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Sunday, 2 October 2011

Good Energy - Low Carbon Cooking

Good Energy has teamed up with green chef Arthur Potts Dawson to produce a guide to inspire consumers to make better choices about how they buy, store and prepare food; alongside some seasonal recipes which can help you cut carbon without compromising on taste. Arthur shares Good Energy’s passion for ethical and ecologically sourced food and energy.

For a copy of 'Good Energy Good Kitchen' containing all the recipes and more, please email customeradmin@goodenergy.co.uk.  You can also visit Good Energy for more information.

Here are some top tips on Low Carbon Cooking

Start local: Buy fresh, organic, locally-sourced ingredients. Your food will have travelled fewer miles to your table and organic food is less energy-intensive as it doesn’t require pesticides and fertilisers which need to be both manufactured and sprayed

Eat less meat: Swap meat for veggies a couple of times a week. Meat generally has a large carbon footprint because of the energy required to feed, graze and transport the animals.

Don’t peek: Every time you open the oven door the temperature drops, which means your oven must work harder and use more energy to return it to the required temperature

Cover up: Use lids on your pots when cooking, the captured heat value can save you up to three times the energy utilised by an open pot. Glass lids will allow you to view the cooking progress and reduce condensation in your kitchen

Buy energy-efficient: Support your efforts by choosing energy-efficient alternatives to your kitchen essentials. Check out http://www.goodenergyshop.co.uk/ for some great offers!

Take your time: If you are preparing a delicate dish that needs to cook slowly – use a slow cooker which cooks at a lower temperature. Slow cookers use over 40% less energy than conventional ovens

Chill out: Think about how you use the fridge and freezer. Take foods you’re going to be cooking out of the fridge and bring them up to room temperature before putting them in the oven to reduce cooking times

Cook in bulk: If you’re baking a potato, why not bake a pie too to utilise as much of the heat produced as possible. Or make double the quantity you need and freeze the rest for another time

Don’t cook at all: There are so many dishes you could prepare that require no cooking at all, so why not give your oven the night off every once in a while

Here are some fab Autumn/Winter Recipes from Good Energy:
 
SWEETCORN, CHILLI AND CORIANDER GRIDDLE CAKES
Serves 4

900g fresh sweetcorn, cut from the cob

115g plain flour

280ml milk

1 tablespoonful melted butter

1 fresh red chilli deseeded and chopped finely

3 tbsp chopped coriander

4 eggs

1/2 tsp of salt

Beat the egg whites and yolks separately. Mix the yolks into the corn; then add the milk, then the flour, the salt, the chilli and coriander and beat well. Last of all, fold in the egg whites.

Dollop the mixture in tablespoons into a medium/hot frying pan and cook for a couple of minutes, then turn until golden on both sides. Serve hot with a knob of butter and a salad.

Photo courtesy of Good Energy
 
LEMON AND RICOTTA CAKE

Serves 8–10

75g softened butter

175g caster sugar

5 lemons, zested

3 eggs, separated

250g ricotta

125g self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

Heat the oven to 180°C. Butter and flour an 18cm spring-form cake tin. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until light and fluffy then beat in the zest, egg yolks and ricotta. Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks, then fold into the ricotta mixture. Fold in the flour and baking powder then spoon the mixture into the tin. Bake for 35 minutes until risen, firm and golden in colour. Cool for an hour in the tin.

Photo courtesy of Good Energy

HAM AND APPLE PIE

Serves 6–8

375g puff pastry

1 egg, beaten

200g Cheddar cheese, grated

2 Bramley apples, cored and sliced thinly

700g good-quality cidercooked ham, sliced thin

For the béchamel sauce:

25g butter

25g flour

150ml milk

50ml double cream

Salt, pepper, nutmeg

First, make the béchamel by melting the butter and stirring in the flour then slowly whisk in the milk and cream and bring to the boil. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Set aside to cool. Roll out the pastry in two rough circles, about 24cm and 26cm wide. Preheat the oven to 190°C.

Put the first pastry circle on a baking tray, brush the edges with beaten egg and put a spoonful of béchamel in the centre. Spread this to within 3-4cm of the edges. Sprinkle over a little cheese, followed by some ham and then some apple. Repeat these layers until all the ingredients have been used up. Cover with the other sheet of pastry and press down firmly around the edges to seal. Brush with beaten egg and make a little hole in the top. Bake at 190°C for 40 minutes, then turn the oven down to 150°C and cook for another 10 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes before serving.

Photo courtesy of Good Energy
 

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