TOTAL Greek Yoghurt Masterclass

I switched on – albeit a little late and entirely at my cost it would seem – to Greek yogurt when I went island hopping in the Aegean last year. If I cooked with anything with a creamy consistency it was cream or more recently creme fraiche so after my week’s stay on Santorini I was hooked. When a spoon hits the denseness of decent Greek yogurt it goes nowhere. Drizzle over a little honey and you really are onto something. However, you don’t see many Greek women worrying about their waistline and I doubt they would be interested in anything other than the full fat sheep or cows milk used in the production so I was really keen to see what Total were up to as I had seen their 0%, 2% and 10% range on sale.

I’ve never been to L’atelier des Chefs before in Wigmore Street which is surprising as it’s just around the corner from my office. It’s a fantastic cookery school where they run courses where professional chefs teach new or enhance skills. They also rent out their space for corporate events. Step forward the PR Team at TOTAL Greek yogurt. On Thursday last week they gave myself and a group of fellow bloggers the chance to cook with Andre Dupin, former Chez Bruce and Ramsay chef; Fabricio Cana Devilo who’s worked at the Michelin-starred Devos in Belgium and Satyajit Welaratne (what he doesn’t know about pastry and deserts isn’t worth knowing). The team had created recipes to reflect the use of the Total range.

Nutritionist Hala El Shafie and co-founder of nutrition-rocks.co.uk talked to the group about the emotional and psychological issues often associated with food. Everything she talked about made perfect sense but it’s what many of us don’t put into practice. She really made me think about the way I eat and confirmed that my diet is indeed in need of an overhaul.

There was also a very inspirational chat from Phil (a woman who blogs as skinnylattestrikesback).
In April 2005, she weighed 103.5kg (228lbs). A year later, she reached her goal weight of 76kg (167lbs). This year she celebrates her fifth year keeping the weight off and she ran the London Marathon as part of Team Lucozade Sport – take a look at her blog it’s not only informative but it’s a place of support for those trying to lose weight or just get fit.

The afternoon session was a chance to create 3 sweet and 3 savoury recipes. I’ve listed them below but I’m sharing what I found were the two best – simple, easy-to-find ingredients and a tasty outcome.

Total Greek Yoghurt Tartare of Mackerel with Minted Cucumber Soup
Pan fried Medallions of Pork with Total Greek Yoghurt Gribiche and Fennel
Total Greek Yoghurt Vegetarian Samosas with a Minted Yoghurt Dip

Total Greek Yoghurt Chestnut Tiramisu Rapide
Total Greek Yoghurt Drop Scones with Caramelised Pineapple
Total Greek Yoghurt White Chocolate Mille-feuille with Spiced Plums

Total Greek Yoghurt Tartare of Mackerel with Minted Cucumber Soup

Serves 6

Ingredients

12 fillets of mackerel
1 banana shallot
25g cornichons
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley
50g 0% Total Greek Yoghurt
10g tomato ketchup
3ml Worcestershire sauce
25g capers in vinegar

For the soup

1 cucumber
A garlic clove
1/4 bunch of fresh mint
3 pinches of fine salt
10ml white wine vinegar
50g 0% Total Greek Yoghurt

METHOD

*Start by preparing the mackerel: fillet the fish if necessary and remove the pin bones. Remove the skin from the fish and then dice the flesh. Keep refrigerated while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
*Peel and finely dice the shallot. Chop the cornichons into small pieces. Pick the leaves from the parsley and roughly chop. Mix these chopped ingredients with the mackerel and add the capers and yoghurt.
*Mix well and the add the ketchup, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce. Taste the Tartare mix and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
*To make the soup: peel the cucumber and the garlic and pick the mint leaves. Place the ingredients in a blender with the salt and the white wine vinegar. Blitz for a minute to make the soup.
*Add the yogurt and pulse the mixture for 5 seconds. Check the seasoning.
*To serve: place a large quenelle of the Tartare mix in the middle of a small bowl and pour the soup around. Serve immediately.

Try making this with fresh tuna as an alternative to mackerel.

Pan fried Medallions of Pork with Total Greek Yoghurt Gribiche and Fennel

Serves 6

Ingredients

3 pork tenderloins
10ml sunflower oil
6 pinches fine salt
6 turns freshly ground pepper

For the garnish

1 fennel bulb
3 pinches fine salt
25ml olive oil
1 lemon
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley

For the Gribiche sauce

2 whole eggs
1 banana shallot
50g cornichons
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley
1/2 bunch chervil
1/2 bunch tarragon
25g capers
150g 10% Total Greek Yoghurt
3 pinches fine salt
3 turns freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

*Prepare the pork: trim any fat and sinew from the pork and then cut it into medallions approximately 1cm thick.
*Boil the eggs for 10 minutes and then cool under cold running water. When the eggs are cold remove the shell and grate coarsely.
*Peel and finely dice the shallot. Dice the cornichons. Pick the leaves from the herbs and chop.
*Mix the grated egg, herbs, shallot, cornichons and capers into the yoghurt. Season with salt and pepper and keep to one side.
*Cut the fennel bulb in half and remove the tough core. Use a mandolin to finely slice. Season with salt and allow the fennel to wilt.
*When the fennel has wilted, dress with olive oil and lemon juice. Chop the parsley leaves and mix this through the fennel.
* Heat a frying pan until hot and add a splash of sunflower oil. Season the pork with salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes on each side.

I’ll definitely be playing with the recipes I usually reserve only for cream or creme fraiche trying Total as a replacement.

Thanks to Alison at Total Greek Yogurt for a great day.

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