Prue Leith shares her ultimate food hacks – and you'll never believe her go-to ingredient

The Great British Bake Off judge wants to make cooking easier

Chloe Best

Prue Leith may be a talented chef with several cookbooks to her name, but she's not averse to buying the occasional ready-made ingredient to help make cooking easier. The Great British Bake Off judge spoke to HELLO! on the red carpet at the Specsavers National Book Awards on Tuesday, and revealed that she tried to make the recipes in her new book, Prue: My All Time Favourite Recipes, as simple as possible.

"I reckon you could cook, if you've never cooked at all before, at least three-quarters of these recipes. I've tried really hard to make them simple because I know that there are lots of people your age who've never cooked and also even if you have cooked you might not have the time to cook anything elaborate," Prue told HELLO!.


Prue Leith shared her food hacks with HELLO!

The 78-year-old also revealed that she often buys pre-prepared ingredients to make her cooking easier – and is a big fan of Nando's Peri-Peri sauce. "I'm not a snob about food, I will buy puff pastry - readymade pastry, readymade icing, all sorts of things," she said. "I do a chicken recipe in here, believe me a five-year-old could do, you open up a chicken or get the butcher to do it, it's called spatchcock which means squashed flat so it cooks very quickly and you put it on a greased rack in the oven and you cover it with a chilli sauce and there is a recipe for piri-piri sauce [in the book]."

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Prue continued: "On the other hand… you can buy Nando's. And I'm not paid by Nando's! I don't think you should be snobby about food, if it's delicious it doesn't matter where it comes from."

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The TV judge released her new cookbook in September

The TV judge is keen to make cooking more accessible to all, and previously shared her expert tip for how to store leftovers during an appearance on This Morning. Speaking to Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, Prue demonstrated how to freeze soft foods like mashed potato flat in a sandwich bag that has been clearly labelled. The food writer explained how it helps the food to defrost faster when you want to use it, but also allows you to stack bags on top of each other and save room.

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"People always freeze things and so often, they're just in a big ball, and they take ages to thaw, and they take a lot of room in the freezer, but if you put whatever it is, like this is mash, just to demonstrate, and you put it in a bag, and squish it flat, and then it's frozen," Prue explained.

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