Aha! Kitchen Tips

Because I love ya, and because I wish I hadn’t learned all these the hard way, I have decided to pull all my old tips outta the closet. Or notebook. I have a notebook full of em! These have been tips I have picked up, been given by others, or seen in books or on cookery shows! I shall add more as I remember them.

  1. Eggs
    1. When whisking egg whites for meringues or icing:
      1. Using a copper bowl and a balloon whisk is best.
      2. Giving the bowl a quick wipe with the cut end of a lemon will help.
      3. And separate each of your eggs in a separate CLEAN non-greasy bowl so that you don’t lose all your egg whites if a yolk sneaks its way in!
  2. Bread
    1. If you don’t have a nice warm place for it to rise, before you start pop the oven onto 70 for about 5 minutes and turn it off before you start kneading so that you have a nice draught-free place for it to rise! 🙂
    2. If you want a nice crust you can take the bread out of the tin and pop it on a flat tray on it’s side and back into the oven for 5 minutes!
    3. Don’t forget to create some steam in the oven when putting your bread in for a perfect crust.
  3. Pastry
    1. Keep your butter cooold when making shortcrust pastry
    2. You can make ‘fine breadcrumbs’ in a food processor. Just don’t overprocess it!
    3. Know your exact measurements of liquid, adding bit by bit is going to give you a nasty uneven pastry.
    4. Bring your pastry together between 2 pieces of clingfilm and roll out between these 2 pieces of clingfilm to save mess, cut down on the amount of flour that ends up in your pastry giving you a richer shortcrust!
  4. Pasta
    1. If you put oil in the saucepan when cooking pasta it can seal the pasta and stop your sauce from being absorbed, so just put it into lightly salted simmering water and you are good to go!
  5. Cheesecake
    1. For baked cheesecake
      1. Do not overwhip the mixture. It will crack
      2. Grease the tin REEALLY well.  Otherwise it will crack/turn grainy
      3. Cook in a waterbath for even cooking. Double wrap your tin in tinfoil to ensure no water gets in.
      4. Leave to cool in oven overnight without moving it. Don’t even open the door. Just turn off oven and leave there for at least 3-4 hours, preferably 6-8. Then it will not crack!
  6. Baking
    1. Grease and LINE every tin – Nothing as bad as your cake getting wrecked because you didn’t take a few minutes to cut out some greaseproof paper
  7. Cooking
    1. Mandolin = Great. Not using safety thingy = Massive cut on knuckle. I speak from experience. Use the safety thingy.
    2. Unwaxed lemons. Pain in the bum to find. If you really cant find any and need zest, boil the lemons for about 3 minutes in water and then give them a bit of a scrub to get the wax off. Tip from a greengrocer in sligeach, has come in handy.
  8. Cleaning up/Other
    1. Put a cup of baking soda in the fridge to absorb icky smells!
    2. Garlic hands — We all suffer from it. Wash hands in soapy water, rub with salt, wash again with soapy water
    3. Clean a microwave — Dip a clean sponge in water, microwave it on medium heat for 1 minute and then just wipe down the microwave with the sponge!
    4. Clean silver with coke 🙂 (Gotta wonder what it does to your teeth)
    5. Silicone spatulas are a godsend. You can get every last bit out of the bowl. There’s still the mixer to eat the batter off, not to worry!
    6. Sugar thermometer. Buy one. Changed my life.
    7. Measure out all your ingredients first. That way you don’t forget something (like the yeast in bread, ahem!
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5 thoughts on “Aha! Kitchen Tips

  1. Great tips! I don’t put olive oil in pasta water either for same reason.

    Totally agree on measuring everything first. Took me ages to learn that but it makes cooking a whole lot less stressful 🙂

    Very kind of you to share 🙂

  2. Pingback: Lemon and Garlic Roast Chicken with Rosemary Potatoes and Carrot/Parsnip Mash. Phew. And take part in our Winter Warmers cookalong! « Musings of a med student..

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