Kitchen tip

  • 1 Kitchen tip: brine – not just for olives
    Just before Christmas, our resident food blogger mentioned that he had brined his turkey this year, a technique traditional in Scandinavia that has recently found popularity once again. The reason is obvious...

  • 2 Just in brine
    Our cousins across the pond have been using brine for more than just preserving for yonkers – pick up an old American cookery book and you’ll find no end of its mention. Contrary to what...

  • 3 Kitchen tip: staying sharp
    Keeping your kitchen knives sharp is critical to both your cooking ability and your kitchen safety – blunt knives cause far more injuries than sharp ones. You need far more pressure to cut through...

  • 4 Kitchen tip: infuse your booze
    You’ve probably sampled a flavoured vodka or spirit at a bar in a fancy cocktail. They’re doing the rounds – a key ingredient for mixologists all over the world. They’re made...

  • 5 Kitchen tip – tempering chocolate
    Ever wondered when you melt chocolate and set it why it goes grainy or white marks appear? It’s because chocolate, in a solid state when you buy it is tempered. This means that liquid chocolate...

  • 6 Kitchen tip: Butter wouldn’t melt
    When a recipe calls for softened butter, having a solid lump sat in your fridge can be just a tad annoying – often meaning you end up with a heavier cake, if that’s what you’re cooking....

  • 7 Kitchen tip: crisp up your crackling
    The secret to really crisp crackling is to cook it separately. Most restaurants serving it will have deep fried the pig skin to crisp, crunchy perfection instead of oven roasting it. To do it at home,...

  • 8 Runny honey
    If, like Winnie the Pooh, you love a slathering of honey on your buttered toast, but unlike Pooh don’t have it every day you might have noticed the honey can crystallise with age and turn grainy....

  • 9 OTT Oven
    How often have you been cooking in the oven, overloaded a tray or tipped it the wrong way? The usual trick is to push the tin too far back into the oven and up at an angle onto the back of the rack - or...

  • 10 Shelling out
    When making cakes, meringues or batter there’s rarely an occasion when a smidgen of shell doesn’t wend its way into the mixture and try as you might, trying to get it out with your fingers...

  • 11 Kitchen tip: soft and sweet
    Brown sugar has a tendency to set like a rock when it’s been left to its own devices at the back of a cupboard for a while. While a hammer might seem like the right tool for the job, it could be...

  • 12 Kitchen tip - freshen up your herbs
    So many of us buy herbs in those little packets from the supermarket. How is it they always seem too much to use in one go? One always ends up with little bits of parsley, coriander, thyme or oregano left...

  • 13 Kitchen tip: sponge in seconds
    If you've ever fancied pudding but not had the time to put something together, try making your normal steamed sponge mixture then place into a microwave-proof plastic bowl – but only use about a...

  • 14 Fruit got that sinking feeling?
    If you’ve ever made a cake containing dried fruit or nuts and been a little disappointed when they’ve all sunk to the bottom then there’s a quick and easy fix for you. Just dust the fruit...

  • 15 Kitchen tip: Fire and ice
    We all have the same problem when buying chillies - they come in such bigs bags and we usually only need a whole one. So what to do with the rest? Two choices here - firstly, freeze them whole or in...

  • 16 Perfect pastry
    When making a tart at home, whether sweet or savoury, to get a perfect tart case pastry chefs use a little trick. Firstly, line your tin by letting the pastry fall rather than forcing it. Then take...

  • 17 The cat who got the cream
    Have you ever got home from the supermarket and spent hours trying to whip cream that just wouldn’t thicken only to realise it’s single cream? Use this to remember it – double cream is...

  • 18 Cutting the cake
    Ever wondered how they get perfect slices of iced chocolate cakes in restaurants? The secret is a hot, sharp knife. Choose your best one with a long blade and get it really hot by dipping it into a...

  • 19 Top dinner party fare: dauphinoise potatoes
    Dauphinoise potatoes are a great dish to serve at a dinner party – simple and easy, delicious and perfect for preparing ahead. However, serving them can be a bit of a dilemma as they tend to go everywhere...

  • 20 Feta care
    Feta always seems to come in a packet immersed in liquid, so knowing how to store any that's left over can be a bit of a mystery. Next time you need to do so, simply cover the remaining cheese with olive...



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