by Steve Williams, Freelance Development Chef
Where has this year gone? One minute it was full of daffodils on the way to work and the next minute we have to plan for turkey and crackers!
One thing is for sure and that is the appetite for food creativity has ramped up over the last four months. As chefs return to their professional kitchens with renewed vigour, the development team at Henley Bridge has been busy working with new products to save you time and money without scrimping on quality.
Some of you may be making meal boxes with custom kits, either ready to eat (RTE) or chilled and ready to prepare, and you’ll be pleased to know that Henley Bridge have the knowledge and products to take these to a higher level. If you’re making your own kits then you really should focus your attention on the Sosa and Essential Cuisine ranges.
The Sosa range really is a chef’s best friend, helping professionals elevate their dishes.
During these most difficult of times, it’s more important than ever to stand out from the crowd. Adding those special finishing touches can transform your food from fine to fantastic. I’ve been having lots of fun during lockdown with the Sosa products, developing techniques to make your meal box kits or plated dishes that extra bit special with a variety of texture and sensory stimuli such as bubbles, flavoured crackers, savoury mousses, encapsulated sauces and vegan butters.
The new spice rubs from Essential Cuisine are a fantastic and versatile product. They offer amazing depth of flavour on meat cuts as a conventional marinade - but it’s when you mix them into other complimentary sauces, side dishes, oils or dressings that you’ll really be blown away! The recipe for a festive gammon made using the Essential Cuisine Chermoula rub is a brilliant example, as is the turkey dish made with the savoury stock.
But if you need to save time and money without compromising quality, then the Essential Cuisine range of stocks and glaces are seriously good value. They offer true clarity of taste and low sodium levels and many of them are vegan, which means you can use them across the board.
With the Signature ready to use beef jus in a one litre Tetra Pak, the quality is evident as soon as the corner is snipped. A beautifully rich jus oozing meaty flavour, which you can swear blind has been made by your own fair hands! This carefully crafted sauce, made to traditional French methods, will save you the effort of making your own. Most in-house, bone-made stocks reduced down to this same strength and consistency cost between £10 and £12 per litre compared to less than £9 for this ready-touse option – making it a very attractive option at between 50p and 90p per serving.
Further cost savings can be found with the Essential Cuisine Premier veal jus paste and powdered vegetable stocks. They offer consistent results for use in mousses, stuffings and sauces. These really are a lifesaver when it gets busy and you need to drop that flavour bomb.
The perfect blend
The extensive range of Essential Cuisine stocks lend themselves beautifully to blending, allowing chefs to maximise quality and flavour whilst being mindful of costings. This works particularly well for the pub sector with tight profit margins.