It’s Zero Waste Week (September 3 to 7) but are you still throwing too much food away? Senior sous chef David Smith of the Arora Hotel in Crawley shares top tips and a recipe or two that will help.
Making sure we don’t throw food away is drummed into chefs right from the start of our training. In my early days in a hotel kitchen, the head chef would inspect what you’d thrown away if he heard the bin lid drop down.
Food waste equals money and the same is true in the home kitchen. But using up ingredients takes a bit of thought and planning. Once you’ve had your roast dinner don’t throw the carcass away. Freeze the bones for later. Defrost, spread with a little tomato paste and roast in the oven for half an hour to develop the flavour. Then simmer with onion, celery, carrot and leek to form the basis of a soup or stock.
In the hotel kitchen, we use every bit of a chicken. Take chicken supremes for example. They come with a wing tip and thin fillet. Use a sharp knife to separate the fillet and wing from the breast. Season the breast meat and pan fry to serve on top of a warm salad of quinoa, broad beans and roast vegetables, and then turn the wing tip and fillet into exciting appetisers or buffet food with these recipes.
The Grill in the Arora is Crawley’s only AA-rosette restaurant. To book, phone 01293 530000. Follow us on Twitter. Share your food waste tips on Instagram by tagging @aroragatwick. Visit www.gatwick.arorahotels.com.
Chicken skewers and wing tip lollipops
For the skewers:
10 wooden kebab sticks soaked in water
Chicken fillets from four breasts
2 tsps each of Chinese five spice, cumin and ground coriander
One tablespoon of olive oil
Drop of red food colouring (optional)
For the wing tip lollipops:
6 chicken wings
2 tablespoons chicken stock (either homemade or stock cube)
2 tablespoons of panko breadcrumbs
One dessertspoon of finely chopped chives
To make the chicken skewer, cut the fillets into 2cm cubes and place in a bowl. Stir in the spices and olive oil (and a drop of red food colouring if using) and mix thoroughly. Leave to marinate for a couple of hours then thread onto the wooden skewers.
Place under a medium hot grill turning occasionally for about 10 minutes until cooked through. Serve with warm pitta bread.
To make the chicken wing lollipops, use a sharp knife to scrape the meat down from the bone so it is at one end. Wrap in clingfilm to form a ball of meat and steam, or simmer, for 10 mins. Unwrap clingfilm, dip the chicken lollipops into stock and then the breadcrumbs, which have been mixed with chives. Brown in a hot oven, 200oC, for 5 minutes until golden.
Bought a packet of herbs and only used some of it? Don’t let the rest go to waste. Put a small bottle of extra virgin olive oil into the fridge to chill. Then wilt the herbs in a hot pan and blitz with the cold oil. You now have a herb oil for drizzling on salads or pasta, which will last out of the fridge for up to a month.
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