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In this weeks newsletter we look at how home cooks of all skill levels can save money by using their kitchens more efficiently. By modifying cooking habits, making better use of existing appliances and purchasing new appliances that are energy-efficient, home cooks can save money, extend the working life of cookware and lessen the time spent cooking. We also take a look at The Jozi’s food market, where you can experience a mixture of culture and gourmet fayre to rival any open air European market, has a wide variety of local food artisans and any new visitors to the Jozi Food Market can expect to experience a side of Jozi they’ve never seen before. We highlight the use of Apples in this weeks Food Tip.
Wickedfood Cooking School News
Week 4 – 25 to 31 July
Monday 25 July at 6pm – The tastes of Spain (R390 pp). Spanish cuisine is down-to-earth, uncomplicated food, based on the ingredients available locally or the crops grown regionally. In this cooking class we introduce ‘the people’s cuisine’.
Sunday 31 July at 4pm – Making flavoured pasta, shapes and sauces (R370pp). Adding flavour and colour to fresh hand-made pasta. Learn the secrets of making pasta from scratch and pairing it with a sauce in this pasta cooking class.
Week 1 – 01 to 07 August
Monday 01 August at 6pm – The tastes of France (R370pp) The French have an ongoing love affair with food, and in this cooking class we teach home gourmets and enthusiasts alike how to create these wonderful foods with our introduction to French cuisine which includes chicken liver pâté, French onion soup, entrecote pommes frites, and crème caramel.
Week 2 – 08 to 14 August
Monday 08 August at 6pm – Easy to prepare Japanese (R380pp). The Japanese culinary art offers a huge diversity of food stuffs as well regional food preparations and is highly celebrated world wide for its quality and taste. The tourists to Japan find Japanese Cuisine as one of the major attractions in that country. In this cooking class learn the classic dishes from the Japanese kitchen including scattered rice sushi, prawn ball and egg knot soup, prawn and avocado salad, beef sashimi, tempura and green tea ice-cream.
Sunday 14 August at 4pm – Quick & easy 30 minute meals for entertaining (R390 pp). This Gordon Ramsey cooking class is based on his book Cooking for Friends. Love him or hate him, he certainly knows his food. In this book, we see a very different side of him, more relaxed, cooking some best-loved versions of classic British dishes for family and friends. We reinterpret 6 of the dishes, all easy to make in under 30 and great for entertaining friends, chilled cucumber soup; linguine with lemon, feta and basil; poached fish; quick fish curry; pork fillet stroganoff; and baked berries
Green ideas for your Home:
Green Cooking – 24 Ways to Reduce Kitchen Energy Consumption and Increase Efficiency
These tactics are part of Green Cooking, which is about reducing waste, using less energy, less water and making less noise during the cooking process. Incorporating Green Cooking principles, the average household can minimise their home’s energy consumption and save hundreds of Rands per year on utility bills.
Using the following tips, you can maximise the efficiencies of your kitchen’s appliances and refine your cooking habits to save energy, save money and “cook green.”
1. Full-size ovens are not very efficient when cooking small quantities of food. When cooking small-to medium-sized meals, use a smaller toaster oven. In general, the smaller the appliance, the less energy used, so choose the smallest appliance suited to your cooking task. The more energy-efficient an appliance is, the less it costs to run.
2. Keep kitchen appliances and cookware clean. When surfaces are clean, you maximise the amount of energy reflected toward your food, cooking more quickly and evenly.
3. Utilise residual heat. Turn off the oven or electric stove top a few minutes before the end cooking time. The appliance will remain hot enough to complete the cooking process.
4. Energy-efficient appliances may sometimes cost more to purchase, but savings on utility bills will be realised in the long run. Try to gradually replace your old appliances with more energy-efficient models. Look for appliances with the Energy Star designation indicating that the appliance is up to current energy-efficiency standards. New and better appliances continue to be developed, cooking food faster and with greater convenience. And faster cooking times mean less energy use.
5. If you have an electric stove top, make sure your pan completely covers the heating element and is the same size as the burner. Use flat-bottomed pans that make full contact with the elements. For example, a 15cm pan on an 20cm element wastes 40 percent of the element’s heat output. With gas burners, make sure the flame is fully below the pan; otherwise, heat is lost and energy is wasted. The moral is, if you use a small pan, use a small burner and vice versa.
6. Don’t preheat the oven unless a recipe (such as bread or pastry) requires it. A good rule of thumb is that any food with a cooking time of more than 60 minutes can be started in a cold oven.
7. No peeking. Every time you open the oven door, it can lower the internal temperature as much as 25 degrees. Use a timer to set the cooking time, and be sure your oven window is clean enough for you to see how your dish is progressing. Be sure to check the seal on your oven door to make sure it is working properly.
8. In the oven, stagger dishes at different rack levels to ensure proper air flow. Good air flow helps the oven work more quickly and efficiently. Rearrange oven shelves before you turn the oven on. Doing it after the oven is hot not only wastes heat, but is an easy way to burn yourself.
9. Piggyback dishes on top of each other, either by using the same heat source for two or more chores, or by baking such items as cookies using retained heat from prior baking or roasting. Multitask wherever possible. Cookware such as a Chinese steamer, can cook different dishes on different tiers simultaneously and inexpensively.
10. Choose your cookware carefully. Glass and ceramic cookware conduct and retain heat better than metal. If a recipe calls for a metal baking pan, you can usually switch to glass or ceramic which will allow you to lower the cooking temperature by 25 degrees.
11. By warming food first (either on the counter or in the microwave-it uses less energy than an oven) you can cut down on the amount of time your oven is on.
12. Take Cover! Water boils more quickly and foods cook faster if there is a lid on the pan, keeping the heat in. Also, don’t boil more water than you will be using.
More tips to follow in the next Alternate Newsletter…
Food tip of the week:
1 cup sliced or chopped apples = 1 medium apple.
Apples absorb odors. They emit ethylene gas, which causes other fruit to ripen quicker.
Store apples at 1 degree Celsius , 80% humidity to prevent dehydration.
Apples, pears and potatoes dropped in cold, lightly salted water as they are peeled will retain their colour.
The many varieties of apples differ widely in appearance, flesh characteristics, seasonal availability, and suitability for different uses.
For good eating as fresh fruit, the commonly available varieties are: Granny Smith, Braeburn, Fugi, Gala, Sundowner, Royal Gala, Pink Lady, Starking, Topred and Golden Delicious. For making pies and apple sauce, use tart or slightly acid varieties such as Granny Smith. Granny Smith apples are also great for baking.
When purchasing fresh apples, look for:
Firm, crisp, well-colored apples. Flavor varies in apples, and depends on the stage of maturity at the time that the fruit is picked. Apples must be mature when picked to have a good flavor, texture, and storing ability. Immature apples lack color and are usually poor in flavour. They may have a shriveled appearance after being held in storage.
Avoid: Overripe apples (indicated by a yielding to slight pressure on the skin, and soft, mealy flesh) and apples affected by freeze (indicated by internal breakdown and bruised areas). Scald on apples (irregularly shaped tan or brown areas) may not seriously affect the taste.
Interesting places in Joburg:
The market’s location at the Pirates Sports Club provides a great outdoor venue for the family to enjoy – kids can play on the jumping castle or on the beautiful grassed areas; the Pirates pub sells a wide variety of liquor which can be enjoyed sitting at the outdoor tables; and sport can be watched in the Clubhouse for those who can’t bear to be parted from their TV. This shopping experience is far more pleasant than trudging through a stuffy shopping mall – and the food is so much fresher and more appetizing!
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.