Cookery Evening with Denstone College – 1st XV Rugby Team


On Friday 16th November Seasoned hosted Denstone’s 1st XV Rugby team for a team building & fundraising evening.  9 members of the squad cooked for 18 parents and invited guests.

Denstone College Cookery Evening

The team arrived at 5.30 and after a quick knife skills tutorial from Head Chef Adam the team began chopping, cooking, kneading & mixing to produce a three course meal for parents ony an hour and a half later.


On the menu was: Aranchini balls with a truffle mayonnaise as canapes in the kitchen, followed by spicy butternut squash soup with fresh soda bread. For main course the students prepared spaghetti with fresh basil pesto and pan fried salmon and crispy leeks.  For dessert the rugby players perfected chocolate fondants with Chantilly cream.



Team work is important on the pitch – crucial for match success, it was great to see the boys working so well as a team in the kitchen.


Plated up food



Parents enjoying a chance to catch up and enjoy the meal served by their sons in the private dining room.  At the end of the evening the boys did a quick ‘whip round’ to raise funds for children in need and raised a fabulous £185.  Thank you to Tommy Williams at Denstone College for organising and we look forward to doing more events with Denstone College in the future.



Recipes from the evening:


Soda Bread

(Makes 1 small loaf)


  • 250g plain white flour
  • 250g plain wholemeal flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200mls yoghurt
  • 200mls milk
  • ½ small red onion, raw and chopped
  • 50g mature cheddar cheese



  1. Heat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.


  1. Put the flours, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl and mix well. Mix together the yoghurt and milk. Make a well in the centre and pour in half the milk mixture. Using your fingers or a round-bladed knife, draw the flour into the milk mixture. Continue to add the milk mixture until all the flour has been absorbed and you have a sticky dough. Add the raw onion and cheese. You may not need all the milk mixture – it depends on the flour you use.


  1. Tip the dough out on to a lightly floured surface, shape it into a ball and flatten it slightly with the palm of your hand. It is important to work quickly, as once the milk mixture is added it begins to react with the bicarbonate of soda.


  1. Put the dough on the baking tray. Mark into quarters with a large, sharp knife, cutting deeply through the loaf, almost but not quite through to the base. Dust the top with flour.


  1. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until the loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the base. Leave to cool on a wire rack. Eat on the day of baking – or toast it the next day.


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Butternut squash soup

(Serves 2-4)


  • Knob of butter
  • 1/2 medium Butternut squash (approx 500g)
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • Sea salt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • dash of double cream



  1. Heat butter in a large (4-quart) saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sweat off until just starting to colour. Add the butternut squash and stir for 5 minutes.


  1. Add approximately 4 cups water to saucepan; bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until the butternut squash is very tender, about 20 minutes.


  1. Blitz with a food blender until smooth. Stir in the cream, season with salt and add lemon juice if desired. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve, garnishing with salad leaves and a swirl of cream if desired.


Adaptation: Delicious served as a spiced soup – add one red chilli before you blend or two teaspoons of curry powder or some root ginger.


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Pesto pasta with pan fried salmon

Serves 4


For the pesto:

  • 30g basil leaves, plus extra for garnish
  • 1/2 garlic clove
  • 50g pine nuts
  • 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 40g grated parmesan, plus extra for garnish
  • Pinch Maldon Sea Salt


For the rest of the dish:

  • 320g pasta
  • 25g butter
  • 4x salmon fillets


  1. First put the basil, garlic, pine nuts and parmesan in the blender then blitz in to a thick paste. Add some olive oil to loosen up the mixture slightly then salt to taste.


  1. Put the pasta in a large pot of well salted boiling water. Boil for 8-10 minutes, until pasta is cooked. Drain.


  1. While the pasta is boiling, cook the salmon. In a large frying pan melt the butter then add the salmon to the pan skin side down. You could season with a small amount of salt and pepper.


  1. Fry for 2-3 minutes then turn over and cook for a further 1-2 minutes. Once cooked remove from the pan.


  1. When the pasta is cooked drain and stir in the pasta. Share between 4 bowls and top with the salmon.



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Chocolate fondants & chantilly cream

Serves 4


For the fondants:

  • 165g unsalted butter
  • 200g plain chocolate
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 65g self raising flour
  • 4 tsp (10g) cocoa powder


For the chantilly cream:

  • 300ml double cream
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar


  1. Melt the butter and chocolate in a pan.
  2. Whisk the sugar and eggs together, until light and fluffy.
  3. Place the flour and cocoa powder in a sieve and gently fold into the egg mixture. Finally fold in the melted chocolate and butter.
  4. Divide the mixture between four greased ramekins. Ideally chill these now for 20 minutes.
  5. Heat oven to 180oc then bake the fondants for 10-12 minutes until a crust is just beginning to form on the top and they are beginning to come away from the sides.
  6. For the Chantilly cream, add the cream and icing sugar in to a bowl and whisk with an electric hand whisk until soft peaks – until it can just hold a shape – do not over whisk at this stage.

Turn the chocolate fondants out of the moulds and serve with Chantilly cream.


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