Home Cooking with the Headmaster

On Tuesday Paul Spencer Ellis, the Headmaster of the Royal Alexandra and Albert School went to Sainsburys to do some shopping. This wasn’t the weekly shop for the family, but a special trip to buy ingredients for a Food Technology lesson. On Tuesday afternoon he was due to teach a class of 15-year-olds two of his favourite recipes; ‘Spicy Meatballs’ and ‘Greek Steak and Onions’.

All the ingredients were laid out in the School’s Food Technology Room ready for the class to arrive. The Year 10 class had recently completed their GCSE practical exams so the lesson with the Headmaster was an interlude before they started the next part of their GCSE course. Once the pupils were seated, the Headmaster talked them through the recipes and gave each pupil a task to complete – slicing the meat, warming the pitta bread, chopping onions, preparing salad or making the marinate. They completed their tasks under his watchful gaze and then all the elements were brought together to make the finished dishes.

Paul Spencer Ellis said, “I never studied cooking at school but I cooked at home from an early age. I really enjoy cooking and believe that Food Technology is an excellent subject for pupils of all abilities. By coming to this class and sharing some of my recipes I hope to show pupils how important I think it is that they develop their cooking skills. They might even want to try these recipes out for themselves.”

15 year old Aaron said “I am doing GCSE Food technology because I want to learn how to cook safely and healthily. I also like eating what I have cooked!”

Here’s the Headmaster’s recipe for Spicy Meatballs:

500g of lean steak mince, a small onion, medium or hot curry powder, lemon juice (I use bottled), two eggs, sunflower oil/olive oil for frying and a little plain flour.
Put the mince in a bowl and break it up with a fork, add the finely chopped onion, a heaped teaspoon of curry powder and two dessertspoons of lemon juice. Mix thoroughly. Add the eggs and mix well. Drop a dessertspoonful of the mix into a bowl containing some plain flower and (after you have checked that your hands are ultra-clean) use your hands to roll the meatball in the flour and to shape it. Store the meatballs on a plate as you make them. Fry the meatballs in a heavy saucepan which has been well heated first so the meatballs sizzle as they are put into the pan. Turn regularly to ensure that all sides are nicely browned. I usually serve them with pitta bread, a green salad and some chutney.

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