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Healthy Kids Menus - Chefs Cook Along

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

La Rousse Foods Ltd is our location where our 4 nationwide chefs met and displayed their ingredients from their kid's menu. Our chef Richie Wilson assisted our 4 chefs to improve their dishes by changing or adding 5 alternative ingredients to make their dishes healthier. The chefs cooked their dishes with their new ingredients. Richie assisted them in new cooking practices and suggestions on how to make their dishes more nutritional. Richie also cooked a wild card dish which is common in most kid's menu but cooked more nutritionally. The chefs then sampled the new dishes.

The Afternoon Show's Chef Richie Wilson worked with Paula on the menus and took her advice on changing the dishes ingredients and cooking practices for the chefs. He presented the new ingredients and ways of cooking the 4 dishes to the 4 chefs during a cook along. They prepared their dish with Richie's advice, and he prepared a wild card dish which is common in the restaurant' s menus.

National statistics

. 11.6% of Irish girls aged 5-12 are overweight while 13% are obese.
. 10.5% of Irish boys aged 5-12 years are overweight while 9.2% are obese.
. 40% of Irish children exceed the recommended maximum of energy intake from fat.
. 61% of children did not consume enough fibre.

Guideline GDA's for children aged 5-10

. 1800 calories
. 85g sugar
. 70g fat - of which 20g saturated fat
. 4g salt

Last week we launched our healthy kid's menu and visited our 4 provincial restaurants in Mallow, Kilkenny, Donegal and Sligo. Paula Mee met our 4 chefs and the 4 managers/owners of the restaurants and viewed their menus. She chatted to them about their menus, cooking practices and the road ahead. Our 4 family reviewers sampled the menus and the parents and children commented on the options and the dishes they ordered.

Today on the show we see when Richie Wilson met the 4 provincial chefs from our chosen 4 restaurants. This is the next step in our campaign where the 4 chefs take onboard advice from Paula Mee through Richie Wilson in the kitchen to make their menus nutritional. The chefs met and displayed their original ingredients (from Paula Mee's chosen dish) from their kid's menu. Our chef Richie Wilson assisted our 4 chefs to improve their dishes by changing or adding 5 alternative ingredients to make their dishes healthier. The chefs cooked their dishes with their new ingredients. Richie assisted them in new cooking practices and suggestions on how to make their dishes more nutritional. Richie also cooked a wild card dish which is common in most kid's menu but cooked more nutritionally. The chefs then sampled the new dishes.

Richie Wilson - Head Chef - The Morrison Hotel, Dublin

. The first chef was Stephen Ferrick from The Gallery Restaurant and Bar in Mallow, Co. Cork representing Munster and the dish is pizza and chips.
. Richie discussed how to make the chips from potatoes and not to use bought in chips and not to deep fry them.
. The new ingredients took on board Paula's recommendations to replace the existing toppings with lower fat cheese, no fatty meats like salami or pepperoni or chorizo, fruit tinned pineapple in own juice and more chopped vegetables. In terms of the base use wholemeal flour and through the pizza do not use salt as flavour should come from herbs and spices. Stephen said he was surprised the new dish tasted so nice.

. The second chef is Joan Murphy from The long Man of Kilfane restaurant in Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny representing Leinster and the dish is chicken nuggets and chips.
. Originally the restaurant used bought in frozen chicken nuggets and chips and deep fried them. Bought in chicken nuggets have a very small percent of chicken in them and the batter is not nutritious. The new ingredients took on board Paula' recommendations to make the dish from scratch in the kitchen using no salt, some brown breadcrumbs, eggs, herbs and spice mix and most importantly real chicken pieces.

. The third chef is Spencer Sherwin from Dom Breslin's Bar and Restaurant in Donegal town representing Ulster and the dish is burger and chips.
. Paula summarised the dish as being quite healthy but just needed a few changes using healthier 100% beef burger recipe, a nice dipping sauce/ salsa on the side and increased vegetables or salad.

. The fourth chef is Margaret O'Donnell from Davis at The Yeats Tavern, Drumcliffe, Co. Sligo and the dish is Asian style chicken curry.
. Paula's recommendations to the dish suggested to replace the sultanas and to add more vegetables.
. Richie oversaw the cooking and advised on more nutritional cooking practices.

. Richie cooked his own wild card dish which is common to most kid's menus in Ireland.

New Ingredients & Method for Pizza & Chips - Cork restaurant

Mozzarella and Spinach Pizza

. 300g Strong Flour
. 30g Fresh Yeast
. 115g Whole Meal Flour
. 250ml Warm Water
. 2tsp Olive Oil
. 350g Chopped Tomatoes
. 2each Chopped Shallot
. 1each Clove Crushed Garlic
. 20g Chopped Thyme
. 20g Chopped Parsley
. 20g Chopped Basil
. 2each Buffalo Mozzarella (or grated mozzarella)
. 100g Fresh Baby Spinach
. 0.5each Sliced Red Pepper
. 0.5each Sliced Yellow Pepper

Other Toppings
. Sweet Corn
. Pineapple
. Ham


Tomato Sauce
1. Begin by heating a large pot and adding a drizzle of olive oil.
2. Add in the diced shallot and thyme, turn these over a low heat until the shallots begin to soften.
3. Now add the garlic and the chopped tomatoes.
4. Allow this to simmer for 10 minutes before adding the remaining herbs.
5. Place in a blender and blend until smooth. Set this to one side ready to put onto the pizza dough.

Pizza Dough
1. In a large bowl blend the yeast with some warm water.

2. Allow to stand for 5 minutes.
3. Stir the olive oil into the yeast mixture, then mix in the whole wheat flour and a little over half of the plain flour until dough starts to come together.
4. Tip dough out onto a surface floured with the remaining flour, and knead until all of the flour has been absorbed, and the ball of dough becomes smooth, about 10 minutes.
5. Place dough in an oiled bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover loosely with a towel, and let stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
6. When the dough is doubled, tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and divide into your desired pizza size.
7. Form into a tight ball. Let rise for about 45 minutes, until doubled.
8. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
9. Roll a ball of dough with a rolling pin until it will not stretch any further.
10. Then, drape it over both of your fists, and gently pull the edges outward, while rotating the crust.
11. When the circle has reached the desired size, place on a well oiled pizza pan.
12. Top the pizza with a little of the tomato sauce and a selection from the toppings above
13. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes (depending on thickness) in the preheated oven, until the crust is crisp and golden at the edges, and cheese is melted on the top.

New Ingredients & Method for Chicken Nuggets & Chips - Kilkenny restaurant

Chicken Nuggets/ Goujons with Pea Puree and Spiced Wedges

4 Portions

For the Sole
. 700g Fresh Chicken Fillet
. 400g Brown Bread Crumbs or another Bread Crumb
. 200g Plain Flour
. 4 each Eggs
. 50ml Milk

For the Potato Wedges
. 5-6 Each Large Potatoes (Kerr Pinks are good for this)
. 100ml Olive Oil
. 20ml Vegetable Oil
. 20g Cajun Spice

For the Pea Puree
. 250g Frozen Peas
. 200ml Chicken Stock
. 1 each Small sliced Onion
. Black Pepper
. Chopped Parsley
. Chopped Chives

Method - To make the Chicken Nuggets
1. To crumb the fish take 3 bowls, one for flour, one for eggs and one for crumbs.
2. Cut the chicken into small cubes roughly the same size but it is possible to cut them into goujon shapes.
3. Lightly dust the chicken pieces in the flour bowl. Shake off any excess flour before putting into the egg bowl.
4. Shake well before placing into the crumbs and shake well after crumbing. Bake the chicken in a hot oven (180) for 10-15 minutes with just a little olive oil.

Method - To make the Potato Wedges
1. Cut the potato into chunky, but evenly sized wedges. Steam the wedges for 12 minutes and cool as quickly as possible. Coat the cooled potatoes in a mix of olive and vegetable oil before dusting with Cajun spice.
2. Place in a hot oven (190) for about 12 minutes or until golden and crisp. Place on kitchen towel for a minute before serving to take off any excess oil.
3. To make the Pea Puree:
4. In a pot, sweat the onions gently before adding the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Add the peas from frozen and cook for about 2 minutes.
5. Pour off a little of stock (If the mix is too thick you can always add more stock but you can not take it out) before putting the remainder of the contents into a food processor. You should have a bright green colored puree

New Ingredients & Method for Burger & Chips - Donegal restaurant

Burger and Chips

4 Portions

. 680g Mince Beef (24oz)
. 5g Chopped Thyme
. 5g Chopped Chives
. 2 each Plum Tomatoes
. 0.25 head Ice Berg Lettuce
. 0.25 each Red Onion
. 4 Sour Dough Baps

Tomato Sauce

6-8 portions

. 4 each Plum Tomatoes
. 1 each Shallot
. 1 each Red Pepper
. 0.5 each Garlic Clove
. 5g Chopped Parsley
. 5g Chopped Chives
. 1tsp Vinegar
Carrot Sticks to garnish

. 2 each Large Maris Piper Potatoes per person

Burger Method

1. Mix the mince, thyme and chives together in a bowl. Divide the mix into 4 equal parts; this will give you 4, 6 oz portions.
2. Take one portion into your hand and using a clapping motion slap the mince from one hand to the other until the meat becomes tight and compact, in a ball shape.
3. This will keep the burger from falling apart while cooking. Repeat this with the other 3 portions and allow them to rest in the fridge.
4. It is best to use a griddle pan to cook burgers as this allows the excess fat to roll away as the burger cooks. Once the pan is hot place the ball of meat into the centre.
5. Use the palm of your hand to press down onto the meat so that a circle burger shape is made.
6. Allow the burger to cook over a moderate heat until the juice begins to bubble up through the centre of the burger, now you can turn it over and continue cooking on the other side until cooked through.

Chips Method

1. Begin by peeling the potatoes and squaring them off, which is cutting away the uneven sides until you have an even rectangular shaped box.
2. The trimmings from this can always be used in a soup or if you don't peel the potatoes first, the trim can be used to make potato wedges the following day.
3. Once the potato is shaped cut into evenly sized chips, this is also important as they should all take the same time to cook.
4. Once you have cut the chips rinse them under cold water but avoid soaking them in it as this will increase their moisture content.
5. Place the chips into a pot and cover with cool water. Place the pot over the heat and bring to a simmer for 4 minutes. Now gently strain and allow the chips to cool. This will be the first blanch.
6. Set the temperature on a deep fat fryer to 190C. Allow the fryer to come up to temperature before placing in the chips in small amounts to the oil.
7. Now the outer shell of the chip will Crispin faster in the oil and the chip will absorb less fat while cooking. Once golden brown, strain over kitchen paper and serve.

Tomato Sauce Method

Place the chopped tomatoes, chopped shallot, peeled garlic and chopped pepper into a jug blender.
Begin blending on a slow speed and add in the vinegar. Continue blending until smooth, remove from the blender and add the chopped herbs.
Serve in a ramekin on the side of the burger with a few carrot sticks sticking out.
The child can then use the stick to put the sauce onto the burger and hopefully eat the stick too!!

New Ingredients & Method for Asian Style Chicken - Sligo restaurant

Thai Chicken Curry And Rice Noodles

Serves 4

. 4 each Chicken Fillets, cut into thin strips
. 250g Rice Noodles
. 1 can Low fat Coconut Milk
. 4-5 each Spring Onions
. .5 each Courgette
. .5 each Aubergine
. 2 heads Pak Choi
. 1 each Red Bell Pepper
. 1 tsp Grated Ginger
. 1 tsp Red Curry Paste
. 1 each Juice and zest of fresh Lime
. 4-5 each Lime Leaves (dry or fresh)
. 5g Fresh Chop Coriander
. 5g Fresh Chopped Basil

1. Prepare the vegetables first. Cut the aubergines, courgette and peppers into rough cube shapes.

2. Slice the spring onions into rings but cutting at a slight angle to give them that Asian style. You can make this in a wok if you wish but a pot will do the same job.

3. Place the coconut milk into the pot and bring to a simmer, now ad the curry paste along with the ginger, lime juice and lime leaf. 4. Once the sauce has simmered for 3-4 minutes add the cubes of chicken and continue to simmer for 10 minutes.

5. Now add the courgette, aubergine, pak choy and bell peppers and continue to simmer for a further 3 minutes. Now add the spring onion and chopped herbs. Remove from the heat.
6. In separate pot bring water to the boil and add the noodles, allow these to boil for 3-4 minutes and strain.

7. It is best to pour a kettle of boiling water over the noodles as they strain, this will prevent them from sticking. Once cooked place the noodles into your serving dishes and pour over the curry. Enjoy

Broccoli and Smoked Bacon Linguine Cauliflower Puree

4 Portions

. 500g Broccoli Florets
. 200g Smoked Bacon
. 400g Fresh Linguine/ Tagliatelle
. 1head Cauliflower
. 250 ml Cream
. 250ml Water

Cauliflower Puree Method

1. Cut the cauliflower into small, even sized florets. Place in a pot with the water, cream and a pinch of salt.
2. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15min or until the cauliflower is soft and easy to crush. Pour into a jug blender and blend until smooth.

Broccoli Linguine Method

1. In a hot pot fry the bacon until crisp. Turn the heat down and put in the broccoli.
2. Blanch the pasta and strain before adding to the broccoli mix. Add in the cauliflower puree and mix well before serving.

Arabiata Pasta with Spiced Meat Balls

4 Portions

. 500g Pasta (Dry Tagliatelle)
. 400g Tinned Tomato,
. 1 each Garlic Clove
. 2 each Fresh Chili Pepper
. 500g Mince Beef)
. 2 each Shallot
. 5g Fresh Basil
. 5g Fresh Thyme
. 5g Fresh Chives
. 0.5 tsp Paprika
. 0.5 tsp Cayenne pepper

1. Begin by making your meat balls so that they have a little time to marinade before cooking.
2. In a large mixing bowl put the mince, one finely diced shallot along with half of the basil, chives and one chili also finely chopped.
3. Add to the bowl, the paprika, cayenne pepper and mix well, use your hands! Once you have mixed this well shape the beef into small balls about an ounce or 25 grammes each, this will give you about 20 balls or 5 each.
4. Place these in the fridge now while you prepare the rest of the dish.
5. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and add the pasta, continue to boil hard for about 15 minutes for dry pasta.
6. Meanwhile, in a warm pan add a little oil and the second of the 2 shallots finely chopped along with the second of the chilies also finely chopped.
7. Fry these gently until they soften and add the tomatoes along with 100 ml of water, just to help cook your sauce before it has reduced too much.
8. Now heat a pan and add the meat balls, it's a good idea to turn them in a little oil before adding them to the pan.
9. Gently turn them over a high heat until they are brown all over, now add the Arabiata sauce to the pan and reduce the heat to a simmer for 5-10 minutes.
10. Once the meat ball have cooked remove them from the pan and place in a pot over a low heat to keep them warm while you add the strained pasta to the pan of sauce.
11. Mix the pasta before placing in hot bowls to serve; now you can add the meat balls to each dish making sure everyone gets the same!!
12. To garnish deep fry the remaining basil in a little oil and place on top, sprinkle with the remaining chives.