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'What's Cooking' - behind the scenes

by Sarah Alcock

Yesterday was the start of Sainsbury's brand-new cookery show What's Cooking? on Channel 4, and we were lucky enough to be behind the scenes at the set, watching it all happen and trying hard not to get in the way!

Along with presenters Ben Shephard and Lisa Faulkner (who made live TV look like a walk in the park), we watched celebrity chef Rachel Allen and Iron Chef UK winner Marcus Bean cook up some great family suppers that won't break the bank.

After the show, we managed to grab five minutes with Rachel and Marcus and asked them to share some of their kitchen secrets...

What do you think of the show? Tell us your thoughts in the comments box below – we'd love to hear from you



What are your favourite midweek meals to make at home?

I often make something similar to the fillet of lamb neck with couscous that I just made on the show – it's quick and I serve it with some tzatziki or a raita dip, or I'll make chicken thighs rolled in olive oil, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper, then roast them.

What spices are in your cupboard at the moment?

I love Middle-Eastern flavours, so I always have cumin and coriander to hand. I also like cardamom pods and star anise, which I add to rice to give it lots of flavour.

Do you have any tips for getting kids to eat veg?

This was my mum's idea – when my boys were younger I'd bring them a plate of raw vegetables while they were watching TV and eventually they started snacking on them without me asking them to. It's also good to get them involved in cooking and helping to prepare vegetables.

You made almond tartlets with poached rhubarb on the show – what else can you do with rhubarb that's quick and easy?

I poach rhubarb until it's really tender, then fold it through softly whipped cream to make a rhubarb fool, which you can serve with shortbread biscuits or on top of meringue. It's also great in a crumble.



What foods do you always have at home?

Eggs – they're great for making quick meals like omelettes. I usually have a tub of fresh pesto to have with pasta and risotto, too. There's always smoked bacon in the fridge – it's got a brilliant flavour – and, of course, fresh fruit and herbs.

What sort of dishes do you make at home?

The other day I slow-cooked some chicken thighs with chorizo, butterbeans, garlic, coriander and tomatoes in one pot. It has a nice rich flavor and is a great one for the kids.

Check out our footage from the What's Cooking set.

What's Cooking is on everyday weekday at 12.35 on Channel 4

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