Home cooks can now get a taste of Glengara Care’s fine-dining dishes, thanks to a recipe book compiled by executive chef Craig Etches.
The book features Glengara Care residents’ top 10 favourite recipes, including Moroccan spiced lamb pizza, lemon thyme barramundi, Thai yellow bean prawn curry and slow cooked beef wellington.
Each recipe in the book reflects Craig’s mission to offer residents dishes that could hold their own at any of the Central Coast’s fine dining establishments.
“I try to inject as much flavour as possible into every meal,” he said. “I like to use what we have on hand, what is in season, and what’s available from the Glengara vegetable gardens.”
Making mealtime enjoyable
Glengara Care has developed a reputation for providing delicious, healthy meals, that would be more at home in a restaurant than on a traditional aged care menu.
The quality of the food is one of the foremost concerns of older Australians and their families when they consider aged care facilities. Care manager Suzanne Bosworth said Glengara Care had focused on flipping traditional notions about food for retirees.
“Mealtimes here are such a huge part of our residents’ days – for both the food and the chance to join everyone else in the dining room,” she said.
“It’s so important that each meal is appealing. Every resident here has nothing but positive feedback about the food. I’ve eaten the occasional meal and it really is restaurant quality food, that you enjoy eating.”
As the executive chef, Craig makes a point to get out of the kitchen and talk to the residents about what they like and what they would like to see added to the menu. Suggestions can be put to a vote and even adjusted to cater for residents with special dietary conditions.
The residents were also asked to contribute to the recipe book by sharing their favourite meals.
Cooking the book
For Craig, compiling a recipe book was a bit of a challenge requiring exact measurements and some alterations.
“I cook by feel, I don’t usually use a recipe. I’ve been doing this for 25 years now, so I know what is going to work well together. I had to dig up some of my old books and actually write down how much of this and how much of that,” he said.
“Of course there is also a difference between what we can do in a professional kitchen and the number of serves being prepared. Glengara Care has done a great job with the kitchens here. We have the Ferrari of kitchen ovens and amazing tools that allow us to use different cooking techniques to prepare lots of meals – so there were a few changes required to adapt my recipes for use in the standard kitchen.”
What home cooks can easily emulate is Craig’s commitment to creating healthy meals bursting with flavour.
“There are some considerations when it comes to preparing our meals. It has to be moist and tender and easy to eat – but that doesn’t mean bland,” he said. “I like to start with the base of meat and three vege, and then do it differently. It’s about taking traditional meals and making it fancier.”
“For instance with the roast pumpkin risotto, I sear some chicken in a blend of anchovy oil, basil oil, chilli oil and garlic oil and then bake it. It is then shredded and served up on top of the risotto and roasted pumpkin.”
To add more flavour and nutrients to each bite, every dish is made from scratch and feature a lot of fresh herbs and produce grown onsite at Glengara.
You can download a copy of the recipe book here.
A taste of independence
The quality of food on each plate is not the only thing that sets Glengara Care apart from a nursing home.
Lunch and dinner are catered for every day, while a breakfast pack featuring a selection of 10 cereals, milk, juice and fruit is delivered to residents’ doors.
Each apartment features a kitchenette and a dining area allowing residents the option of dining in the privacy of their own home or hosting guests. Residents can also enjoy the community’s beautifully landscaped gardens or mingle with their neighbours in the dining room.
To find out more, call our helpful staff on 1800 955 070 or visit www.glengaracare.com.au