For those who don’t know, Borough Kitchen opened its first store in Borough Market in 2013. The story began surrounded by what they love: fresh and local produce, restaurants and market stalls, and people who shared their passion for cooking.
With the same ethos, Borough Kitchen has now expanded to both Hampstead and Chiswick, with a flagship store due to launch in Islington Square in 2020 just a short stroll from both Angel and Highbury & Islington stations. The Borough Kitchen shops include intimate cook schools with Gaggenau appliances which are the very best when it comes to easy but precise cooking (for more information about Gaggenau ovens read our recent blog post here).
“Our philosophy is simple: better tools, better (and more enjoyable) cooking. That’s why we only stock goods for the kitchen, table, and home bar that we use and love ourselves—ones that’ll last for many, many years, by your side as you cook and entertain more confidently. This extends to our Cook School, where we teach skills and techniques you can apply to your regular cooking, so you can improvise flavours and be more creative in the kitchen.” – Borough Kitchen
This month we attended the Mindful Eating and Health Cooking class at Borough Kitchen in Chiswick. Here we learned that eating healthily doesn’t have to be tedious or overly complicated but easy and oh so tasty. During the class we were told the importance of specific nutrient groups and created nutritionally balanced and delicious dishes that not only looked good but tasted amazing too.
Did you know; when people say ‘eat the rainbow’, there’s a reason other than it looking great? Each colour offers a different vitamin or mineral so the more colours you eat, the better the variation of nutrients!
Here’s a brief run-down of how we got on…
Our evening began with a spiced beetroot and coconut soup. Each of us peeled a pre-boiled beetroot (which are far easier to peel once cooked than raw), we then loosely chopped it and placed it into a large metal bowl ready for soup making. Then, after a good hand scrub, we were guided through a quick knife skills lesson with onions followed by how to make a garlic paste. Garlic paste is made with a clove of garlic, a good pinch of sea salt (preferably Maldon) and the flat edge of a blade. Finely chop the garlic, sprinkle the salt over then slowly (and with a small amount of pressure) squash the garlic in roughly 1-2mm sections until a paste starts to form – bringing out more flavour than simply crushing or chopping on its own.
Once the garlic paste was ready we scraped it into a small metal bowl then added a tsp of dijon mustard, juice of half a lemon, two tsps of olive oil and a sprinkle of black pepper. To finish, we chopped fresh dill, a ripe avocado and two large tomatoes then mixed this in with the sauce – then set aside ready to serve with Thai fishcakes.
Next on the agenda was a chopped Asian vegetable salad with peanut dressing which was insanely quick and easy. We simply chopped half a carrot, leaf of white cabbage, half a red pepper, chunky piece of cucumber (core removed) and red onion into long thin matchsticks then placed it all in a large bowl and mixed well. Then, we finely chopped a small bunch of mint leaves and coriander before adding them to the vegetables. To make the sauce it was a simple mixture of pureed garlic (same method as before), finely chopped ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, chopped chilli (if you like things spicy) and a generous tablespoon (or two if you love peanut butter like we do) then mix it all up and add lime until you have the flavour to your taste. Finally, pour onto your chopped vegetables and enjoy!
Top tip from Grace: Wash your hands with cold water after handling fresh chilli as warm water opens the pores and you result in stinging eyes when you rub them later by accident!
To finish our evening Chef Claire showed us how to shape and cook salmon fishcakes. These had been previously compressed and were bound together with chia seeds. We enjoyed these with our avocado salad made earlier in the evening.
Due to time restrictions, we didn’t cook the lentil, butternut with spinach and tomato ourselves. One of our marvellous hosts Grace prepared this for us and it was absolutely delicious. We even got to take some to enjoy on the train home.
If you’d like to give one of Borough Kitchen’s classes a go for yourself, visit their website here for more information.