Troy Club Blog

African Tomato and Beef Stew April 09 2015

African Tomato and Beef Stew

Ingredients:

500 grams of Diced Beef (cubes)

Can of diced tomatoes or 3 Whole tomatoes diced

3 Spring onions (stems) diced

1 brown onion diced

1 red onion diced

Oil (Preferably Rice Bran oil for it’s high burn point, but use whatever you have in kitchen)

Salt & Pepper

Beef stock cube

Utensils:

Medium sized saucepan

Saute pan

Wooden spoon

Chef’s Knife

Cutting Board

Steps:

  1. Season diced beef cubes in salt and pepper and cook on high heat in saucepan with oil. Once cooked turn off heat.
  2. Fry spring onions, brown onion and red onion together in sauté pan with oil on high heat, when brown onion is slightly brown add tomatoes and beef stock cube and stir mixture for a further 10-15 minutes
  3. Add sauce from onions and tomatoes to the saucepan with your beef and cook on low heat for a further 20-30 minutes
  4. Let beef and sauce mix stand for a further 10-15 minutes to cool down before eating 

Enjoy with rice, bread or fufu!


Cast Iron Cookware February 24 2015

Walk into any kind of commercial kitchen and you will see a myriad of stainless steel cookware sitting on the stove or hanging up around the place. Pots and pans need to be built tough to withstand the rigours hospitality industry. But are there any other options besides stainless steel?

Start-Up restaurants and existing ones tend not to have a big budget on splashing out on cooking equipment, so they tend to buy something that lasts.

Cast Iron cookware lasts for a very long time. You only need to buy cast iron cookware once, and it also has awesome heat retention. When cooking vegetables or meats you get a really nice caramelisation on the outside and juicy retention on the inside.

The important aspect around the different properties each metal has, is there heat conductivity. Any experienced Chef will tell you that a good pot or pan should heat across the entire surface evenly.

Take for instance when you heat up a thin regular pan, you will notice when cooking, that some areas of the pan are hotter than others, which leads to inconsistent cooking, or in some cases burnt or uncooked food! This won't happen with a cast iron pan, because when you heat it up the whole thing heats up.

As cast iron cookware can rust easily it is important to season them well and regularly oil them. But besides that you will enjoy cookware that will last a lifetime!


Guide to Food Processors January 30 2015

Troy's Guide to Food Processors 

Food Processors are designed to slice, dice, chop, mince, grind, shred, puree and do much more in regards to food preparation. Food processors are an essential part to any kitchen, commercial or domestic. Not only do they save time and increase productivity, they are a lot safer to use than traditional methods of preparing food. If you are considering getting a food processor we have some guidelines below to help answer some questions you might have before purchasing one.

You own a blender and wander why you need a food processor?

Both machines do similar jobs however there are some differences, pros & cons etc… Firstly blenders stand upright with smaller bottoms and require liquid in order to accomplish the blending task. The food processor on the other hand has a flat bottom and can work with dry ingredients, which can accommodate for larger and bulkier foods (thinks vegetables, dough etc…).

The size of your food processor will depend on what you want to use it for. Should you only be doing small vegetables, chopping nuts or mincing garlic then a mini food processor would do the job. However if you were a commercial kitchen you might aim at getting a larger food processor to cope with the large amounts of ingredients you would intend to mix or mash up. Take note however, that not all manufacturers listed bowl sizes translate to what you might add into the bowl, so I would advise to aim a bit higher in terms of capacity.

Food Processor Capacity Guide:

Type Capacity Best For
Mini-Prep Processor 3-4 Cup Capacity Bowls Useful for chopping, dicing, and mincing you would rather not do by hand. Great for nuts, sauces, small amounts of herbs, garnishes. Some large machines are sold with a mini bowl attachment included.
Mid-Size Processor 7 - 9 Cup Capacity Bowls Average size bowl, considered efficient for most tasks.
Large Processor 11 - 13 Cup Capacity Bowls Family size machine.
Extra-Large Processor 14 - 20 Cup Capacity Bowls Can accommodate ingredients for a doubled recipe; Perfect for someone who entertains often or caters. These machines are often sold with smaller attachment bowls for greater versatility.

 

Motor's Make A Difference.

The food processors motor is important to consider, and you should aim for 400 watts + for an average size machine and around 750 watts+ for a larger type. Just remember the bigger the job the more power will be needed. Having a heavy bas also keeps the processor stable during operation.

Recommended food processor:

R301 Ultra Robot Coupe

 

 


What to look out for when buying a Knife January 19 2015

What to look out for when buying a Knife

When going out to buy a new knife, whether it’s a chef knife, paring knife or any other type of knife. You should generally look out for 3 main things about the knife you are about to purchase: the steel, the handle and the weight of the knife.

The Type of Steel

One of the most overlooked aspects when buying a knife is the type of steel it is made from, and this should be your first point to address when buying a new knife.

Your decision when choosing what type of steel your knife should be made form will come down to two choices: German Steel or Japanese Steel.

German knives generally have a thicker blade compared to Japanese knives. This makes the knives more sturdy and less prone to damage when dropped. 

German Knife Pros:

  • Durable and tough
  • Hold their edge for a good time
  • Easy to sharpen

German Knife Cons:

  • The thicker blades make it harder for delicate cuts, such as slicing sashimi for sushi, or the fine julienne and Brunoise of vegetables.

Japanese knives on the other hand have a more delicate composition with a thinner blade. This extreme edge makes them impressively sharp, but they don’t stay sharp quite as long. They’re also a little bit more difficult to sharpen.

Japanese Pros:

  • Sharpened to an extreme angle that makes them razor sharp.
  • Great for more delicate cuts such as sushi and fine vegetable work.

Japanese Cons:

  • Tend to be a little more difficult to sharpen than German knives.
  • Because they are sharpened to such an extreme angle, their edge is a little more fragile and won’t hold for quite as long. (There are some exceptions to this rule).

The Handle

Another important aspect when buying a knife is the size of the handle. You need to make sure the knife sits in your hand comfortably. If you have a smaller hand then you would choose a thinner hand, whereas if you had a larger hand you would select a handle with a larger grip.

The key to having good knife skills is a knife you can hold with a relaxed and comfortable grip for an extended period of time.

Weighting

The weighting of the knife should not be confuse on how heavy or light the knife feels, but more so the balance of the knife. Having a well-balanced knife will make cutting and slicing more enjoyable. The blade and handle should roughly be the same weight and where they meet you should be able to balance that point on your finger.

Chef Knives I Recommend

Mac Chef Series Chef Knife 25cm

Dexter Cooks Knife 25cm

Dick Pro-Dynamic Chef Knife 26cm

Global Cook’s Knife 24cm G-16


Caring for your Glassware December 24 2014

Mechanical Impact 

Avoid contact with other objects such as beer taps, glasses or cutlery as this may result in breakages, chips, cracks and virtually invisible abrasions. These weaken the glass making them easier to break due to impact or thermal shock. 

Thermal Shock 

Glass retains temperature and any sudden change can cause breakage e.g. putting ice into glass directly from the dishwasher or vice versa 

Remember 

  • Avoid glass contact with beer taps
  • Always use plastic scoop for ice
  • No cutlery in glasses
  • Never stack glasses
  • No glass contact when collecting
  • Store glasses in partitioned racks
  • Ensure sufficient stock on hand for meet needs
  • Never put cold liquid or ice into warm or hot glass
  • Empty ice from glasses before placing in Dishwasher
  • Remove any broken/chipped/cracked glass from service
  • Dishwasher temperature must reach 77 degrees Celius in accordance with The Pure Food Act NSW

Tips for Maintaing your Knives when using a Dish Washer October 29 2014

The descriptions “rust-free”, “stainless”, or “inox” are only somewhat accurate. Knife blades can be damaged by not being cleaned properly and can also corrode. The action of washing knives in machines is considerably more aggressive than cleaning by hand, particularly since knives are no longer wiped dry properly! Very powerful washing detergents, knives being left in the dishwasher for hours, the long term effect of chemicals at high temperatures etc… are just a few of the causes which can lead to staining or even corroding knife blades. However, if you follow the recommendations below your knives will not suffer any damage in the dishwasher:

  • Before placing knives in the machine briefly wash off the food remains on the blade of the knife under running water to avoid giving the salt and acid-containing residues time to act. This is very important if the machine is not started up immediately.
  • Always place the knife with the blades facing upwards, in other words with the handles facing downwards so the knives can be washed more effectively allowing for better drainage of the rinsing water.
  • Add powder and decalcifying agent in accordance with the instructions, use only brand label products. Particular attention must be paid to the professional maintenance and servicing of the machine in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Remove the knives from the machine immediately after the dishwasher cycle has ended and wipe where possible. Check knife blades and immediately remove any water residues left behind, where necessary treat with a good metal cleaning agent. Never leave damp knives in a closed machine.

Stainless Steel Cutlery Care July 07 2014

Stainless steel is one of the most durable metals around and has exceptional ability to resist stains, rust and corrosion.

However, contrary to popular belief, stainless steel is neither stain nor rust proof and even the finest alloy will suffer if not cared for.

Prolonged exposure to foods that contain chloride, like mustard, table salts, eggs and jam can stain if not rinsed off immediately. Some of the minerals and salts in tap water can cause pitting and staining. Remove foods remnants immediately after use.

When washing by hand always use a good quality detergent and hot water. Rinse in clean hot water. Dry and polish with a soft cloth.

If using a dishwasher, separate your silver and aluminium from your stainless steel prior to washing. This will reduce the chances of pitting. Remove the cutlery from the machine as soon as the cycle is finished and polish with a soft cloth.

If necessary use a good quality non-abrasive metal polish to remove discolourations and hard water stains to revive the finish of the cutlery.

18/8 or 18/10 Stainless Steel refers to 18% Chromium and 8% or 10% Nickel added to the steel. This addition improves the metals ability to resist staining and enhances the metal strength… it also gives the metal a better appearance by adding lustre.


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