Quorn Cookery Class at Underground Cookery School (Includes 3 Recipes)
Date: Monday 11th May, 2015
Time: 18:30 – 21:30
Venue: Underground Cookery School – 201-203 City Road, London EC1V 1JN
Motherhood Diaries was greeted with another opportunity to work with Quorn, this time at a Quorn cookery class held at Underground Cookery School. Back in August 2014, Quorn held a BBQ event to accompany the lovely summer we were having and we got to learn about how we could replace our normal meat BBQ products for Quorn sausage rolls, scotch eggs and burgers (link here to the full post). The guests’ appreciation at being provided with delicious Quorn BBQ food were unanimous. You couldn’t tell the difference! So inspired, I went home and recreated some Quorn recipes for my family. You can find the full recipes and more about Quorn here.
What is Quorn?
Very briefly, Quorn (by Quorn Foods) is made largely from an ingredient called Mycoprotein, a nutritious member of the fungi family and a healthy protein source. Quorn, a meat alternative, is high in dietary fibre and low in saturated fat, therefore, making it a healthy food source for a varied and balanced diet.
There are a number of different Quorn products out there now, all packing a healthy punch. A full list of Quorn products can be found here: Quorn Product Range
Quorn Cookery Class
Armed with an open mind and an empty stomach, I arrived at the Underground Cookery School to be greeted by bloggers from the food, lifestyle and parenting industry. I had met some of them before, so it was nice to catch up again over a glass of Prosecco and some lovely Quorn Canapes.
Before unleashing the bloggers into the kitchen, we sat down and had a talk about Quorn and its nutritional benefits.
Here are some facts about Quorn that you may or may not know about already.
- 90% less fat than a meat spaghetti Bolognese
- A sustainable alternative to meat
- Up to 90% lower emissions than beef
“There is no secret to my success – I train hard and eat right. It’s simple – practice and protein. Having the right training regime, supported by the right nutrition, has helped me to win an Olympic gold” – Mo Farrah
The cooking lesson commences
Starter – BBQ Pulled Quorn and Pink Coleslaw
We started the class by learning how to make BBQ Pulled Quorn and Pink Coleslaw (recipe below). The very talented chef expertly showed us how to make flavoursome Quorn. The trick is to marinate it, which is not what I have been doing with my Quorn ingredients at home. A lot would say that substituting meat for Quorn means you sacrifice on flavour. But, if you flavour your Quorn first, you really cannot tell the difference!
BBQ Pulled Quorn and pink coleslaw recipe
10 Quorn fillets, defrosted
200ml BBQ sauce
150g white cabbage, finely shredded
150g red cabbage, finely shredded
150g carrots, grated
100g red onion, finely chopped
4tbsp mayonnaise, low fat variety or natural yoghurt
1tsp Dijon mustard (optional)
10 bread buns
1. Hand shred the Quorn fillets and mix with the BBQ sauce. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes.
2. Mix together all the coleslaw ingredients and season to taste, chill until required.
3. Tip the Quorn onto a baking tray and bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 180C/Gas Mark 4 or until core temperature is reached.
4. Divide the coleslaw between the buns and fill with the pulled Quorn
Main – Quorn Thai Curry
Next on the agenda we learned how to make the classically delicious Thai curry and the infamous Thai curry sauce, which filled the air with its highly appealing aroma. Recipe below:
Quorn Thai Curry
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp korma paste
2 tbsp vegetarian Thai green curry paste
500g Quorn Pieces
1 tbsp vegetable oil
400g onion, peeled and chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
60g fresh coriander
1 tbsp fresh, frozen or dried lime leaves (optional)
1½ tbsp turmeric
1 vegetable stock cube, crumbled
2 x 400g tin coconut milk
3 tbsp sweet mango chutney
30g fresh basil
350g red peppers, thinly sliced
200g mangetout or sugar snaps, halved
- Mix the marinade ingredients together in a bowl until the Quorn is coated. Transfer to the fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- To prepare the sauce heat the oil in a pan then gently fry the chopped onion, garlic and ginger for 5 minutes until softened but not coloured.
- Add half of the coriander, the lime leaves, turmeric, stock cube, coconut milk, and mango chutney. Gently bring to the boil then simmer, covered for 20 minutes. Add the basil and remaining coriander to the sauce for the last 5 minutes of cooking time then remove the pan from the heat and blend until smooth with a hand blender.
- Meanwhile transfer the marinated Quorn pieces to a baking tray and cook in a moderate oven 180°C/Gas Mark 4 for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and reserve.
- Add the Quorn pieces, red pepper and mangetout to the sauce and simmer for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are just cooked.
*TIP – This curry also works really well using Quorn fillets torn by hand or sliced in chunky pieces.
Dessert – Chocolate Torte
Always partial to some chocolate torte, I was very excited to learn about this sweet recipe, even though it was totally unrelated to Quorn. Our outspoken, but equally as entertaining and amusing chef let us in on a few secrets to making the perfect chocolate torte, including powdering the cake tin with dark chocolate, which, not only helps the torte come out of the tin, but it also adds to the flavour and texture of the torte as a whole. But, bringing the torte ingredients together was no easy feat! Whipping the cream was one heck of a workout for the arms and I felt like I had earned my dessert after a gruelling ten minutes of whipping up the cream.
Chocolate Torte Recipe
300f Choc (7.05oz) Best quality chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
225g Butter (5.29oz) Unsalted butter, plus a little extra for greasing
6 Eggs, separated
150g (3.52oz) Caster sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 C/Gas 4.
- Place the bowl on top of a simmering saucepan of water, making sure the water does not touch the bowl.
- Melt the butter and chocolate and stir to combine to a rich velvety smoothness.
- Take off the heat and set aside.
- Separate the Eggs.
- Now whisk the whites, until stiff peaks and set aside.
- Grease the tin with the butter and coat with sugar to stop the cake sticking to the tin.
- In yet another bowl add the yolks and then sugar, and whisk until thick and creamy (about 2 minutes).
- Add chocolate mixture and combine.
- Now using a stainless steel spoon, fold in the egg whites and empty the contents into the tin.
- This torte can take up to 30 mins to bake.
- It’s ready when you stick a skewer in the middle and it comes out clean and clear.
The sit-down dinner
After a hard few hours of cooking and baking, we were allowed to go back to our seats and wait for our meals to arrive. The chefs were kindly whipping up all 3 courses for us to try. I had an empty stomach when I had arrived at the Underground Cookery School at 6.30pm, but at around 9pm, I was ravenous.
The starter, the BBQ Pulled Quorn and Pink Coleslaw, tasted delicious! The BBQ Sauce complements the other ingredients so well and, actually, it didn’t taste like a burger, but more like a vegetable butty with highly flavoured BBQ Quorn. I could easily eat this again, it was so tasty.
The main, the Quorn Thai Curry, tasted just like Thai Chicken Curry. When eating it, I did not miss the original version at all. In fact, I could quite happily opt for the healthier Quorn alternative from now on. The Thai curry packed a ton of flavour, so you wouldn’t be missing out on anything at all by replacing the chicken with the Quorn version. Well, just the calories, but that’s a good thing!
The Chocolate Torte was divine, as I knew it would be. The rich dark chocolate flavour complemented the vanilla ice cream and, even though I was full, I managed to scoff all of my dessert before sinking into my seat fully satisfied after a very tasty 3-course meal, so kindly offered by Quorn and The Underground Cookery School.
What a fantastic night. I came away knowing so much more about Quorn’s versatility and health benefits and I learned a few cookery skills on the way. It’s definitely worth taking the time to marinade Quorn first before cooking your meals – you will notice the difference in flavour straight away.
Photographs taken by Preston Perfect Photography (that’s my husband!)
Recipes by The Underground Cookery School – Free weekly recipe blog at http://undergroundcookeryschool.com/blog
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