Ballymaloe Day 50: Today my Alfred was born!

I tapped the sourdough’s bottom and listened to the hollow sound. Alfred was ready.

A busy day in the kitchen, on the menu today was a Ballymaloe Irish Stew, as well as buttered cabbage.

There’s a big difference between making a stew at home and making one in Ballymaloe – with a million different steps, I was glad when I finally got to the stage of putting it into the oven to cook.

Bustling away at getting other elements of my dish done, as well as chucking live prawns into a pan of hot water, I remembered that I had made Panna Cottas on Friday but never got around to finishing them.

With advice from my teacher Grace, I plated them up and was pretty chuffed with how they turned out (wibbly, wobbly, wonders!)

With good scores and happy with how everything turned out, I tucked into succulent lamb at lunch along with helpings of cheese (I also managed to nab one of my Panna cottas!)

Demo today was all about pasta and Rachel went through various types including delicious tortellini, cannelloni, pappardelle and ravioli.

This will be the second time that we’ll be making pasta from scratch and I was looking forward to giving it a go again.

With demo finishing up so early, I headed over to Kitchen 3 to finally give birth to my sourdough bread (there’s definitely a better way to phrase that).

“Alfred” tipped on the baking tray and I popped him into the oven where I kept an eye on him as well as dousing him with water every-so-often.

After about 50 minutes of cooking, he was finally toasty and ready to make his grand debut, and what a handsome fellow he was (I say “was”, simply because he’s half-eaten now).

Some random things I learned today:

  • Tira Misu means “pick-me-up”
  • Mace and nutmeg taste and smell quite similar!
  • If you’re making lasagna and plan on freezing it, make sure that everything is cool before you layer things up and put them in the freezer – more hygienic and you’ve less chance of actually getting food poisoning.
  • It isn’t the cold that kills yeast, it’s the heat. Anything over 50 degrees celsius will kill it.
  • A food ragu sauce needs to be cooked for as long as possible so that the flavours of the tomatoes concentrate. Over an hour is pretty good!

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