Kitchen strategy and cooking tips
Kitchen strategy involves some serious time saving. Tidy and clean as you work – you’ll maintain order in the kitchen and be organized in advance. Wash the sink, the work surface and utensils as soon as you have used them. Instead of piling the dishes up in the sink, put them into the dishwasher immediately after you have used them,. Don’t forget to turn it on as soon as it’s full. If you don’t have a dishwasher, run a sink of hot, sudsy water before you start cooking and wash up as you go – when you have finished cooking, the washing up will be done pretty well. Peel vegetables over a paper towel so you can quickly throw the whole lot in the dustbin. Assemble all the ingredients in the cooker in the morning turn it on and set the timer and when you get home from work you’ll be greeted by the aroma of a perfectly cooked meal. Cookers are also fantastic tools for cooking delicious, creamy porridge overnight if anyone of the family prefers a hot breakfast.
Before you start following a recipe, read through it to find out what is involved and whether you have the skills to make it. If you do, get out all the necessary ingredients and utensils and put them on the bench. You’ll now be able to cook without interruption. Get into the habit of thinking up meals for the next day or the following day using leftovers or extras from the meal you’re preparing. All you have to do is increase the initial proportions and think of potential combinations to reuse one or more of the components. Use cooked dishes or ready-made foods as the basis of a super-quick meal. There are more and more ready-to-eat products available that can be eaten just as they are, or used to make other dishes and save considerable amount of preparation time.
Clean & Hygienic kitchen
To reduce the risk of a fat splashing when you cook, put a little salt in your frying pan first. Always use a mixture of butter and oil instead of simply one or the other. It’s also useful to know that margarine burns more slowly than butter, but if you prefer the taste of butter in your cooking, then try using ghee or clarified butter, because neither of them burns as readily as butter does. Get into the habit of covering your saucepans and frying pans. Trapping the steam inside the saucepan means you keep in the taste as well as the nutrients, and it also speeds up the cooking process. Don’t try to burn yourself trying to remove whole herbs and spices from cooked dishes before serving. All you need to do is put cloves or peppercorns in a wire mesh tea infuser and drop it into the cooking liquid and remove it with a slotted spoon before serving the dish. Wherever possible, cook on a medium heat rather than on a strong heat. There’ll be fewer splashes and less risk of the food burning or sticking, which means less cleaning time for you.
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Some essential tips:
· Boil the potatoes in salted water. They won’t burst and the skin is easy to remove if you peel them after they are cooked.
· Cloves of garlic can be easily peeled if you place them in the microwave oven for 15 seconds.
· Peel onions under cold water to avoid tears, and cut them next to cold running water.
· Boil green peas for 2 minutes before peeling them and the strings will come off instantly.
· To remove the skin of tomatoes quickly and easily, put them in boiling water for a few seconds.
· Heat lemons and oranges in a microwave oven for 15 seconds before squeezing and you’ll extract more juice.