Cooking Tips by Carina Contini
Carina Contini runs Centotre on George Street and The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant at The Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh with her husband Victor. Passionate about the very best Scottish and Italian produce, they are proud to say they have been using Graham's products for over 10 years.
Both restaurants have won numerous awards over the years but their real joy is being able to deliver a quality product because they have such a strong relationship with their suppliers and their customers. From the city’s best Cappuccino to iconic dishes such as Cullen Skink and Contadino, Graham's ingredients form a very strong part of our menus. Love happy food, love Graham's The Family Dairy.
How do I make a great cake base?
I always use Graham's unsalted butter for cakes in the restaurants and at home. I love it for baking. Always make sure the butter is left out of the fridge so it's nice and soft before you start creaming it with the sugar. One easy recipe is equal weights butter, golden caster sugar, self raising flour and eggs. Add a little milk to soften the mixture and you're all set to bake a delicious and quick sponge.
How do I make the perfect custard?
Custard is only custard when it made with single cream. It's not difficult to make fresh egg custard with a little cornflour and some sugar but a really quick and tasty custard can be made with instant custard powder and substitute the milk for single cream. Heaven in a few minutes and no one will know it's not the real McCoy!
Any tips for making scrambled eggs?
Our scrambled eggs at Centotre are legendary. Why? Well, we use Graham's unsalted butter melted in the pan, a generous tablespoon of Graham's double cream per organic free range eggs and a pinch of salt. Stir, stir, stir, but don't over cook. Serve. It's really good on sour dough bread spread with that wonderful unsalted butter from our dear friends.
How do I stop my pancakes from sticking to the pan?
Victor's mum is the Scotch pancake queen. Top tip is use a really good non stick pan. She has one just for pancakes. Most importantly, don't use any butter on the pan. Make sure the pan is really warm but not so hot that the pancakes will burn before they are cooked. It might take you one pancake to get use to it but it's worth practicing. Scotch pancakes stacked up with homemade raspberry jam and a dollop of very lightly whipped Graham's Gold cream will set you up for the best special day breakfast you can imagine. Mother's Days, Father's Days or birthdays - or why not just make it every Saturday - we do!
Cooking with Dairy Tips by Nick Nairn
From restaurateur to celebrity chef, Nick Nairn has had a long and pioneering career in UK food. A familiar face from his many television appearances, Nick is equally famous for his staunch support of top quality Scottish produce and passionate advocacy of healthy eating. Nick and Graham's have worked together for many years now and since Nick recommends Graham's products in many of his recipes, he's perfectly placed to share his years of experience and cooking with dairy tips with our customers. Thank you, Nick.
How do I make the perfect white sauce?
Most cook books tell you to use 50/50 butter and flour for a roux (the base of a white sauce). I say use 60% Graham's butter to 40% flour. You’ll eliminate any floury taste. Melt the butter and add the flour then cook the flour in the butter, stirring well until smooth and you get a biscuity aroma. Only then add cold Graham's milk, whisking all the time over a medium heat. It will quickly thicken. This makes bechamel for lasagne or add grated strong Cheddar for cauli-cheese.
Any tips for a cracking homemade custard?
The critical temperature here is 82°C... But first things first, there are 3 types of custard: all Graham's whole milk = crème anglais, or classic pouring custard all Graham's double cream = base for crème brulee ½ Graham's cream ½ Graham's milk = ice cream mix.
My method for perfect pouring custard is this. Whisk 3 egg yolks and 30g caster sugar until pale and thick in a bowl. Boil 300ml Graham's classic whole milk in a medium pan with a vanilla pod and scraped out seeds. Add half this milk to the yolks and sugar. Whisk well and return to the other half of milk in the pan on a lower heat. Switch to a silicone spatula and stir back and forth and round the edges. When it reaches 82°C it’s ready. Or if you see little puffs of steam out the sides, remove from the heat immediately. Strain and serve.
How do I stop my carbonara mix scrambling?
This is often a dish that people find tricky. For perfect carbonara combine Graham's double cream, egg yolks and grated Parmesan. Cook your pasta and drain. Return it to the pan – off the heat – and tip in the cream, egg and Parmesan mix. Stir well until starting to thicken. Don’t put it back on the heat or the egg will scramble. Add cooked bacon, garlic, mushrooms to taste at the end.
What's a good creamy sauce for fish?
Heat a small pot of Graham's double cream (284ml) in a pan. Add the grated zest of a lemon and a heaped teaspoon of Dijon mustard. Boil together. Season with salt and pepper and add the juice of a lemon, which will thicken it. Lovely sauce, ready to go.