13 November 2010

CHEFGARY WEDDINGS






I cater for many occasions and some are to celebrate friendships or are for social gatherings where my services take a lot of pressure off the host. Others are for Birthdays, Christenings, or Anniversaries which are all very important parts of our lives and we want to do something that little bit extra special. However, when it comes to arranging our wedding, we all like to go the extra mile to ensure a perfect day for one of the most important days of our lives. I have catered for many weddings to different budgets and have done simple buffet menus to elaborate sit down meals. I always put so much care and attention into all my menus and when thinking about your wedding catering I have years of experience to help you with the planning and logistics of you wedding meal. 

I can come to any destination to provide catering or if you would like advice on booking your venue then I will be more than pleased to help. I have catered for many weddings at The Pavillion, Romsey, where I have worked closely with the owners for many years.

I can also recommend a great wedding photographer who did the photography for our own wedding which led us to recommend Julian and Sue Porter to all of our friends. They are such a friendly couple that will work closely with you leading up to your wedding and produce the most fantastic pictures for your special day. We loved having Julian and Sue at our wedding and have stayed friends since.




Quotes from Weddings:

"When Issy and I got engaged, Gary was not only the obvious choice for our wedding catering, but by far the best too. Gary organised everything and made the whole process very fun for us. From beginning to end he put so much effort into the day and the results were clear in the food he produced. Our menus were so personal to us and we had so many fantastic comments about the quality. The only difficult part of the whole process was choosing the food from all the fabulous options!
I wouldn't hesitate to use Gary again, and can't recommend him enough! Thanks Gary for a fantastic job and for making our special day so tasty!"
Andy Feltham

"We both can't thank you enough for everything you did at our wedding - the food, the catering, the organisation, all the little touches......it all was simply fantastic and played such a big part in making our wedding a memorable one. We have had so many comments about how delicious the canapes, starter, main, petit fours & buffet were, and those guests who had intolerances that were catered for said that they had never been taken care of so well at a wedding before with the food they were given. It really was top class, and you are such a talented chef :)"
Issy Whatmmore

Gary although we have enjoyed your food many times, this was our first wedding experience.
The food was simply amazing, a very well thought out menu and very well excecuted by you and your staff.
The food not only tasted but looked amazing too.
Great work my ChefGary, its an honour to have you as a friend
Jules and Sue






Chicken breast, stuffed with blush tomatoes and mozzerella, wrapped in Parma ham and puff pastry.

11 November 2010

CHEFGARY AT HOME @ Recipes


STIR FRIED CHICKEN BREAST

Served with fresh ginger, garlic, sesame, coriander and green vegetables.
I just cooked up a quick stir fry for dinner using fresh chicken breast, green vegetables, ginger, garlic, sesame seed, schezuan peppercorns, fresh coriander and soy sauce. It tasted great and is a really healthy way to enjoy plenty of green vegetables. Soy sauce is a great seasoning in place of salt and adds only a fraction of the sodium that salt has.

Ingredients: Chicken breast, schezuan peppercorns, sesame seed, Chinese 5 spice, garlic, ginger, fresh coriander, onions, celery, fennel, broccoli, courgette, leek and white cabbage.

Pre heat a wok or large saucepan and add sesame oil, the ginger, garlic and peppercorns.
Cook for a few minutes.

Add the chicken and stir until it turns white.

Add the sesame seeds and 5 spice before setting aside.

Add a little more oil if necessary and add the onions, celery, fennel and leeks.

After a few minutes, add the rest of the vegetable ingredients.


When the vegetables begin to soften, add the coriander, soy sauce and return the chicken to the pan. Mix in and make sure the chicken is heated all the way through.
 

Serve with a little extra soy sauce if desired.

Enjoy




Barbecue chicken, pineapple chunks and roasted red onion,
Served with mashed sweet potato and saute courgettes with garlic and oregano.

Ingredients: Chicken, red onion, pineapple, courgette, cumin seed, paprika, thickened chicken stock, chilli, sweet potato, olive oil, nutmeg, Cracked black pepper and sea salt.

Put the sweet potatoes in a hot oven. Colour the chicken in a pan, while toasting the cumin seed.

Grind the cumin seed.

When the chicken is coloured, add the chili, crushed cumin and paprika.

Cook for a further few minutes.

Add the red onion and pineapple, and stock. Place in a hot oven for 30 minutes.

The sweet potatoes should take about 1 hour to cook and be soft to the touch.

Remove the skin and roughly chop the potato. 
Add grated nutmeg, sea salt, cracked black pepper and olive oil.

The courgettes will take 5 minutes in a pan, saute in olive oil with the garlic and mixed herbs.


Serve the chicken on the mash, pour on the gravy and serve the courgettes on the side.




Homemade ground beef burgers, 
Chilli, basil, caramelized onions and cracked black pepper.
Veggie burgers, 
Roasted sweet potato, grated carrot, onion, garlic, coriander, cumin and fennel seed.
Roasted Cajun potato wedges.
Cut the Maris piper potatoes to wedge shapes

Boil for 10 minutes, add chili, paprika, cumin seed, thyme, oregano, sea salt and black pepper.

Coat in olive oil and roast at high temperature for one hour
Minced steak, saute red onion, chili, coriander, basil, sea salt, black pepper

Mix all the ingredients together and mould into pattie shapes.

Cooking the burgers, while waiting for the wedges

Mix the ingredients for the veggie burgers and cook in a hot pan.

Four minutes each side with moderate heat.

Add cheese and bacon, before placing under the grill.

Serve with the wedges, ketchup and beer.




FAJITAS, with recipes.

Beef, chicken and King prawn fajitas.
Tomato and chilli salsa, Guacamole.



Fajitas recipes

Salsa:
Ingredients:

5 tomatoes, finely diced. 
Juice of 2 limes.
1 or 2 red chillis. Deseeded and finely diced.
Half a red onion, finely diced.
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander .
2 tablespoons and fresh basil.
2 tablespoons olive oil.
Sea salt and cracked black pepper.
Method:
1) 
Simply mix all ingredients together.

Guacamole:
Ingredients:
Avocados, roughly chopped.
2 cloves garlic, crushed.
Juice of 1 lime.
1 or 2 tablespoons salsa.
2 tablespoons fresh coriander.
Sea salt and cracked black pepper.
Method:
1) 
Simply mix all the ingredients together.

Sour cream:
Ingredients: 

500 ml double cream.
Juice of two lemons.
Method:
1) 
Whip the cream until thickened but not stiff.
2) Add the lemon juice and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
3) You may use yoghurt as a healthier option.

Fajita marinade for meat or fish
Ingredients:

2 tablespoons cumin seeds, crushed.
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, crushed.
3 tablespoons paprika,
1 tablespoon dried oregano,
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes,
2-4 cloves crushed garlic,
Zest of 2 limes.

Method:
1) 
Mix all ingredients together and rub into the meat at least one hour before cooking.
2) This recipe is a dry marinade but you may also add a little olive oil to form a paste which will keep well in the fridge.

I like to marinade my steaks and chicken breasts overnight and char grill them whole, slicing them after cooking. If you don’t have time for marinating you can pre slice the meat which will absorb the flavour more quickly from the marinade. You can then stir fry the meat strips.
I prefer to serve saute onions, peppers and tomatoes with my fajitas separately or if you are stir frying your meat then you can mix it all in together. Squeeze some fresh lime juice over the fajitas and add a little coriander just before serving.
Grated cheese, salad and rice are also great accompaniments to fajitas.



RICE RECIPES:

I have put together recipes for two of my favourite rice dishes.

The first is really fragrant and light, flavoured with lemongrass, fresh lemon and cardamom. It is just as easy to cook as you would normally cook your basmati, but adds so much extra flavour and enhances the dish.

The second is with coconut and lime. By using coconut milk, it will give a creamy texture. Adding dessicated coconut after will add further texture and extra flavour. The lime works really well with the coconut, but you can leave it out if so desired.

I use basmati rice for both of these recipes which is my favourite. It is more expensive than regular long grain rice but is of a much better quality.

Fragrant lemon and cardamom rice.
Ingredients:
350 grams basmati rice, 
Enough water to double the volume in the pan, (about 350ml)
1 lemongrass stalk, lightly crushed,
8 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed,
2 black caramom pods, lightly crushed,
Juice of 1 lemon,
Zest of 1 lemon,
Maldon sea salt and cracked black pepper.

Method:
1) Put all the ingredients in a saucepan (except the zest and salt and pepper) and cover.
2) Bring to the boil and simmer for about ten to twelve minutes.
3) Remove from the heat, add the zest and season to taste.
4) Fluff up with a fork and serve.

ChefGary's tip,
You may like to remove the pods before serving or you can leave them in for effect.
Try adding a stick of cinnamon in for an extra flavour.

Lemon and cardamom rice.

Coconut and lime rice,
Ingredients:
350 grams basmati rice, (washed)
200ml coconut milk,
150 ml water,
Juice of 3 limes,
Zest of 3 limes,
Maldon sea salt and cracked black pepper.

Method:
1) Put all the ingredients in to a saucepan (except the zest) and bring to the boil,
2) Simmer for about five minutes and then turn off the heat,
3) Leave the rice covered for a further 15 minutes,
4) All the liquid should be absorbed by the rice,
5) Add the zest of the limes and season, fluffing up with a fork.


ChefGary's tip:
Garnish with toasted dessicated coconut. To toast the coconut, simply put in a dry pan over a moderate heat for a few minutes until it starts to colour.




CHICKEN, CHORIZO AND SALMON

I just made a quick rice dish, taking inspiration from Mediterranean cuisine. Using chicken thighs, chorizo sausage and salmon, I could almost class it as a paella or a risotto, but I used basmati rice rather than the traditional puffier short grain rice used in paellas. The dish worked really well and took on all the flavours that I added.

Ingredients:

Basmati rice,
Chicken thighs, chorizo sausage, salmon fillet, salami, 
Onions, garlic, ginger, celery, carrot, peas, cherry tomatoes, sun blush tomatoes,
Chili, paprika, saffron, fennel seed, dried mixed herbs, salt and pepper, fish stock.

Start by searing the chorizo in a dry pan

Add the  vegetable ingredients, spices, salami, and chicken thighs

 
Cook for a few minutes before adding the salmon.

Add the rice and peas and toss through.

Add the stock, cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve with green pesto.