Tag Archives: cooking techniques

Tooty The Chef Gets Photo-Bombed By Tootette.

Tooty the Chef has been quiet of late, due to this and that, but he couldn’t allow his culinery fandom fear the worst; so it’s back to the kitchen counter for our resident gastronomic genius. Before he’d even really thought about the subject of din-dins, the minced pork that had been sitting at the back of the fridge for days volunteered itself. But what to do with it?

Well what Tooty should have done was dig the multi-chef (or whatever they’re called) out of the cupboard: but he couldn’t be arsed. So he chopped an onion instead of obliterating it – which, as you’ve probably guessed, was an error…

Right then, that’s meatballs off the menu: have to think of something else to do with minced pork and chopped onion. Well there’s chilli flakes: that’s always a good standby…

Add a good old sprinkling of black pepper…

…and start stirring. Oh, but Tooty the Chef had miscalculated the viscosity of the mix: it was too stiff for his weedy arms. But ever one to re-adjust to changing circumstances, he took to treating the mix as though it was dough, and before you could say…ah…a really long word, he’d kneeded it into this ball of goo…

It was at this stage that Tootette reminded Tooty that he’d intended to use eggs. Cue eggs…

…to which he ingeniously added a slice of white bread – in pieces obviously – to help bind it all together…

He was then cheered in his efforts to stir the even more gooey mass into a sort of meatloaf thing…

Then it was a matter of what to cook beside the meatloaf thing. Well obviously some duck fat-coated frozen potatoes and parsnips were the only logical choice…

So they were nicely coaxed into the tray beside the gooey mass…

…and shoved into the oven (as usual set to max power) and left for fifty minutes…

In between times Tooty the Chef selected some sliced green beans to boil as a side dish to the roasted stuff…

The finished result was too good to photograph. Instead Tooty served it up instantaneously and got stuck into his own plate…

And all done without botty-baring once!

Hah – you didn’t think he’d cook a meal without showing his bum at least once, did you? No way!

 

Tooty the Chef Eats His Hat (part 2)

And now for the concluding episode…

Although daringly bare-buttocked, our favourite chef quickly re-stocked the frying pan with oil, heated it, and tipped in the shaved potato…

At this point he was so sure of success that he moved aside to allow the camera to witness the cooking of the shaved potato…

…which actually proved far more difficult than he had imagined. Being thin and starchy, the spud shavings stuck to each other like procreating foxes: they just didn’t seem able to let go. So some were barely cooked, whilst others were browned to within microns of destruction.

It was at this juncture that doubts began to make themselves unwelcome. Especially so when he added the ingredients to the egg mix – which needed the addition of a further two eggs…

So it was with waning confidence that Tooty the Chef took up his flipping tool…

Gonna need another frying pan, Chef. I think he realised that. But, not entirely blind to the inevitable, he carried on…

And for a few minutes all appeared well. But that omelette looked awfully thick and disturbingly runny. In such a tiny frying pan his flipping tool was utterly useless. So, being an adaptive kinda guy, Tooty the Chef decided to up-end the omelette into a second frying pan – thereby cooking both sides equally. Genius – or what? But…

…he wasn’t desperately good at it, and when the sloppy mess fell from one pan into the other, it folded and broke in the middle. So he had to beat it reasonably flat with his flipping tool…

This enraged him greatly…

Following a further two attempts, the omelette was sufficiently cooked to remain in one piece and to flip correctly. This brought him great joy…

…and demonstrated his remarkable acting skills. But despite this, the centre  remained uncooked. The omelette looked fine until it was pressed, when, disturbingly ghastly coloured goo and lumps of half-cooked vegetable leaked out in various directions in a most emetic manner… 

It was beginning to look a lot like shit…

And it didn’t smell too clever either. So Tooty the Chef did what any self-respecting cook would do. No, he didn’t chuck in the bin: he’d promised his Son ‘something omeletty’ and ‘something omeletty’ he would get. So, in a desperate effort to cook the centre, he re-used the second frying pan and chopped the omelette in two – then, ultimately, four…

But still the centre-goo refused to play ball. So Chef cast off his apron; put aside his regular sugar-free Sprite; and took to the Moscato…

When he’d recovered his decorum, the omelette looked like this…

Here you see it placed beside his dog’s dinner. Can you tell which is which. Also, it transpired, there was insufficient to feed three people. So poor Tooty the Chef was reduced to eating his hat…

So he never got to find out what it tasted like. But, 24 hours later, neither off-spring had been admitted to hospital, so perhaps it wasn’t quite as bad as it looked.

 

 

Tooty the Chef Makes ‘Rattatuti!’

Before we begin, let me bring you up-to-date with some of Tooty the Chef’s latest brilliant ideas. Well one anyway. Autumn has been wet and mild in Tooty the Chef’s portion of reality; so mosquitos have been rather prevalent in his kitchen. Unwilling to use ozone-depleting sprays (and having actually caught one of the little bastards as it attempted to finagle it’s pointy bits through the tough hide of his hairy knuckles), the great chef decided to tackle the problem head on. Literally. With a Sainsbury’s reusable cotton vegetable bag…

Voila! Not just a pretty face, I think you’ll agree.  Anyway, enough of that load of old bollocks: on with the cooking. Now Tooty the Chef has never been one to turn his nose up at a bargain: so when his local M&S Food Hall offered him three packs of four breaded chicken breast steaks for only £10 he snatched their metaphorical hands off. The downside of this was the need to devour them before the use-by date expired; which meant that whatever he was about to create, it must compliment breaded chicken breast steaks. Four of them to be exact…

No probs: let’s see what’s in the cupboard…

And, oh look, there’s some ancient eggs (that can easily recall high Summer) in the fridge…

Naturally the fridge had other gifts to give…

…those being soft and floppy courgettes; a pair of measly spuds; a couple of almost-rotten toms; three skanky carrots; an old onion; and a withered pepper that couldn’t decide if it was red or yellow. All grist to Tooty the Chef’s mill, I assure you. But what kind of sauce should he use? All the regular stuff was just too boring for words; so he stuck his fingers up at them…

But, after getting down upon his hands and knees, he discovered just what he needed…

…a can of Waitrose Cream of Petit Pois and Bacon Soup. Inspired choice. This was all the impetus he required: for the next half-hour he would transform in Le Chef Tuti!

Having turned on the oven to get warm, it was  dice-dice-dice-and- dice-again time…

Preperations complete, it was the correct moment to slide the chicken into the hot oven…

Now the race was on. Would the chicken cook before Le Chef Tuti was ready for it? Or would it be another of his fantastically unlikely dead-heats? Only…um…time would tell. Don’t fret Tuti; get those eggs broken…

…and lobbed into a bowl with black pepper, Himalayan salt, and paprika…

Come on Chef, pour out that olive oil with all your might…

Once heated upon the hob, the oil was joined by the slowest-cooking ingredients – those being the  potato, carrot, and onion…

Having given it a few minutes to get it’s head start, he added the courgette and pepper…

Look how delighted he was to do so. Actually he was acting.  He’s very good at that you know. He’d give Tom Conte a run for his money, I can tell you. And Pauline Collins. But I digress. After a while, when there was about ten minutes to go, he tossed the tomato in…

And, after fielding several gastronomic questions from his offspring, he tipped in the Waitrose soup and set it simmering on a low heat…

Yes, Le Chef Tuti has heard of ‘low’ you know. He doesn’t use it often, but (as a remarkable chef) he is aware that you should never boil soup: it makes it nasty or something. Then it was a simple matter of pouring the egg mix into a frying pan with hot olive oil at the bottom: blasting it for a while; then flipping it over;  blasting it a bit more; and chopping it into pieces with the edge of the flipping tool…

…before serving it proudly and displaying it to the camera with a stupid face…

Not bad,  eh?

Then, naturally, it was time to uncork a bottle of Muscat de Rivesaltes. On this occasion he decided to aschew the usual complimentary Sprite, and instead selected some vaguely uninteresting Schweppes Slimline Lemonade…

Unfortunately someone forgot to hide the key to the wine cellar; and when that one ran out, Le Chef Tuti found another, which could, inevitably, only end in one way…

Oh, if only we’d stocked it with shandy and ginger beer!

Tooty the Chef Returns to the Crock Pot

Tooty the Chef’s last foray into slow cooking was so successful that he’s decided  against waiting for the next millennium to arrive before his second attempt: he’s gonna do it now!

Of course the preparation for any meal must begin with the discovery of the ingredients. I say ‘discovery’ because that’s what Tooty the Chef does. He discovers what he has hidden away in cupboards and freezers and whatnot; then goes with them. On this occaision he discovered some frozen stir-fry veggies that he’d tossed in the freezer some time previous when their sell-by-date had expired…

Unfortunately this time the sauce mix shelf came up horribly short…

There were no casserole mixes, or anything that could be turned to that role. “Oh bum.” He cried, “This is gonna taste bloody awful!” So he had to get inventive. And if there’s one that Tooty the Chef is good at (apart from rushing to the lavatory) it’s being inventive. So he followed up the stir fry veg with some regular root veg, along with…

…a lump of pork loin, some mystery cereals and pulses in an unmarked jar, and a packet of Spanish rice and mushrooms that had lost their label, and which he hoped contained some spices and flavouring. Hope is a neccessary prerequisite for any meal. Every cook ‘hopes’ their creation is going to be wonderful. He also hoped that the out-of-date stock tubs (pictured to the right) weren’t actually poisonous. That’s another thing that cooks do: try not to poison anyone. They don’t always succeed; but they do try. Anyway, Tooty set to work on the root vegetables with verve and elan…

He was equally vervish when it came to  stripping the pork loin of any nasty fatty bits…

You know how much he hates fatty bits. Then he chopped up the meat and veggies; chucked them in the slow cooker; and stirred like a cement mixer on steroids…

The result was this…

…to which he added the stir-fry veggies…

Then it was a matter of introducing some flavour – in the shape of black pepper and paprika…

In an aside, let me tell you that he fell in love with paprika when, at age twenty, he stayed a while in Zurich, Switzerland, with his girlfriend, who introduced him to paprika flavoured crisps. He was heart-broken when, upon his return to Britain, he discovered that such things did not exist in his homeland, and probably never would.

Anyway, on with the show. Of course kitchen steam had been hard at work ruining anything powdered, so he was forced to stab his way into the paprika…

But, having done so, the resulting ingredients looked an awful lot like this…

Yummy already. Then is was time to mix the stock with boiling water and pour on…

The result? This…

So he then set the dial to LOW and went off to do lots of other things – one of which was to take a well-earned, and relaxing, bath…

Only it wasn’t really relaxing because he spotted the camera…

And fearful that his willy might protrude above the level of the water, he sat up…

…and was mortified that anyone would be so underhand as to place a camera in the bathroom with him…

Fortunately the great chef’s ruffled feathers were smoothed down in time for his return to the kitchen – some hours later – where the under-cooked meal was looking decidedly…ah…undercooked – with the veggies succeeding where his willy had not…

Time to add some more water. But just to be sure that the flavour wasn’t weakened and made wimpy and putrid, he grabbed one of those Spanish stock cubes for lentils that he so likes…

…and mixed it with the boiling water…

…and poured it on top…

Looking yummy again. But an hour later all those cereals, pulses and rice had sucked up all the water…

It looked arid, but rich. So this time he just added hot water…

…which also got sucked up. But it didn’t really matter because an hour later the meal was cooked. And since his speciality is stodge, this is what he served up…

And, not only was it excellent in every way possible (as long as you don’t mind stodge), but there was some left over for a mid-day snack the day after…

Two meals for the price of one. Well almost.

Easy-Peasy Cooking with Chef Tooty

Chef Tooty: he who gives tips to reluctant cooks who only cook because they have to. Today a quick and easy knock-up – Tuna Pasta Bake!

For a Tuna Pasta Bake Chef Tooty recommends these items…

…and, of course, some pasta – but not the toaster: that only appears in shot by accident. To begin with, our resident gastronomic giant threw some pasta in a saucepan – on top of a sprinkling of olive oil, which he swears  stops the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Then he added some boiling water and set it going…

Note how he placed a lid upon the saucepan. Yes, that’s right: it means that  the gas can be turned down, and the clean clothes on the dryer in the corner of the kitchen…

…don’t get pleasantly steamed and made soggy again.

About ten minutes in, he repeated the act (minus the oil) with some peas and sweetcorn…

Then, when he judged the pasta to be perfectly done, he strained it and lobbed it into the famous Roasting Thing…

Please note how not a single dollop of pasta has adhered to the bottom of his pan. One fancy chef, I think you’ll agree…

Then it was repeat time with the veggies…

Yes, I know that’s an awful lot of steam; but (like rushing off to the toilet) some things can’t be avoided. Once his glasses had lost their misty veneer, Chef Tooty took on the most dangerous procedure: the opening of the tuna can…

Oil/spring water could have gone everywhere. Fortunately Chef Tooty has a high tolerence to squirty cans, so it wasn’t long before he was depositing the contents onto the pasta/veggies amalgum..

This was quickly followed by the contents of the tuna pasta bake sauce jar, which, as you can probably imagine, is the mainstay of most great chefs…

Naturally a hearty stir followed…

… which itself was followed by the mandatory sprinkling of grated cheese – before being deposited into a pre-heated oven, which (on a rare occasion) wasn’t quite maxxed-out…

…for approximately ten-or-so minutes. Well long enough for a quick trip to the loo, a moment of relaxation, and a congratulatory chocolate chip cookie…

Then it was back to retrieve the finished product before incineration commenced…

Yummy – or what?  For an accompanying drink Chef Tooty eschewed the contents of the bodega this time, and instead selected some lovely…

…sugar-free strawberry and watermelon Tango. Perfecto! Who would have thought of that? Such class.

 

 

Chef Tooty in…High-Speed Cheffing!

A hardened end-of-the-week produce chef must often ponder what he or she is going to do with the paltry remains of the week’s shop in the kitchen larder. It’s a task to test the Devil himself, I can tell you. But once the chef has found a degree of inspiration, how is he or she going to actually cook it? Ponder, ponder, ponder…

On this particular occaision, Chef Tooty discovered that he had a number of sweet potatoes in the fridge…

“Hmmm,” he thought, “I feel a blaze of brilliance about to erupt inside my ageing, but still fertile mind. I can add these to the couple of ordinary spuds.”

But, of course, a few potatoes does not a gastronomic delight make. He needed something extra-special. Needless to say he found it in the bottom of the freezer. And it was only thirteen months old!

“Perfecto!” He bellowed. “All I need is some sauce or other.”

Lo and behold, on the top shelf, at the back of the cupboard, hid this…

A generic white sauce and some black pepper. More than enough for a foodilicious genius like wot Chef Tooty is. Then he noticed the time.

“Shit!” He roared, before adding “I have to be in the next town in thirty minutes, and it’ll take fifteen of them to get there!”

So, before he had time to cast aside his kitchen wear, he shifted into panic preparation mode…

In next to no time he’d spread a layer of olive oil in his famous roasting thing; peeled and sliced the regular potatoes and laid them on to the oil; removed the skin from two salmon fillets; likewise two trout fillets; sliced them into vaguely goujon-like shapes; laid them upon the spud layer with some sliced peppers; then peeled and sliced the sweet potatoes – laying them on top of the fish / peppers combo – followed by a generous sprinkling of black pepper. There was no time for fancy measuring out of the white sauce granules: he simply emptied the contents into a jug and kept stirring and pouring in boiling water until there was a lot of it and it was moderately runny. Then it was pour it over the ingredients time; slam it all into the oven; jump into some trousers; grab his wallet and car keys and be out the door with zero seconds to spare. An hour and a quarter later he returned to sprinkle some grated cheese on top of the nicely bubbling manifestation of the culinery art; warm some plates; pour out a glass of ginger mulled wine and Sprite; and present the world with this…

Actually he was so pleased with the result that he’d like to present it twice…in a more Parisian style…

“Et voila!”

And, bugger me, it was nice! His best yet.