Cooking

  1. White Sauce:
    Tired of standing at the stove waiting for your cheese sauce to thicken? Make it in the microwave!  Works perfectly every time!
  2. Mashing potatoes:
    When making mashed potatoes, mash with a fork and add warmed milk. The mash is light and fluffy and beautifully smooth.
  3. Sushi:
    When preparing sushi, ensure your hands and the blade of the knife are wet when you slice the finished roll. This prevents the sticky rice from sticking to you or the knife instead of the nori sheet.
  4. What does the term “macerated” mean:
    If a recipe calls for something to be Macerated, it means “the items are to be soak in a flavouring liquid of sorts either to release their flavour or to take on the flavour of the liquid” – not to be confused with Marinate. Often strawberries or other soft fresh fruit are sprinkled with sugar and left to sit for a while so that they release their lovely juices.
  5. Freezing ice-cream:
    Did you know that too much sugar or alcohol in the recipe can prevent the ice-cream freezing. Check your ingredients carefully.
  6. Combining warm/hot and cool/cold ingredients together:
  7. When combining a warm mixture with cooler ingredients, add a little of the warm to the cold and fold/beat slowly. Continue adding the warm to the cold slowly and combining gently until you’re about halfway through. This will have brought the two temperatures closer together. You can then add the rest of the warm to the cold and it shouldn’t curdle.  Never just dump it altogether in one go, it will be a disaster you can’t undo.
  8. Left over pesto
    Don’t want to waste that left over pesto? Don’t let it expire and end up in the bin, spoon into a clean ice tray and freeze the cubes for use whenever you need them. Just pop into your meal or allow to defrost for a few minutes. Note that it will probably stain your ice tray but you’ll not have wasted this tasty treat!
  9. Freezing egg yolks:

    Often recipes call for egg whites and you end up throwing the yolks away…well don’t! Due to the yolk properties, add a sprinkling of sugar or salt to the egg yolks before popping them into the freezer or they become almost too gelatinous to use in recipes. Label the container carefully with how many egg yolks are inside as well as whether you added sugar or salt, to help you decide on a sweet or savoury dish in the future.

  10. Cooking with a slow-cooker or crock-pot:
    Limit the amount of liquid added as the lid seals all juices in so they can’t evaporate.
  11. Shaving thin slices:
    Use a potato/veggie peeler to shave thin slices of veggies or cheese. It’s quick and easy.
  12. To peel fresh tomatoes:
    Slice a small criss-cross in the base of each tomato with a sharp knife and blanche them in very hot water for a few minutes. The skins will begin to peel from the criss-cross. Remove from the hot water and peel the skins – they should lift off easily.
  13. Quick Chicken Stock:
    Place chicken bones into a pot. Cover with water. Add 1 carrot, 1 stick celery, 1 onion (quartered), 2 bay leaves and a few peppercorns. Bring to the boil and reduce the heat to a simmer for 15 – 20 minutes. Drain the liquid and discard the rest.
  14. To freeze egg whites:
    Add 2 or 3 to a mini freezer bag, label the quantity on the outside and store in the freezer. Defrost at room temperature.
  15. Adding fibre and bulk to breakfast smoothies:
    Add a little muesli, crushed weetbix or nuts.
  16. What do strawberries and mushrooms have in common?
    They both absorb water very easily so when washing them, it is preferable to wipe them down with a wet cloth or rinse quickly rather than soaking them in a tub of water so they don’t absorb too much.
  17. Removing bones from salmon:
    The bones are fairly large and can be easily removed by running your fingers along the fish to feel for the sharp bits and using tweezers to grip them and slide them out,  reducing the damage to the surrounding meat.
  18. Tree nuts are one of the food allergens most often linked to anaphylaxis — a serious, rapid-onset allergic reaction that may be fatal. A tree nut allergy usually lasts a lifetime; fewer than 10 percent of people with this allergy outgrow it.  – acaai.org
  19. Oven trays:
    When grilling meat in the oven, cover the tray with tin foil before placing the meat into the tray. This prevents the juices sticking to the pan, making cleaning difficult. The tin foil can then be carefully removed after cooking and if it hasn’t torn, your tray is still clean!
  20. Leaving meat out on the counter top:
    Leaving meat on the bench top in Summer can be dangerous, but putting warm meat into the fridge can be equally disastrous. Cover food and allow it to come to room temperature in a cool place before placing it into the fridge.

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