Culinary tips that have changed your life

(128 Posts)
ParsingFancy Sun 18-Aug-13 12:51:51

Haven't had one of these threads for a while!

Mine:

You can loosen the paper on garlic by twisting the clove. Better still, thwack clove with flat of knife to crush, pick paper off.

To chop herbs or anything small, hold the end of a curved chef's knife on the board with your spare hand, and just see-saw it up and down, back and forth.

To shred cabbage/lettuce/any leaves, roll leaves up like a cigar and slice.

To skin celeriac or swede, slice into discs, then place flat on board and cut down round the edges. Also works with pumpkin, though you don't actually need to peel butternut squash.

Anyone else?

Selks Sun 18-Aug-13 12:53:30

If making a bechamel or cheese sauce use a whisk rather than a wooden spoon - no lumps guaranteed.

mykingdomforasleep Sun 18-Aug-13 12:56:02

To cut food up for toddlers use scissors rather than a knife and fork. Works especially well for spaghetti!

Strain eggs through a seive before poaching - perfect eggs every time (thanks heston)

Roast your chicken breast down for half of the cooking time.

Add a pinch of salt when softening onions- it stops them burning (I think because the salt releases the moisture in the onions).

HerrenaHarridan Sun 18-Aug-13 13:00:52

You don't need to peel potatoes smile
Changed my life grin

Cheese sauce started with cream cheese instead of a rue

Meals that flow ie, spag Bol + mac cheese = free lasagne smile

Salad with every meal,
left over salad becomes pasta salad for lunch at home or out.

DameFanny Sun 18-Aug-13 13:11:39

Roast the veg for ratatouille in the oven first, then add it to a pan of passata and basil to simmer for 30 minutes. Bye bye watery ratatouille.

MrsFrederickWentworth Sun 18-Aug-13 13:18:05

Englishgirl, how do you sieve an egg? Doesn't the yolk break? What sort of sieve do you use?

Vatta Sun 18-Aug-13 13:21:47

Always add pasta into the sauce pan (off the heat), then serve. For some reason it's much nicer than adding the sauce onto the pasta.

The yolk stays whole but any watery part of the white drains away. I use a slotted spoon but I've seen it done with a fine mesh sieve. My poached eggs have been perfect since I started doing this smile

Oblomov Sun 18-Aug-13 13:23:35

Sieving eggs? Well I never.

ArtisanLentilWeaver Sun 18-Aug-13 13:25:10

Cut pizzas with scissors.

Freeze blackcurrants then roll them in the bag still frozen and the <technical term> foofy bit on the top falls off.

The 20 minute rice thing.

It's a life changer.

BoffinMum Sun 18-Aug-13 13:29:53

Season things at the beginning of the process, not the end.
Chop herbs etc with scissors.
Roast chicken upside down for moister meat.

Armadale Sun 18-Aug-13 13:30:13

Oh Madameastafiore, you tease,
What 20 minute rice thing

aturtlenamedmack Sun 18-Aug-13 13:34:40

To get perfectly dippy eggs put the egg into a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. As soon as the water starts to boil time 3 mins and remove egg to cold water to stop it cooking further. Perfect every time.

MrsSchadenfreude Sun 18-Aug-13 13:38:54

Ready made pastry. Especially puff. Life's too short.

Do you mean strain the poached eggs after cooking? I can't see how you poach them beforehand.

ParsingFancy Sun 18-Aug-13 13:40:35

Freeze berries in a single layer in roasting tin, tip into bag, freeze next batch.

colditz Sun 18-Aug-13 13:45:05

Get some really strong, sharp scissors, and use them for everything. Chopping meat, cutting pizza, chopping spaghetti, derinding bacon, chopping herbs.... really much easier with scissors.

gaggiagirl Sun 18-Aug-13 13:46:19

To cut a sponge cake across perfectly evenly use a length of thread.
Wrap it around the cake check its right then pull the thread tight around the cake and lo it is cut.
Hope that makes sense.

Terrorvision Sun 18-Aug-13 13:49:06

I have read: crush garlic cloves using wide knife blade, chuck into jar, put lid on, shake - skin comes off.

If that salt thing works I am going to track you down FreeButtonBee and kiss you.. I always bloody burn onions and it gives me the rage (and that lingering stench, dead giveaway of the useless cook)

Wash rice
Put 2 x volume of water to rice in saucepan with rice.
Bring to boil.
Switch off heat and put lid on.
Leave for 20 minutes.
Voila!!!

Perfect easy cooked rice.

gaggiagirl Sun 18-Aug-13 13:55:28

Roll citrus fruit on the counter top to get more juice out of them when squeezed, a few seconds in the microwave will do the same job.

I don't understand how the sieving an egg thing works.

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