Chef Rachel Allen is known and an advocate of practical and fuss-free cooking, a concept of which I shared similar belief. Leave the complications of fancy preparations to the restaurants I’ll say, since that’s what we are paying for when we step into one.
Launching her new series on BBC channel; Rachel Allen’s Easy Meals is currently available exclusively on BBC Lifestyle Channel 140 every Monday at 8.00 pm on HyppTV. Along the same lines, her latest cookbook is gorgeous with a simple layout and delicious, easy to follow recipes.
And of course, thanks to Chef Paul and Rachel for the personalized copy, now I can whip up her meals in my very own home! 😀
During her sessions at The Food Studio at Amarin Mt. Kiara, Rachel demonstrated some mouthwatering yet uncomplicated recipes. I love her Apple Pie; devoid of cinnamon (sorry, but what’s with cinnamon and apples? Urgh!) but instead perfumed with cloves and its perfect crust, non-greasy yet retained a wonderful buttery aroma.
The sweetness tasted very naturally from the apples and though this is the usual pastry crust (non – phyllo) it wasn’t overwhelming in richness or heavy.
Next was her fantastic “cheat” foccacia, a recipe that calls for bicarbonate soda or soured milk, instead of yeast. Of course it’s not strictly a foccacia but it was fabulously aromatic and had really good texture. In fact, it only needed a few minutes in the oven and voila, freshly baked foccacia!
Give it a twist by flavouring it with herbs. It could rosemary (pretty common) or sundried tomatoes, pesto or just about anything that strikes your fancy. Rachel was really really generous with the olive oil before popping it into the oven and brushed even more on the top right after it was bought out.
BELOW: Beautiful foccacia that I could eat all day long. The crust was crisp to almost crumbly but the inside soft and yielding.
A little bit about Rachel Allen:
Hailed as the Irish Cooking Queen, Rachel grew up in Dublin and trained at the internationally reputable Ballmaloe Cookery school where she now also teaches in between her TV schedule. She believes that great results from cooking starts with good ingredients and prepared in simple ways.
A celebrity chef for 8 years now, her earlier TV series were Rachel’s Favourite Food, Rachel’s Favourite Food for Friends, Rachel’s Favourite Food at Home, and Rachel Allen: Bake! Her latest projects are a new book titled Cake which was recently released online in Ireland and a new TV series called Cake Diaries which will be ready for screening in late 2013.
I first met Chef Paul during my pie baking session at The Food Studio in Amarin Mt Kiara.
It’s a beautiful, spacious studio equipped with the best cooking gadgets you could possibly need for a great cooking experience. Check out the hands-on classes here –> http://the-food-studio.com/.
Beside cooking lessons, The Food Studio is ideal for events. I love its tranquil setting overlooking the hills of Mt Kiara and the cosy but private space.
To watch Rachel Allen in action tune in to BBC Lifestyle Channel 140 every Monday at 8.00 pm on HyppTV, the pay TV service provided by UniFi for her current show Rachel Allen’s Easy Meals.
This Rachel Allen’s masterclass was made possible by BBC Lifestyle and HyppTV. For me, I have to thank Chef Paul for his personal invite! 🙂
*All pics in this post: