Tibor Paller trains and mentors chefs in health and aged care environments both nationally and internationally. He is an industry-recognised expert in texture-modified food development, guest speaker and prolific blogger. You can read more about Tibor on his facebook page at ‘Tibor’s Kitchen’.
I cannot imagine a more perfect North Italian dish than this, incorporating just a few diverse ingredients from the mountains and the plains, that somehow works perfectly together.
Spaghetti with braised fennel, spicy sausages and chestnuts
Recipe: Fry your onion and a bit of red pepper for colour until glassy, add the sliced fennel and sliced spicy italian sausage (or chorizo) and sautée, add the chestnuts and moisten (liberally) with Prosecco wine. Bring to bubbles and add your cooked al dente pasta. Turnover and serve with freshly grated parmesan.
Most of our customers in aged care homes are usually not big eaters. There are many reasons behind it. Less physical activity, loss of tastebuds interfering with enjoyment of flavours or quite simply just dental issues, to mention a few. But I also like to think that as we age we become wiser and prefer quality over quantity. The customers that I know certainly qualify to this adage. I agree with them despite my tender age. I also don't want an over processed party pie or pastie or a dry Quiche for dinner if can be helped.
Tandoori chicken open sandwich
Recipe: Start with a good bread and lay the foundations with real egg mayo instead of tasteless margarine. Wilt some fresh spinach in butter and black pepper, add to sandwich and top with panfried Tandoori marinated chicken slices or tenderloins. Crown with sour cream and roast sweet peppers. Heat in gentle oven for a few minutes and serve it to your grateful customer.
Warm, moist and soft to eat. How could they not love it ?
I'm not sure about other chefs but I come up with most new ideas on the weekend. Maybe it's because the freedom away from the weekday grind that liberates the mind. This past weekend I was thinking Singapore Noodles and how could I create a dish that gave at least the basic pleasures back to people on pureed diets.
Pureed Singapore Noodles
Recipe: I cooked up some hokkien noodles that were then pureed and pushed through a potato ricer. The steamed fish was pureed with a chilli crab sauce and formed in a fish mold ice cube tray. Pureed the cooked calamari and formed it into cylinder shapes in paper muffin cups. Once formed, used an egg slicer to cut them into equal slices and using a cookie cutter, cut circles out.
Arranged on the plate and heated, I have drizzled more of the crab sauce on top and added the mandatory chopped coriander.
This took less time for me to make than doing 4 blobs of purees while everyone else on regular diet were having Singapore Noodles.
And that should matter too.