Ainsley Harriott may be known for whipping up hearty and tasty dishes, but that doesn't mean he doesn't love a simple food hack as much as the rest of us!
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The celebrity chef – whose new ITV show Ainsley's Food We Love starts Saturday 5 September at 11.35 am – told HELLO! he has a long list of cooking tips up his sleeve (well, somewhere in his house actually, since he revealed he has actually misplaced the physical written list!), but his favourite one revolves around crisps.
Ainsley will be sharing more cooking tips on his new show Ainsley's Food We Love
Whether you're making the most of the sun with a BBQ or preparing a roast dinner in the winter, there is one staple snack that everyone, Ainsley included, loves to nibble on until the meal is served: crisps. So what do you do if you've already opened the packet and they've turned stale? Enter Ainsley's clever crisp hack…
Speaking of his top tips, the TV star told HELLO!: "One of my absolute faves is when your crisps get a little bit stale, put them in the microwave for ten seconds and they crispen up!
"You know when you bite into them and think 'Ohh I opened them last week', you know what I'm talking about! I love things like that because as Miranda would say: 'I bloody love crisps I do.'" But since most crisps come in foil packaging, it's important to remember to decant them into a bowl first to prevent a mini fireworks display in your microwave!
The celebrity chef revealed how to make stale crisps edible again!
Ainsley revealed there are several other simple tips that he follows, many of which are passed down from his own parents, but he only tends to think of them when they're needed. "There are always tips, you always see people do things and think 'oh that's the way my mum used to do things,'" he said. "Even as a chef, I've got a thousand recipes going on in my head and the really lovely thing about it is you think: 'Ah yes, I remember that now.' It triggers something...I could make reference to what they did."
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After teasing there are more clever cooking hacks in his upcoming TV show, we're hoping to soak up his words of wisdom and cook like a professional in the future. In the meantime, try Ainsley's quick and easy recipe for mozzarella sticks…
Ainsley Harriott's polenta coated mozzarella sticks recipe
- 400g block of hard mozzarella
- 50g plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 250g fine polenta
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- Sunflower oil, for frying
1. Slice the mozzarella block into 10 x 1cm slices, then cut each slice into 3 giving you 30 chips. Tip the seasoned flour into a bowl, put the eggs into a second and the polenta, paprika and thyme into a third bowl.
2. Coat the mozzarella sticks in the flour, then the egg, then the polenta. Repeat the egg and polenta steps to ensure you have a thick coating for an extra crispy shell. Carefully place them on a lined tray and freeze for at least 2 hours.
3. Heat enough oil to come 3cm up the side of a saucepan. When hot, drop in a test chip – it should sizzle straight away and brown within a minute or two. Cook in batches until brown on the outside and the cheese is soft and oozing in the middle. Drain on kitchen paper and serve hot.