On Sunday 27th September I was invited up to an event by Mark from Dingley Dell. I’ve spoken about Mark from Dingley Dell before, just over a year ago my family, a few friends and I were invited up to his pig farm to have a look around. We had an absolutely fantastic day and in the evening he introduced us to his family and cooked a lovely meal for us.
Anyway I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the day, I knew that it was a BBQ event, all the dishes would be using Dingley Dell pork and that some of the money raised would be for Teenage Cancer Trust so of course I was going! After speaking to Chef Allsworth and Eden (a lovely girl who also does catering at college) we were raring to go. It was a bit of an early morning, well getting up at 7am on a Sunday in our family is pretty much un heard of (needless to say we’re not church go-ers) but we were all in high spirits! We arrived at the kitchen in London at about 10 am. There were lots of students from lots of other colleges around and after getting changed we got straight to work on veg. prep. with Murray, a chef who had put a lot of effort into the event and was great fun to work with!
We then packed up and moved all of our prep to the venue where the event was being held, which was about 10 minutes away. It was in the garden of this fabulous pub called the leather bottle and the atmosphere was already great.
We set up alongside some lovely girls from a college in Cambridge, Jenny and Gemma. Jenny’s blog post about the event is HERE.
We had a great day watching some top chef’s such as Mark Poynton, Matt Gillan and Steve Smith. We helped out on Murray’s dish which was a haggis filled naan bread, with a raw salad, pepper and tomato sauce, a green apple sauce and BBQ’d pork loin. I tried the naan and I’ve got to say it was fantastic – not that I was bias or anything!! It was also a lot of fun chatting to everyone who came down to try the pork that had been prepared and raising awareness of Teenage Cancer Trust. I think I fulfilled my ambassador role pretty well if I do say so myself hehe!
At the end of the event Eden and I went to taste some of the dishes that had been cooked throughout the day (I know, very lucky indeed!) and everything I tried was really tasty. All of the Chef’s had done completely different things with the pork and really made the pork shine. It showed me the various ways of cooking pork and using different cuts of a pig which I wouldn’t necessarily go for! It was a very valuable experience and really cool to meet some of the Chefs again!
Unfortunately I thought I’d leave the worst news to last. I’ve been having a few chest pains recently and after a trip up to London this week it looks like my lung tumour is growing again. At the moment that’s all I can really tell you but it looks like it will be back to treatment again over the next few months. I’ve got another appointment next week so hopefully I’ll know some more then but for know I’m going to have to leave it at that.
Although on the upside I’ve found out I can now get free Costa hot chocolates from the hospital so if that’s not an incentive to go up to the hospital then I don’t know what is! Don’t all rush to come with me to appointments at once now!!
So I’ve started 4b of chemo this week and I’m starting to get excited as that means only 3 more weeks of the brace and only about 2 and a half more months of chemo! Woohoo! Also I’ve found out that we raised a grand total of £4300 on the Teenage Cancer Trust Night – I’m overwhelmed with that so Yay!
So I’ve got lots coming up over the next month or two. 2 parties, a trip to meet Angela Hartnett, a trip to a fantastic pork farm, a look around the kitchens at the Hilton Hotel on Park lane (according to Monopoly that’s not as good as Mayfair but Monopoly always bored me anyway!), an afternoon tea, Prom and My 18th Birthday! Which will probably just end up as a BBQ or something!
Speaking of BBQs we had a fantastic one this week, as it was Mum and Dad’s 25th anniversary, we thought we’d celebrate at the weekend with a rather impressive BBQ. We had steaks, sausages, Chinese BBQ chicken, vegetable kebabs, new potatoes, potato salad, normal salad and some trout stuffed with fennel. It was fantastic and gave me a chance to use my new knife. In my last blog I mentioned that I was given, by Chef Oliver, a very sharp Japanese knife. I hadn’t used it yet as I didn’t want to ruin it or cut myself but I plucked up the courage. Now I can’t stop using it! When taking it out of the packaging I noticed that it was engraved with ‘Chef Emily Mackay’, not just my name, but Chef!!
So I’m going to give you the recipe for our Chinese BBQ Chicken especially with Summer just around the corner, not that you’d know it today!
Chinese BBQ Chicken
- 2 tbsp Ground nut oil
- 2 tbsp Seasame Oil
- 4 tsp minced Garlic cloves
- 2 tsp fresh grated ginger (or cheats ginger if you’re naughty!)
- 4 tbsp rice wine
- 4 tbsp light soy
- 4 tbsp clear honey
- 4 tsp Chinese five spice powder
- 2 tsp lime juice
- 6 Chicken thighs (You could get breasts but it’s a lot cheaper to get thighs and I will try to tell you how to de-bone them, also we found the thighs really moist!)
- Start by taking the bone out of the thighs, maybe the first and second one will be hard and take a while but by the last one you will be able to do it with your eyes closed, NOT THAT I SUGGEST YOU TRY THAT!! Using a boning knife, on the flesh side slowly cut down the bone, following it from top to tail. Then slowly cut away the flesh from the bone. You’ll see half way down the bone, where it bends, that there is a knuckle. Try to cut around that carefully and keep the knuckle (the thick white circle-y bit) together with the bone. It doesn’t matter too much with this recipe as we will be removing the skin so making a few holes isn’t the end of the world, but if you want to get into good habits, it’s an idea to learn this now! Also if you want to make stuffed, boned chicken thighs with the skin on then you’ll want to use that technique. Slowly remove the bone out from the flesh and put in a bowl. You could use this at the end for chicken stock. Now I removed the skin from the chicken but I guess it’s down to preference. I didn’t think the chicken would stay moist with out the skin but I was definitely wrong! Now repeat 5 times!!
- Use all of the other ingredients to make the marinade in a large bowl. Stir the ingredients over and over again and throw the boneless chicken in. Again stir every ten minutes or so, just so it’s all coated.
- Cover the bowl and put in the fridge for as long as you like. We marinated the chicken for 2 hours just because we didn’t want too much of an over- powering flavour but it’s up to you.
- Now throw on the hot BBQ, it’ll probably take 10-15 minutes to cook and don’t be afraid of that charcoal colour on the chicken, as long as it’s not coated in it! This will oddly compliment the sweetness of the marinade. Serve with a little lime juice on top.
See, it’s not too hard!