One of the new cookery shows on TV this year is Cookery School starring the beautiful and beehived Gizzi Erskine and Michelin star chef Richard Corrigan. In the show the pair lead groups of students through various recipes and techniques and are brutal with their feedback. A typical comment from Richard Corrigan to a hapless student is: “That is not just a poor effort. There are no words in the English dictionary to describe how bad that is.” The show is only on at 2pm in the afternoon so if you are gainfully employed you are probably only going to be able to watch repeats on the internet which is a shame. However, not to fear there is of course an accompanying cook book to the show.
The book – a hefty tome
The Cookery School book’s boring graphic cover makes it look a bit like a home economics text book but inside the recipes are well laid out and beautifully photographed. The best feature is the step by step guides to some of the more in depth recipes which includes a photograph for each step. As the title suggests, the book errs on the side of being overly basic, but for confident cooks the book does include some more complex recipes and detailed explanations of culinary techniques.
Helpful step-by-step photographs
I tested out two recipes from the book, the citrus and herb roasted vegetable cous cous (which was really delicious but probably too simple to share on here) and the twice-baked goat’s cheese soufflés. The soufflé recipe was easy to follow and I have reproduced it pretty closely below although I have reduced the amount of goat’s cheese and substituted parsley as the garnish in place of chives as that is what I had to hand. I think soufflés are an intimidating dish as there is always the risk they will collapse in the oven, but the recipe for twice baked soufflés in Cookery School takes the stress away as the soufflés can be pre cooked and then reheated for a final five minutes. For a simple supper, light lunch or a starter which can be prepared ahead of time, the soufflés are deliciously decadent. They contain not one, but two types of goat’s cheese which can only be a good thing.
The finished soufflé
25g walnuts, finely crushed
400ml whole milk
1 onion, peeled and cut in half
1 bay leaf
40g plain flour
150g soft goats cheese
4 eggs, separated
1/2 tsp nutmeg
100g hard goats cheese, cut into four fingers
Salt and pepper to season
2 leeks trimmed
2 tbs finely chopped flat leaf parsley
9 walnuts, quartered
Making the roux (Step five)
1. Preheat the oven to 180c and melt 20g of the butter.
2. Brush the inside of small ramekins or soufflé moulds with the melted butter. Mix the crushed walnuts and breadcrumbs together and sprinkle inside the moulds before leaving to set in the fridge.
3. Place 300ml of the milk, the onion, bay leaf and cloves in a saucepan and warm through but do not boil.
4. Place the remaining butter in a medium saucepan and melt over medium heat then add the flour and stir and cook for four minutes until the raw taste of the flour has gone.
5. Gradually add the milk into the mixture while it is still on the heat, throwing away the aromatics, and stirring all the time. Then add the soft goat’s cheese and stir to combine before removing one quarter of the mixture from the pan and setting aside to cool.
6. Stir the egg yolks into the mixture in the medium saucepan then add the nutmeg and seasoning. Transfer the mix to a bowl.
7. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until firm, then fold the egg whites into the main mixture gradually, keeping the air in the mixture.
8. Fill the moulds or ramekins with the mixture and run your fingers around the top to clean the lip (this help’s the soufflé rise). Add a finger of hard goat’s cheese to the centre of each soufflé and place the soufflé in a water bath of boiling water in a pan filled to half way up the outside of the soufflés. Cook in the oven for 20 mins.
The soufflés in a water bath ready to go into the oven
9. Meanwhile plunge the leeks into boiling salted water and leave for 3 minutes, until soft and then cut the green part into thin rounds.
10. Put the small saucepan that was set aside with the cooled sauce back on a low heat. Add the remaining 100ml of milk to make a thinner sauce then add the parsley and keep warm.
11. Remove the soufflés from the oven and increase the temperature to 200c. Use a knife to loosen the edges of the soufflés and tip them out onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper before putting back in the oven for 5 mins.
12. Divide the leek rounds between 4 plates, placing them in a circle on the centre of each plate. Put the soufflé on top of the leeks, drizzle with the goat’s cheese sauce and scatter the walnuts over.
Gourmet Chick received a review copy of Cookery School it costs £11.50 on Amazon.
The soufflé straight out of the oven
If you like goat’s cheese you might be interested in this recipe for lamb cutlets with fig and goat’s cheese salad.