Pete Cooks Up A Storm In The CENS Kitchen

Here at CENS, we can always rely on Pete to perform miracles with a few random ingredients, a wooden spoon and a lot of imagination. A volunteer for many years now, Pete really demonstrates how invaluable they are to the successful running of a small charity. Here’s what he has been up to this week…..

Pete’s Eats

One of the catering challenges at CENS is to produce six evening meals and a Sunday lunch, which are nutritious, healthy and varied, relying (as far as possible) on the weekly delivery from our friends at Fareshare.

Mr Google to the rescue

There is always a certain amount of trepidation on a Wednesday when the delivery arrives. Although we have a “wish-list”, in practice what we often (but not always) end up with is whatever the partnering supermarkets decide is surplus to requirements. This may be fresh food which is nearing its ‘best-before’ date. However, it can also be ingredients which are not selling well, and these can sometimes be a little exotic. This poses an additional creative challenge – that is to say, a quick consultation with Mr. Google!

This week was a case in point. Amongst many other things, we received 10 kilos of cherry tomatoes, 48 fresh chicken wings and 36 cartons of top-end chilli passata.

The magic ingredient

The fresh tomatoes are always welcome, but have to be used within a few days, so the go-to Pete’s Eats special is to roast them slowly with salt, pepper and heaps of garlic until they pop and blister. This week they were the magic ingredient in a bolognese sauce – always a winner.

Spread your wings

Google came up with the answer for the chicken wings and passata. It wasn’t something I had tried before but it was basically chicken in vegetable and tomato sauce.

The wings are browned off in a frying pan. Separately, chopped courgettes are quickly fried in garlic and set aside before slowly sauteing grated carrot and finely chopped onion.

Ticking the boxes

 Everything is combined before the aforementioned passata is added. After seasoning, it’s into a slow cooker for a few hours. Served with rice or maybe garlic bread, it ticks all the boxes – but as a new dish, there is one more requirement – we must get good feedback from the residents!