Cooking tip: Bread
To stop bread drying out, put a piece of unglazed terracotta in the bread crock.
Cooking tip: Lemon/lime slices
Slice the fruit into drink size pieces and freeze. Then always have slice of lemon/lime available for a G&T or other drink which also helps keep the drink cold without adding ice.
Cooking tip: Non-stick fish
When frying fish in a pan, oil a bit of greaseproof paper, place the fish skin down on it and fry in the pan. It will never stick or break up.
Cooking tip: Salting meat
Never salt meat before cooking, it will draw out all the juices and toughen it.
Kitchen tip: Clean oven
If you have spilt liquid in a hot oven, pour salt on to the spill, and clean when cool.
Presentation tip: Clear ice cubes
If you want clear ice cubes, boil the water first (let it cool down before putting in ice cube tray).
Presentation tip: Even flour
Use a new powder puff to evenly dust pastry with flour.
Kitchen tip: Less sticky utensils
When adding sticky substances to a recipe, run the spoon in hot water, the ingredient will slide off.
Presentation tip: Making candles last longer
Keep your candles in the fridge for 24 hours, they will last longer.
Kitchen tip: Less sticky utensils
Always rinse kitchen utensils used with “milky” things in cold water first they will stick less.
Technical tip: Checking for fresh baking powder
Baking powder can go off, try a bit in a glass of water if it does not bubble you need some new powder.
Technical tip: How to remove even the most stubborn of corks
Firstly try to introduce the corkscrew at an angle, twisting it little by little holding onto the neck of the bottle. If this method fails to work or the cork breaks, then push the cork all the way down the neck of the bottle with a long, solid object until it is floating on the wine. Tie a large knot on the end of a piece of string and slide it into the bottle and let it go just under the cork. Pull on the string and when the cork is half way out, finish it with a corkscrew.
Technical tip: Maximise volume of soufflés and meringues
When making sweet soufflés and meringues add the sugar continuously throughout the whisking process to maximise the volume and stabilise the egg whites.
Kitchen tip: To get the most out of your vanilla pods
To get the most out of your vanilla pods. Bring to the boil 100ml of water and 100g of caster sugar and leave to cool to room temperature, take six vanilla pods, remove the hard piece at one end and chop into small pieces. Puree the syrup and vanilla pieces in a food processor until as smooth as possible. Store in the fridge for several months in a sealed container.
Kitchen tip: Add flavour remove flour
Evenly cover a tray with plain flour and toast in the oven 180C until golden brown, store in a sealed container in your dry stores and use for beef bourg. Coq au vin etc. By toasting the flour you not only add flavour but also you are cooking out the flour which is good for digestion.
Kitchen tip: Crumble time saving tip
Cook your crumble mix beforehand on a tray in the oven, 180C until lightly golden and store in a sealed container in your dry stores until needed. By cooking the crumble you are saving time and cooking out the gluten.
Kitchen tip: Get more juice from your fruit
Put refrigerated lemons and oranges into boiling water for a few minutes before squeezing out the juice. This will help extract every last drop of juice.
Kitchen tip: Crispy crackling
After roasting, place a joint of pork under the grill to crispen the skin into crackling.
Technical tip: Pastry: speed up resting time
To speed up the resting stage when making pastry, place it in the freezer for 20 minutes to relax.
Technical tip: Salad dressing lightness and flavour
A little water used in a salad dressing will lighten the dressing and heighten the flavour.
Kitchen tip: The perfect avocado
Boiling an avocado for 10 seconds, then plunging it into iced water will reduce the discoloration when sliced.
Storage tip: The freshest eggs
When storing eggs, keep the pointed end down, so that the air cell remains floating at the broad end – this delays deterioration.
Kitchen tip: Stop your biscuits from going stale
Place a couple of sugar lumps into the tin. Change them when the sugar becomes damp.
Kitchen tip: Quick to ripen
To quickly ripen an unripe avocado or other fruit, place in a bag with a ripe banana.
Technical tip: Using wine for marinating
All wine for marinades should be boiled to remove the alcohol first. Pour the wine over the meat to be marinated when still at blood temperature.
Technical tip: Removing unwanted duck fat whilst cooking
When roasting duck the skin should be scored every 2mm to help remove unwanted fat.
Kitchen tip: How to soften up hardened brown sugar
A slice of bread placed into a bag of hardened brown sugar will soften it again in a couple of hours.
Kitchen tip: How to stop onions making you cry
No more tears when peeling onions if you place them in the freezer for 4 or 5 minutes first.
Cooking tip: How to save an over-salted dish
If you accidentally over-salt a dish while it's still cooking, drop in a peeled potato. It absorbs the excess salt for an instant "fix me up."
Wine tip: Saving leftover wine for the future
Don't throw out all that leftover wine. Freeze into ice cubes or zip lock bags for future use in casseroles and sauces.
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