All posts in August 2018

Meals in the home kitchen, tips and tricks

Now I know it’s a little ironic for a food home delivery service to be telling you how to cook! But my plan is to impart a few tips and tricks that will make creating and assembling your Katering at Home meals just that little bit easier, quicker and so much more rewarding!

Safe defrosting is the most vital thing you can do with any of our Katering at home frozen meals. One of the safest ways to do so is in the fridge overnight/day. This is what we recommend on all our labels, however, this does require pre-planning and some of us just don’t know what we want to eat the following night for dinner. Typically for all katering at Home curries, soups and sauces our packaging will defrost in a sink of cold water for a few hours. The last option is the microwave, but this can be uneven and semi cook the food making it tough and rubbery.

One of my biggest bug bares in the kitchen is waiting for a pot of water to boil! Arhh I’m so impatient! Then I was told by a chef about this nifty trick. Pop an inch of water into your pot and get it going full heat, then boil your kettle and add that boiled water to your pot and viola, boiling water in under 3 minutes! When we have fresh pappardelle pasta on the menu I always have the sauce hot and ready to go and no pasta cooked. I always end up over cooking the sauce, this trick will save your sauce, time and emotional strain!

It’s important to make sure your oven tray or roasting pan is tailored to its contents. The ideal oven tray or pan is heavy enough not to warp but not so heavy that it can be dropped when it’s full and hot. Here are some things to consider.

Depth can affect roasting time. Too deep a tray prevents the oven’s hot air from circulating beneath the product, too shallow could let those precious juices slosh out.

The ideal depth for a roast is approximately 5–8cm as this will give you good air circulation. For roasting products such as fish, croquettes, pizza or small cut’s of meat a shallow oven tray is essential.

 

The quickest way to drain your confidence is with an over-cooked or charred dinner  — often a result of a hot or temperamental oven. With Christmas steadily  approaching it’s time to make sure your oven working efficiently.

If you suspect your oven has hot spots or bakes inconsistently we suggests buying an oven thermometer to measure the degrees on different shelves or sides of the oven. Position the thermometer in the center of the oven so it’s visible through the window, and heat the oven to 180°c. When you have four readings,calculate their average by adding and then dividing them by four.

If the average is between 160°c and 190°c, the oven is calibrated. If it’s outside that range, the oven needs adjustment. In this case, consult the owner’s manual. Calibrating some ovens is as simple as turning a screw, but for others, you may have to call a professional to do the job.

Everyone favourite emergency ‘can’t be bothered’ cooking appliance. From microwave popcorn, steamed vegetables to reheating a delicious soup or main delivered to you by Katering at Home, the humble microwave does it all!

Most of our products will have a range of heating instructions on the label with how to heat and best serve. Most homes have one and  I love the way this butler’s pantry is organised with easy access to the microwave, especially for the littlest of family members to help out with the cooking.

A good set of mixing bowls are essential in any home kitchen, in my opinion the bigger and deeper the better. When tossing up one of our weekly salads a big bowl allows you to toss the dressing and extras around enough to get a little bit of coating on everything. Not to mention when trying your hand at some baking, it is always good to have two or three bowls for wet and dry ingredients. Best to keep baking simple clean and organised. How gorgeous are these bowls with the little spout! I think I may need a new set of gorgeous mixing bowls…

All of our dishes come to you seasoned by our professional chefs, we tend to go light on the seasoning with children in mind but If you are anything like the great Nigella Lawson seasoning is always essential. She carries extra salt pepper and mustard in her handbag at all times! A dash of salt, or drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil to any dish can really help make the flavours sing. One of my favourite go-to’s is a squeeze of lemon, I add it to everything and I just love the tangy feeling paired with the warm savoury, Yum!

This is something my mother taught me and now it is just habit. Washing up as you go will save you so much time and hassle at the end of a meal. If you can fill a big sink with water you can just drop things in as you cook.  And be sure to enlist a small person or child to help.

Don’t forget Katering at Home orders close at 8pm on Thursday night! Don’t be late or you will miss out!

If  you ever have rumblings in the kitchen and you need some professional Katering at Home advise we are always here to help, just call our hotline on 0475 303 080

Author Rene Hunter – Marketing

Bringing some style to the table

My mother made sure that we set the dinner table correctly for dinner every night in our house. It was a skill I have come to appreciate as an adult but also a ritual I enjoyed as a child. Surprisingly my brother and I didn’t mind this daily chore!

I have the pleasure of working directly across from our Senior Event and Wedding coordinator, oh and the owner of Katering Kate white! She has helped me create this blog that only scratches the surface of dinner settings and meal sharing, you will hear her thoughts, tips and tricks throughout this piece.

The basic formal dinner table place setting is below, it is a tad more formal then your usual week night dinner, but it is a skill every entertainer should embrace.

When dining as a guest it is important use your utensils from outside in finishing with dessert at the top. The same goes for plates.  Start at the top and work your way down. Especially when sharing a meal and multiple courses using one plate at a time will save your dear host that extra plate to wash up between courses or at the end of a long night.


Candles and flowers are always a great addition to any dinner party table, our Katering events team use flowers and candles wherever they can to create a mood and intimacy for guests. When sharing meals with friends and family it is important to decorate but also to use your space wisely. You will have large platters of food being passed around and they are going to need a place to sit once everyone has had a taste.

I suggest that when you set the table have items that are easily removed when service starts. So, flowers in small vases and centre pieces that can be put on the side board while the guest marvel and devour the delicious meal you have presented. I would  encourage you to keep candles on the table, taking them away might leave a light gap in the middle of the room just shuffle them around on the table to have ambient light and no burnt hands reaching over!

Here are a few photos of some beautifully styled tables before and during food service

Now the table is set it’s all about the food and how you present it. Protein or main element of the meal should be presented centre stage of the table. Although if you have a large table to feed it is good to split this onto two plates so that each end of the table will get to try and enjoy the full experience paltered up beautifully as well as not missing out on the choice selection.

The supporting choir or back up dancers are your side dishes and all the bits and pieces that make your dinner a complete and interesting meal, these can be piled high into bowls or delicately scattered around on smaller sized plates that are easier to manage.

 

When laying out all the food to share it is a good idea to keep it along the middle of the table not just for ease of passing but everyone’s eyes will be focused on the food and the abundance of food. This creates an atmosphere of a grand feast and who doesn’t love a long feast with family and friends!

Now that you are inspired to host your next dinner party, and maybe slightly stressed at all the work involved in such undertaking. Why not let Katering at Home help you out? We can handle it all! From the hero roast chicken, to the crunchy salad and saucy side dishes it can all be ordered via Katering at Homes Weekly Wenu and Family Favourite menu. We even have dessert covered with a classic apple pie or pull apart cinnamon rolls. All you need to do is set the table and invite the guests. Simple!

Or maybe you are so inspired that you want to host a large diner party and it’s still a bit too much even with Katering at Home’s help! Give us a call on 9319 2700 and our event team will happily assist in bringing your ideas to life, they will even set the table!

Don’t forget Katering at Home orders close at 8pm on Thursday night! Don’t be late or you will miss out!

 

Author Rene Hunter – Marketing

Oodles of veggie noodles

On the menu this week Katering at home has a side dish of zoodles, or rather “zucchini noodles.”  Our chefs are making a delicious zoodle salad with whipped ricotta, toasted pine nuts, garden peas, mint and zesty lemon vinaigrette. This will come as a refreshing side dish to our Turkish chicken skewers that are found on the Weekly Menu. 

Weekly Menu – Katering at Home

Spiralized vegetables have been around for a while now, because they are a fantastic way to add extra veggie into any meal. Packed with vitamins and minerals, low in carbs and starch and tons of flavour!

Inspiralized.com

Don’t feel restricted to just zucchini though, you can spiralize carrot, parsnip, cucumber, broccoli stem, cauliflower stem, beetroot, and sweet potato.

 

 

 

 

Now that you know you can use nearly any vegetable your heart or dish desires,  its time to create some delicious food!

First off, I would suggest investing in a vegetable spiralizer, you can pick one up in your grocery shopping for as little at $10 or a top of the range $150 automatic spiralizer. I have a little $10 one and it works a treat with a little bit of elbow grease.

There are plenty of ways you can cook your noodles if you aren’t up for eating them raw. Although there are many health benefits to eating your vegetables raw. Here are a few cooking methods that I have found work best:

Just pile up your noodles in a microwave safe bowl and a tablespoon of water in the base and cook in 30 sec increments tossing in between. Cook for 30 second at a time until cooked to your desired texture. I would recommend 1-2 minutes maximum of cooking.

This technique is great If you are already cooking on your stove top, just toss noodles in a table spoon of olive oil and fry for a minute or two on a high temperature.

Boil a pot of water, once your water is at a nice rolling boil drop in your noodles for one minute, strain the noodles and serve. If you like your noodles a bit drier just pat them down with paper towel before serving.

All of these methods and cooking times will depend on the type of vegetable you use. Sweet potato will take longer to cook then your Zucchini but just use your senses to judge the right consistency for your meal. I always air on the side of under-cooked as the veg will continue to cook once removed from your bowl, pan or pot due to the residual heat within the vegetable mass.

If you have any questions you would like answered or suggestions of what you want to see on the blog next let me know via email, Instagram or Facebook.

Also, we are running a competition to win a $200 gift voucher so head over to our Instagram pages and comment on the win photo to enter.

Author Rene Hunter – Marketing

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