for Going Green in the Kitchen. From improving indoor air quality to decreasing energy costs, we've got the ideas you need to get your green kitchen now. We also visit The Good Food and Wine Show this weekend. With more than 100,000 annual visitors, the Good Food & Wine Show® is the original and largest culinary exhibition in South Africa. Events take place each year in Cape Town, Gauteng and Durban and provide a four-day exhibition of culinary delights – from live demonstrations and hands-on cooking workshops with some of the world’s most celebrated chefs and top regional chefs – to a showcase of the latest gourmet trends, the chance to sample from the most premium restaurants and wines, shop, and enjoy family entertainment with specially designed performances for children. We also highlight the use of Artichokes in this weeks Food Tip.
Wickedfood Cooking School News
Our individual cooking class programmes are up on the internet. Click the link for the appropriate month – September or October
Week 4 – 19 to 25 September
Tuesday 20 September at 6pm – Sushi 1 – The basics of sushi making (R395pp – maximum 18, so book early) The increasing popularity of sushi around the world has resulted in many more people wanting to learn the basics of sushi making, this Sushi cooking class shows you how to do the following – cutting fish, making rice, California and maki rolls, nigirizushi (finger), and hand rolls.
Sunday 25 September at 4pm – Outdoor Cooking – Poultry (R390pp). Learn the secrets of outdoor cooking on Cadac kettlebraais and gas barbecues in our Poultry braai cooking class. Dishes covered in this class include whole roast juicy chicken, how to smoke a chicken in a kettlebraai, tangy tomato marinade, chicken kebabs, quick and easy bread pockets, grilled vegetables and bananas with a chocolate sauce.
Week 5 – 26 September to 02 October
Monday 26 September at 6pm – No-Fuss entertaining (R370pp). Cooking class to equip you with the skills to host a ‘No fuss dinner party for six’. Dishes include Hummous, Carrot and coriander soup, Roast beef, potato gratin and Chocolate mousse.
Week 1 – 03 October to 09 October
Monday 03 October at 6pm – Spicy Thai (R380pp for the class). Thai cuisine places emphasis on lightly prepared dishes with strong aromatic components. Thai cuisine is also known for being quite spicy as well as balancing the four fundamental taste senses in each dish or the overall meal: sour, sweet, salty, and (optional) bitter. Learn how to balance these tastes in our Thai cooking class. Dishes include Minced pork northern style, Spicy chicken soup, Deep-fried fish in a garlic sauce, Sweet and sour vegetables, Stir-fried noodles and Sweet rice pudding
Sunday 09 October at 4pm – Spanish peasant cooking (R380pp for the class). Learn to cook with the robust flavours of the Spanish countryside in this Spanish cooking class. Spanish food reflects this vast country's turbulent history, diverse geography and Mediterranean culture. The class includes fried calamari, chourizo and cheese fritters, garlic soup, butterflied lamb, hot chourizo salad, and fried cream.
Green ideas for your Home:
Strategies for Going Green in the Kitchen
While going green in the kitchen will save you money on energy costs, eco-friendly products have a reputation for being expensive, frumpy and difficult to find.
The good news: Earth-friendly products are available in a wider range of styles and costs than ever before, letting you go any shade of green you desire.
With intimidating new terms to learn (off-gassing? VOCs?) and a host of special design considerations, getting from here to green may seem like an impossible assignment. We demystify the process and help you create the bright, cozy, Earth-friendly kitchen you're craving.
Green Tip: Improve Air Quality
. One of the first things to consider is indoor air quality. Since we spend the majority of our time in the house, making sure the air is clean is priority number one. One simple way to improve air quality is to install a range hood that exhausts to the outside, which is the best strategy. Your architect or contractor should know how to size your range hood, and most manufacturers will help DIYers get the right hood for their kitchen.
Green Tip: Choose Nontoxic Cabinets
. The wood in most cabinetry contains urea-formaldehyde, which off-gasses and can be harmful to your health. Look for cabinets made from solid wood, or alternative materials such as wheatboard, and finished with nontoxic finishes. There aren't a lot of green options out there and you're most likely going to pay a premium in this area.
Green Tip: Look for Recycled Countertops. Countertops made from recycled paper or hemp, which are extremely durable and easy to clean, but color selectio
n can be limited. If you prefer a tile countertop, look for tiles that are either recycled from previous installations or made from recycled material. An option is a quartz composite (eg.CaesarStone) known as engineered stone, which has a fantastic depth of colour.
Green Tip: Buy Energy-Efficient Appliances. These are fairly easy to choose — just look for the Energy Star label, which ensures they are 10 percent to 50 percent more efficient than standard models.
Green Tip: Install Water-Saving Features.
Choose faucets with aerators, which inject air bubbles into the water stream to achieve the same pressure with less volume. Recirculation pumps keep hot water at the tap, saving hundreds of litres per year by eliminating the need to run the tap while the water gets hot. Tankless hot water heaters also heat water at the source. Because they are smaller than standard water heaters, they use less water and 10 percent to 20 percent less energy.
Green Tip: Invest in Green Flooring
. Linoleum is enjoying a comeback, largely due to its green properties. Made of natural materials such as linseed oil, rosin and wood flour, it is durable and easy to clean. Cork and bamboo also make good choices for a green kitchen, as they are made from rapidly renewable resources. The newer engineered versions of bamboo will stand up to abuse from pets, high heels and heavy weights better than the old bamboo products.
Green Tip: Maximize Energy-Saving Lighting
. Motion and occupancy sensors save money by automatically turning lights on and off as needed. They are fairly inexpensive and can be mounted in standard switch boxes. LED lighting, which is new to the market, promises long life and extremely efficient operation, but it is not widely available and can be pricey. Maximize the use of fluorescents with high-quality, dimmable electrical ballasts, which will not only save energy but prevent flickering.
Food tip of the week:
Selection – High-quality artichokes are usually compact and heavy for their size. Squeezed, a fresh artichoke will make a squeak. The thickness of each stalk should correspond to the size of the artichoke. Thin stalks signal dehydration, so look for stalks that are firm without 'give.'
When buying artichokes, look for plump, globular ones that are heavy in relation to size. The should be compact, with thick, green, fresh looking scales. Size is not an indication of quality.
AVOID: Artichokes with large brown areas on the scales and with spreading scales – a sign of age, drying and toughening of the edible portion; grayish-black discolouration (bruises), mold growth on the scales and wormy injury.
Storage – Artichokes remain fairly constant in appearance for weeks, but flavour is adversely affected from the moment they are cut from the stalk. For maximum taste and tenderness, cook as soon as possible. Do not stock up on artichokes. Refrigerate unwashed, in a plastic bag, for up to 1 week.
Preparation – Artichokes should be washed under cold running water. Pull off the lower petals and cut the stems to one inch or less. Cut the top quarter of each artichoke and snip off the sharp tips. Artichokes turn brown very quickly once they are cut. To preserve the green colour, one may dip in lemon water.
Artichokes can also stain the hands quite badly so it is recommended that rubber gloves be worn for cleaning and chopping.
Artichokes can be boiled, steamed, microwaved or sautéed. They can be eaten whole or added to other dishes.
Cooked artichokes may be refrigerated for several days in a covered container.
MICROWAVE: cook 6 to 8 minutes or until a petal near the centre pulls out easily.
BOILING: Stand artichokes in a large pan with 3 quarts boiling water. Cover and boil gently 20 to 40 minutes according to size, or until the petal near the centre pulls out easily.
Small artichokes are good for pickling, stews, casseroles; medium size are good for salads and large size are good for stuffing.
To eat, pull off leaves and eat the fleshy ends attached to the plant. Lift out the cone and cut out the core, which is the fuzzy portion at the centre. The heart is a true delicacy and will break easily with a fork. Dip the leaves in lemon juice or try the low-fat dipping sauce in the recipe section.
- Try serving and/or stuffing artichokes for a different appetizer.
- Make your vegetable soup unique by adding artichoke hearts.
- Add artichoke hearts to your favourite pasta dish or salad.
- Enjoy a healthy, tart treat-sprinkle lemon, lime and orange juices over steamed leaves.
Interesting places in Joburg:
The Good Food and Wine Show, South Africa’s premier food, wine and lifestyle exhibition has had an amazing 2011, with three incredibly successful Shows around the country. We would like to thank all our sponsors, exhibitors and visitors who have made the event the success it is. We look forward to seeing you all for the 2012 Shows, which we guarantee will be even bigger and better. The Show dates for Gauteng is 22 – 25 September 2011.
The Wickedfood Team
Wickedfood Cooking School runs classes throughout the year at its purpose-built Johannesburg cooking school. Cooking lessons are run in the mornings and evenings 7 days a week (subject to a minimum of 12 people). The venue is also popular for corporate events and private functions – team building cooking classes, birthdays, kitchen teas, and dinner parties with a difference.
Our cooking courses are hands-on, where every person gets to participate in the preparation of the dishes. They are also a lot of fun where you not only learn new skills, but get to meet people with similar interests. For corporate groups and team building cooking classes, these events are a novel way of creating staff interaction or entertaining clients. Great Team building ideas.