Q and A with Richard Corrigan and Gizzi Erskine

(31 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 07-Feb-11 19:24:11

Sinking cakes? flat meringues? stodgy rice? We all have our own cooking foibles but this week help is at hand. Richard Corrigan and Gizzi Erskine are joining us for a cookery Q and A, answering all your questions, helping solve your culinary problems and hopefully raising your game in the kitchen.

Richard Corrigan is Chef and Patron of Mayfair restaurant 'Corrigans' and presenter of numerous TV Shows, including BBC2's Full on Food, Saturday Kitchen and Market Kitchen as well as hosting the Irish primetime television series, Corrigan Knows Food, one of Ireland's most popular TV shows. Gizzi Erskine is a food writer, Chef and presenter of Channel 4's Cook Yourself Thin as well as being GMTV's Food correspondent. Richard and Gizzi's new cookery show Cookery School started last week and is airing daily for 10 weeks on Channel 4 at 2.05pm. The show promises to give even the most basic of cooks a comprehensive knowledge of basic skills, which both Richard and Gizzi feel passionate about. Each week the participants are coached by Richard and Gizzi and judged on their results. The aim is to empower and bring out the talent in the participants.

Send your questions to Richard and Gizzi before the end of day on Friday 11th February and you will be entered into a prize draw to win one of three signed copies of the Channel 4 book, Cookery School, which accompanies the series. We'll be linking to a transcribed Q and A from this page next week.

Mummy2Bookie Mon 07-Feb-11 20:02:11

When cooking spices for a curry,how long do I cook them for without them burning?

GreatGooglyMoogly Mon 07-Feb-11 20:17:30

How do I bake moist cakes? They either come out too dry or undercooked!

pipplin Mon 07-Feb-11 21:10:47

I'm looking forward to spring. What would you cook to really feel like spring is finally here? Could you possibly make it ok to eat in pregnancy please?

p.s. Lovely show, it's very refreshing.

AlfalfaMum Mon 07-Feb-11 23:34:56

Why do my cakes always stick to the tin? Whether I use a big round rubbery 'tin' or a bread tin, they stick and break when I try to take them out
Am I cursed?

Curiousmama Tue 08-Feb-11 00:10:29

Gizzi, you make such fantastic recipes that are lower fat Do you know any using quorn? I've recently started using quorn mince but would love a tasty possibly spicy dish. TIA

Guacamole Tue 08-Feb-11 08:47:41

This is not a cookery question as such but...
I watched the footage this morning of the appalling treatment of ducks on a farm in Norfolk, these ducks are sold in Waitrose as 'high welfare, free range'. This comes not long after Happy Eggs were discovered to come from not happy at all chickens.
As a consumer what can I do (without going vegetarian or vegan) to make sure that the animal products I buy genuinely are 'high welfare' and as Chefs how do you achieve this?

solo Tue 08-Feb-11 10:37:20

Coconut cream seems to be in short supply at the moment and both my Mum and I love adding it to casseroles and curries as well as coconut milk which doesn't seem to be a problem getting hold of. Can you suggest an alternative that is readily available, tasty and not too expensive please?

HannahHack Tue 08-Feb-11 11:19:35

How long before serving something, for example profiteroles, could you fill them with cream? I don't want them to go soggy, but I don't want to spend hours in the kitchen when I want to eat!

teddies Tue 08-Feb-11 11:19:49

Why can't I make muffins which rise? I use SR four AND baking powder, I don't over-mix the mixture, I even have a new oven as I used to blame the broken seal on the old one, but still all I get are flat fairy cakes.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Tue 08-Feb-11 12:24:33

solo - Waitrose do coconut cream iirc. But they don't stock creamed coconut, which is irritating (I much prefer making up coconut milk from creamed coconut as the tinned stuff seems too emulsified to me - it's far cheaper, too). Morrisons ran out of creamed coconut for ages, but it's back in stock. I use a lot of coconut grin

So, what do you guys use? Tinned, cream or creamed?

We share a last name - are we related? grin

(suddenly realises where innate cooking ability comes from)

aristocat Tue 08-Feb-11 14:25:30

Gizzi - i love Cook Yourself Thin, there are some fantastic low fat recipes which i have tried smile
and, please what is your favourite food?

SexyDomesticatedDab Tue 08-Feb-11 15:16:25

Gizzi like your approach to food and dishes on cook yourself thin.

What things can I make with Basra Date Syrup? I like buying 'odd' ingredients at supermarkets / ethnic shops but a little stumped on this one - is it like treacle / malt extract?

littlelapin Tue 08-Feb-11 15:48:06

We had lunch at Corrigans last month and it was divine. Richard, your staff made a big fuss of my in-laws (it was to celebrate their 50th anniversary) who had an absolute whale of a time. So no question really, just thank you very much!

mangomay Tue 08-Feb-11 17:17:24

My 2 year old son is allergic to wheat and eggs so we have a real hard time when it comes to eating at parties and on holiday. GF flour is easy to come by, but egg replacer isn't. Is there anything else I can use when baking cakes etc that works in the same way?

JulesJules Wed 09-Feb-11 09:33:23

solo I get creamed coconut in Asda - a pack of 4 sachets about 60p.

thereistheball Wed 09-Feb-11 09:56:08

I love cooking but been without an oven for almost two years. I am just about to move to a place where I can finally have one. What celebratory (low carb if possible) meals would you cook to test it out?

Maria2007loveshersleep Wed 09-Feb-11 10:11:54

Hi & many thanks for coming for a Q&A.

My question has to do with freezing meals. There's always the suggestion here on MN (and elsewhere) that it's a good idea to make larger batches of food, particularly with everyday meals, freeze & reheat them. However, I've had many disappointing experiences with such meals & I generally avoid freezing. Which meals would you say are ideal for freezing & won't lead to disappointment?

JulesJules Wed 09-Feb-11 10:50:06

Do you salt aubergines before cooking?
Do you sift flour?

Just interested, I don't bother doing either and haven't noticed any difference. I think it's little things like this which mystify cooking and help convince people they can't do it.

What do you think?

solo Wed 09-Feb-11 12:57:05

JulesJules, yes, I got a pack of 4 sachets in Tesco yesterday, but it's a very expensive way of buying it when it's available which it hasn't been now for several (about 3+) months. Thank you for the info though...will have a look in Asda and see iif they have the blocks

prettybird Wed 09-Feb-11 15:10:15

Does using Stork/maragarine in caskes really make them lighter?

I know the butter makes them taste better.

I've recently started using tub margarine again to make biscuits as it means I can make them on the spur of the moment, rather than have to remember to take a block o butter out of the fridge in advance - and it does seem to help with their texture.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Wed 09-Feb-11 17:23:45

solo - it's the block stuff I was talking about. It disappeared from Morrisons for ages but has reappeared in a differently patterned box; here

Richard, do you remove the 'coral' from scallops? Most TV chefs seem to do this these days and it always makes me shout at the screen 'no, it's the best bit'! What do you think? And what about the lovely bright orange roe in a lobster, isn't that just like finding buried treasure? grin.

solo Wed 09-Feb-11 23:09:42

Sorry Jenai, didn't see your answer
It's the solid cream that always seems to disappear from the shelves; happens every year, so must be a seasonal thing. I do use the tinned coconut milk, but the coconut cream is something else flavour wise!
Will nip into Morrisons ~ thanks!

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