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MEAT COOKING CHICKEN OR MEAT When you cook chicken or meat, you should first cook over high heat to seal juices and then lower the heat and cook till tender. FREEZE FISH If you want to store fish for more than a day, first clean it, rub it with salt, turmeric and maybe, a dash of vinegar, and then freeze. It will stay fresh. Don't salt meat before you cook it The salt forces the juices out and impedes browning. Instead, salt meat halfway through cooking, then taste when the meat is done and adjust the salt as needed. Meat that is partially frozen is much easier to cut or slice. HAMBURGERS IN A HURRY Cooking of hamburgers may take hell of a long time. To cook them a little faster, you could poke a hole in the middle of the hamburger patties while shaping them. This helps them cook faster and the holes disappear once the burgers are done. EVEN WITH MEAT Allow meat to stand at room temperature 1 hour before cooking: It will cook more quickly, brown more evenly, and stick less when pan-fried. MOIST CHICKEN To help keep meats moist during a long grill or barbecue, add a pan of water close to the fire, but away from the meat. COAT CHICKEN To coat chicken evenly, you can place the seasonings or crumbs in a plastic bag, and then add a few pieces at a time and shake them well. GOLDEN CHICKEN For golden-brown fried chicken, roll in powdered milk instead of flour before frying. BACON CURLS To prevent bacon from curling, dip the strips in cold water before cooking. FRY BACON Sprinkle a little amount of salt in the frying pan before adding bacon to fry. That way it will not splatter all over. MEAT FACTS When browning meat in fat, choose a large, deep pan. This will enable you to fry quickly, without splashing the stove with fat and meat juices. SAUSAGES To ensure that sausages keep their shape, put them into cold water, bring to a boil and then drain immediately and grill or fry in a saucepan. When you cook chicken or meat, you should first cook over high heat to seal juices and then lower the heat and cook till tender.
To avoid kebabs from becoming hard and chewy marinate them for a longer time and avoid over cooking them. To get rid of the smell of prawns apply salt and lemon juice to the prawns before cooking. Leave for 15-20 minutes, then wash off and proceed with the recipe. This is usually done with prawns, fish and al kinds of seafood For better results, mutton should be of a younger animal. It looks pink and not red and texture should be firm. If it is red and looks 'wrinkled', it will be tough Softening chicken for salads and sandwiches Chicken in salads and sandwhiches is usually poached. What poaching does is surrounds the chicken with liquid, so no moisture is lost and cooks the chicken gently, as opposed to grilling or pan frying. Roasting is a dry heat method of cooking - it does not use water. The flavors roasting draws forth result from the process of browning. As the surface of the meat browns, and its juices and fats drip down and brown on the surface of the hot roasting pan, it adds to the flavour of the meat. How can you tell that steaks are done? Color can be a good indicator of doneness. This is because myoglobin which gives meat its color, changes from red to pink to brown as meat cooks. A rare steak is bright red. A medium-rare steak is dark pink with some red present; a medium steak is very light pink in color and of course, well-done is brown. BREAD, RICE & NOODLES UNSTICK YOUR RICE Adding a little lemon juice helps, and the correct measure--if the rice has been soaked, it is 1 cup rice to 1 1/2 cups water. If not soaked, it is 1 cup rice to 2 cups water. Cover it once it comes to a boil and cook over the lowest flame. OLD NOODLES Try rinsing the old noodles in water with vinegar in it. CHEESY RICE Put boiled rice in a serving dish, and pour a sauce made of onions and tomatoes over it. Then cover thickly with grated cheese. RICE For fluffier, whiter rice, add one teaspoon of lemon juice per liter of water. To add extra flavour and nutrition to rice, cook it in liquid reserved from cooking vegetables. BREAD DOUGH Yeast bread dough rises more rapidly at higher altitudes and has to be watched carefully. Should be allowed to rise only till doubled in bulk. BREAD RISE To help bread dough rise higher, heat a towel until it gets very warm and then wrap it around the bowl s base. BREAD MAKING Yeast will last longer than the specified date printed on the packet if kept in the refrigerator, or even longer in the freezer, for up to a year. Bring to room temperature before using. THE RIGHT NOODLES For perfect noodles, add them to boiling water, then turn off the heat and let stand for 20 minutes. Noodles won't stick to the pan, won't overcook and there's no need to stir the pot.
UNSTICK YOUR NOODLES If you add a lump of butter or a few teaspoons of cooking oil to the water while cooking rice, noodles or spaghetti, it will not boil over nor stick together. LEFT OVER RICE Refrigerate leftover cooked rice in a well-sealed container. Reheat cold rice with a sprinkling of water in a microwave oven or in a covered pot over low heat. LONG GRAINED RICE For long grain rice this is usually two parts liquid to one part rice; If you want firm separate grains, use slightly less water. Additional water makes the rice somewhat softer and stickier. LEFT-OVER WATER Don't throw away the water that paneer is kept in. This water can be used while making dough for rotis. CHAPATIS If you want to keep chapatis for a long period of time, use milk instead of water while making the dough. DOSA SPREAD To check if the griddle or tawa is hot enough before spreading dosa, sprinkle a little water over it. If it sizzles immediately, then the griddle is hot enough. Wipe with a clean rag, and then pour the dosa batter. DOSA To avoid the dosa from sticking to the tawa rub slices of onion on dosa tawa before spreading the batter. BUTTER, CREAM & ICING ICING TROUBLE To avoid the cream from becoming watery and for it to come out of the pipng bag easily; the cream has to be chilled before you start to beat it. A safe way is to place the container over ice. If cream is not chilled enough it will always curdle (and water separated will ooze out), and the rest will be buttery. SOUR CREAM Add a bit of lemon juice to fresh cream to make sour cream. GARLIC BUTTER For a quick recipe of garlic butter- just take plain butter and a couple of cloves of garlic and put them into a garlic press. Just give it a squeeze and you end up with perfectly soft garlic butter in a jiffy! BUTTER IT RIGHT If you need to bring butter to room temperature in a hurry, shred the butter in a grater. It will bring the temperature down. ICING ON THE CAKE To avoid your frosting from becoming hard and prevent it from cracking, just zap in a pinch of baking soda and it shall remain moist. WHIPPED CREAM While whipping cream never overdo it otherwise you will end up with butter. Always whip over a tray of iced water or ice cubes. Whip in sharp upward strokes till soft peaks form. Keep in refrigerator till used. RUNNY ICING To prevent icing from running off your cake, try dusting the surface lightly with cornstarch before icing. SOUR CREAM
Sour cream can be made successfully by adding a little lemon juice to fresh cream. HEATING BUTTER When using butter or margarine over direct heat, always add a little oil to avoid the butter burning very fast and thus getting discoloured. DESSERT SOFT & CREAMY CAKES Add a little of milk when the cake is baked. This will make the cake softer and creamier. KEEP LEFTOVER PASTRIES FRESH Left over cakes and pastries should be packed or wrapped in cling film and stored in a cool place like a refrigerator. It is very important to see that they are not exposed to air at all, which would otherwise dry them out. ICING TROUBLE To avoid the cream from becoming watery and for it to come out of the pipng bag easily; the cream has to be chilled before you start to beat it. A safe way is to place the container over ice. If cream is not chilled enough it will always curdle (and water separated will ooze out), and the rest will be buttery. SOFTER FRUIT CAKE The more the proportion of fruit (for Christmas fruit cakes), the less soft it will be. But to improve it, soak the fruit in juice or rum overnight. Also keep a bowl of water in the oven while baking to keep the atmosphere moist PIE CRUSTS The secret to making a good pie crust - if there is one - is to bring the flour, water, and fat together, and mix it just enough without overworking the dough. SPLITTING CAKES Cake splitting on the surface as they rise is very common while baking cakes. Since the sides of the baking tin are in direct contact with the batter, they bake faster than the middle of the cake. Since the center is still rising, it tends to push the cake to the top and causes cracks on the surface. STORING COOKIES Before you store cookies, be sure to cool them completely. Otherwise you run the risk of taking funny shapes if packaged when they're warm. It's also a good idea to store different types of cookies separately, rather than in the same tin. As brownies cool, they move away from the edges of the pan. So it's a good idea to cut cooked brownies after they cool down to room temperature. How do you tell if brownies are done? Brownies are generally cooked when the edges look hard and the top has cracked a bit. Check that the center should not jiggle when you shake the pan. COOKING APPLES If you want to cook fresh apples, remember you will be left with only half the amount you started out with. I kilo of raw apples = 1/2 kilo cooked apples. Substitute one cup of sugar, with two cups of corn syrup. JELLY BELLY To unmould jellies, dip the container into hot water up to the rim, place an inverted plate over it, then invert the tin and plate again, shake the tin a little and the jelly will come off.
MERINGUES To store meringues, wrap in foil or arrange in an airtight tin, putting grease-proof paper between two layers. Will keep fresh for up to two months. CARAMEL CUSTARD Do not cook a caramel custard too quickly, as this will cause bubbles in the mixture. SHORT CUT DESSERT arrange stewed or canned fruit in an oven-proof dish, sprinkle with icing sugar and brandy, cover with marshmallows and brown under a hot grill. FREEZE ICE-CREAM Always turn the refrigerator to its coldest setting, one hour before freezing ice-cream. When cream has frozen, turn back to normal. SHORT CRUST PASTRY When making short-crust pastry, the higher you lift flour while crumbling, the more air you infuse, and thus make the pastry lighter. BROWN SUGAR BLUES To soften rocky brown sugar, simply add a slice of soft bread to the package and close the bag tightly. In a few hours the sugar will be soft again. ICE CREAM Always chill glasses before preparing the ice cream in it. It will not melt quickly. Never try to refreeze ice cream that has melted completely. It will taste awful! Instead, convert it to make a delicious milk shake or add a fruit and run it in the mixie for a fruit shake. PASTRIES Always use whole milk rather than skim or reduced fat milk in your pastry recipes OLD CHOCOLATE If you notice a grayish color on your chocolate slab, don t worry. This is called bloom , and it is a sign that the cocoa butter has risen to the surface. It does not affect the flavour of the chocolate, and the grayish color will disappear when the chocolate is melted CHOCOLATE Always let chocolate come to room temperature to prevent it from flying around when being chopped; cold chocolate is too hard to cut and the knife may slip and cut you. For maximum flavor and the best results when nuts are called for in a recipe, toast them before incorporating them into the batter or mixture. NUTTY DESSERTS To prevent nuts and fruits from sinking to the bottom of a cake during baking, warm them a bit in the oven and toss them with flour. Shake off excess flour before mixing them into the batter. EGGS & DAIRY SOFT & CREAMY CAKES Add a little of milk when the cake is baked. This will make the cake softer and creamier. Low fat cream can be substituted for evaporated milk, because when it is chilled it can be whipped like cream too. It is pretty much like unsweetened condensed milk. The ratio can be 1to 1. If you mix equal amout of water to it, it is like fresh milk
MAKING WHITE BUTTER You could make white butter by whipping up thick cream, till the fat and water separate (better to do it at room temperature, because when cold, it does not separate). Put some ice cubes in it after that and squeeze out the butter. CRACKING EGGS If you bring eggs to room temperature before cooking, it prevents cracking due to the sudden drop in temperature and ensures a properly cooked egg. If you do use eggs right out of the refrigerator, add a minute or two to the cooking time. WATERY EGGS If your eggs are watery, that's a sign that you've overcooked them at too high a heat. Cook them at a lower heat, and take them off as soon as they look glossy and moist. To help you cut smooth slices of boiled egg dip the knife in cold water for a couple of seconds before slicing the egg Prevent cheese from getting mildew, by storing cheese tightly wrapped in a plastic bag, keeping air away. MELTING CHEESE If you want to melt cheese; you should bring it down to room temperature first and then melt it over a low heat. CHEESY DISH To add cheese to a dish, grate it first, it will melt more quickly and spread more evenly. GRATING CHEESE To grate cheese easily, first chill it in the freezer for 30 minutes or so or till it appears firm. HARD BOILED OR NOT? Confused whether your eggs in the corner are hard-boiled or not??? Don t and if it wobbles it s raw. If it spins easily, it s hard-boiled. worry! Just spin the egg,
STORE EGG YOLKS To store egg yolks, cover them with a thin layer of water, so that the top does not dry up. EGG YOLKS To prevent dark rings forming around boiled egg yolks, drain off boiling, when boiling time is over, crack the shells immediately and then cover with cold running water, until the eggs are completely cold. STORE EGG-WHITES Store egg-whites in a lidded jar in a refrigerator. EGG-WHITE To whisk egg-whites a little time ahead of use, cover the bowl tightly after beating, or turn it upside down. It is when air comes in contact with them that they become watery again. CONDENSED MILK Condensed milk is evaporated milk, to which sugar has been added; therefore it will keep for a week or so after the can has been opened, as the sugar acts as a preservative. MILK Evaporated milk has its water content reduced by heat, so that it becomes thicker than fresh milk, and then canned. Therefore, once opened, the milk lasts only slightly longer than fresh milk. Evaporated milk has its water content reduced by heat, so that it becomes thicker than fresh milk, and then canned. Therefore, once opened, the milk lasts only slightly longer than fresh milk. Evaporated milk has its water
content reduced by heat, so that it becomes thicker than fresh milk, and then canned. Therefore, once opened, the milk lasts only slightly longer than fresh milk. FRUIT & NUTS Dust the nuts with some flour before adding. If your batter is too thin; you should add the nuts half way through the baking COOKING APPLES If you want to cook fresh apples, remember you will be left with only half the amount you started out with. I kilo of raw apples = 1/2 kilo cooked apples. BLACK FRUITS Add lemon juice after cutting fruits like apples and bananas-It will prevent them from turning blackish immediately. UNSTALE YOUR NUTS For stale nuts, place in a 250 oven for 5 10 minutes. The heat will freshen them right up.
CUT FRUIT While cutting fruit ahead of time, add some lemon juice to the pieces so that they will not darken. REFRESH RAISINS If you have stored raisins in the refrigerator for long, they tend to become hard. Put them in a pan with cold water, bring the water to a boil, and then remove pan from heat as soon as the water boils. Let it stand for 5 minutes and then drain. JUICE INTACT To keep juice from running out of fruit pies, bind the edges with a 2 ? cm wide strip of cotton, dipped in milk. BUYING CITRUS FRUITS While buying citrus fruits, keep in mind that the heavier the fruit, the better. Do not buy any with the skin wrinkled. CHOP DRY FRUIT Place dried fruit that needs to be chopped in the freezer for an hour. It will chop more easily. BLANCHED ALMONDS To get blanched almonds, place them in a saucepan, add just enough water to cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as the water reaches a boil, drain the almonds. Then cool them by pouring cold water on them. To peel, just pinch them they will pop right out of their skins RIPE FRUITS To test if a melon or papaya is ripe, press gently with the thumb at stalk end. If it gives in slightly, it is ripe; if it remains firm, it is not. GRAPES To seed grapes, sterilize a new hair pin by pouring boiling water over it, and push the loop end of the pin into the grape from the stalk end, and pull out the speed. ALMONDS If almonds tend to break while shredding, soak them in hot water for about half an hour. For maximum flavor and the best results when nuts are called for in a recipe, toast them before incorporating them into the batter or mixture.
FRY, STIR-FRY & DEEP-FRY FRY When adding sauce or a cornstarch and water mixture to a dish, push the ingredients up to the side of the wok, forming a well in the middle. Then add the sauce in the middle and stir to thicken. STIR-FRY IT RIGHT For stir-frying, cut the ingredients in uniform-sized pieces so that they all cook at the same rate. A safe rule is to cut everything into bite-sized pieces. Cut the vegetables on a diagonal to maximize exposure to the heat. UNSTICK FRIED FOOD To ensure that your fried food does not stick to the pan, do not preheat the pan and oil before adding the food. Start with a cool pan and your bread mixture will stick to the meat or chicken. FRY BACON Sprinkle a little amount of salt in the frying pan before adding bacon to fry. That way it will not splatter all over. PURIS You can roll puris and place them between a wet muslin cloth at least an hour ahead. Fry them just before serving. RIGHT TO DEEP FRY To check if the oil is at the right temperature to deep-fry, drop a bread cube into the oil, if you see bubbles around the cube, the temperature is too low. If it browns, the temperature is just right. On the other hand, if the bread burns, then your oil is way too hot! To make poori's consume less oil, put them in the fridge for a while before frying. GRILLING & BAKING OVEN FACTS Always place the ovens shelves in position before lighting the oven, as they expand when hot, and are often difficult to move. REMOVE FOOD FROM GLASS DISHES Put a couple of tablespoons of dishwasher detergent in the dish and add hot water. Stir the solution and leave it overnight. By morning, the baked on food will have lifted right off the surface of the dish. BAKED DISH TOPPINGS Add some melted butter to paneer crumbs or bread crumbs and you will end up with a great topping for baked dishes, if you have run out of cheese. GRILLING TEMPERATURE If your charcoal is not the right temperature, your food will end up black on the outside and raw inside. Wait until your charcoal has turned white outside, then wait for 5 minutes before placing your meat on the grill. BAKING IN GLASS When using glass pans instead of metal for baking, reduce the oven temperature by 25 F or 10 F. BAKING TEMPERATURES Remember in most recipes, the baking time that is specified is merely a guideline, especially since oven
temperatures vary from oven to oven. It's best to check your dish a few minutes before the stated time. Do not leave the oven door open for a long time or you'll lose a great deal of heat. AVOID CAKE MESS When frosting cakes, always anchor the bottom cake layer to the serving plate with a dab of frosting. That way, the cake won't slide here and there as you frost. It also helps keep a cake from sliding on its plate during transit. CAKE LINING If a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, you can instead use a bit of the dry cake mix, and it will do the job. BAKE CAKE For best results in cake baking, allow the eggs, butter and milk to reach room temperature before mixing. BAKING EVENLY Turn the cake tin around between baking if the oven is not distribution even heat and the cake is baking unevenly. BAKING SODA LUMPS Baking soda and powder can have little lumps in them that don t break apart or dissolve while baking. To prevent lumps in baked goods, measure them into a small sieve placed over other dry ingredients. Then push any lumps through the mesh. MEALS COCONUT ORDEALS Using skimmed milk powder made into a paste with water can be used as a substitute for coconut for thickness BELL CAPSICUMS A bell pepper can be used instead of capsicums in all recipes. KASHMIRI PRAAN Kashmiri Praan can be substituted by a small quantity of garlic. CURDLING GRAVIES Add the curd little by little, stirring vigorously at the same time. If adding to the gravy at the end, beat the curd till smooth. Add the gravy a spoonful at a time, stirring continuously. Add at least a quarter cup of the gravy thus, then add it to the rest of the gravy. REDUCE THE HOTNESS IN STEWS & SOUPS If your dish has turned out far too chillie hot, you can add a dollop of sour cream or yogurt to mellow the flavours. Did you know that when using chilies you can reduce the amount of fire you add by discarding the white ribs inside the chili peppers. SWEET STEW? Is your soup or your stew too sweet? Just add a little salt and that should do the trick. And if your main dish is too sweet, just add a teaspoon of cider vinegar to it. EXTRA SALT If you have added extra salt to your stew or your soup and it gets salty and unbearable, just pop in a couple of raw potato pieces. This absorbs all the salt and you may then discard them once they are cooked. SOAK FAT
To soak up any fat that could be floating in a finished soup or stock, add lettuce leaves. Remove the lettuce and you will see that the fat will stick to the leaves. CLEAN COFFEE STAINS To clean an electric coffee grinder, just add a small amount of rice and turn it on until the grinder no longer has any odour. It works great for removing both coffee odours and pungent smells from grinding spices. GRAVY MAKING Make a rich cream gravy out of the drippings in a roasting pan: add about L cup cream to the drippings in the pan, and then stir over gentle heat for 2-3 minutes. CURRY FAT To remove fat from curries, soups etc., cool, then refrigerate. When cold, the excess fat will solidify and come to the surface so that you can remove it. FIRM CUTLETS While making cutlets, if you find the mixture too soft to shape, chill it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, and shape again. For a big cooking session, keep a jug of hot water handy for rinsing knives, forks and spoons, so that they are ready for re-use immediately. PREPARING A MEAL When peeling and chopping vegetables, you can do so for two meals, keeping the rest in a sealed polythene bag in the refrigerator. LEFT-OVER WINE Keep leftover wine in a small bottle or screw-top jar in the refrigerator to be used for cooking. CORN SYRUP Two cups of corn syrup can be substituted for 1cup sugar. While making cutlets, if you think the mixture is too soft to fry them, then refrigerate them for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator. To make sure that you don't burn masala while cooking, it's a good idea to make the masala into a stiff paste before you fry it. All that means is that you add enough water to the masalas for it to become a stiff paste. MISC CLEAN PANS Add a tsp of vinegar to the water in an aluminium saucepan when steaming, to prevent discoloration of the pan. BAKING POWDER Baking powder consists of 2 parts of soda bicarbonate mixed with 1 part cream of tartar. SOAP SAVER Punch holes in the lid of a small tin. Throw odds and end of soap in this, swirl it around in water when you want soapy water washing up. ORGANISED SHOPPING Keep your shopping list posted on the refrigerator so that you can add items to it as and when you discover that they are little in supply.
VEG COCONUT ORDEALS Using skimmed milk powder made into a paste with water can be used as a substitute for coconut for thickness STORING GREENS If they have some roots, dip those in a small container of water and keep in the refrigerator. Put them in a brown paper bag (before washing), seal and keep refrigerated. Wash, wipe off or drain off excess water and seal in a plastic bag. Wash, wipe off or drain off excess water, wrap in a towel and refrigerate. Even if curry leaes turn dark the flavor stays. BELL CAPSICUMS A bell pepper can be used instead of capsicums in all recipes. KASHMIRI PRAAN Kashmiri Praan can be substituted by a small quantity of garlic. FREEZE PEAS Peel, blanch, drain and pack in air tight containers and store in the freezer. STORING PEAS To store peas for a few days in the refrigerator-Refrigerate them without peeling. Should last 4-5 days. RETAINING THE COLOR OF PEAS To retain the color of peas, when you saute the peas, do not cover them. Cover them only once the mixture comes to a boil. STICKY JACKFRUIT Oiling hands and knife helps in reducing the stickiness while cutting and washing Jackfruit. To make the onion brown & crispy fast just add a little bit of salt while cooking! After blanching green vegetables like French beans, spinach, green peas, plunge them in cold water to retain their colour and crunchiness SOUR CREAM Add a bit of lemon juice to fresh cream to make sour cream. BLACK FRUITS Add lemon juice after cutting fruits like apples and bananas ..It will prevent them from turning blackish immediately. ANT-FREE SUGAR A few cloves in the sugar jar will keep ants at bay. STRONG GARLIC PASTE If you are using raw garlic, and crush the garlic cloves using a garlic press, you will end up with a stronger flavor than if you were to mince them with a knike. GARLIC SKIN Soak the garlic flakes in water for five minutes before peeling - this keeps the garlic skins from sticking to the hands. GARLIC PASTE
If you like to make and store homemade pastes of garlic, ginger or green chilli - they will last longer and taste fresher if you add a tsp.of hot oil to, along with salt. BLANCHING Blanching is used to set crispness and color, cooking vegetables just to the crunchy, al dente stage. Drop the cut vegetables into a large amount of rapidly boiling water. As soon as the vegetables begin to brighten in color, remove them from the boiling water with a strainer or slotted spoon. Afer cooking them you can dip the vegetables into a large bowl of ice water or just drain the water on a towelly suface. REDUCE THE HOTNESS IN STEWS & SOUPS If your dish has turned out far too chillie hot, you can add a dollop of sour cream or yogurt to mellow the flavours. Did you know that when using chilies you can reduce the amount of fire you add by discarding the white ribs inside the chili peppers. SALTING EGGPLANTS The juices of some eggplants are bitter, therefore sprinkling slices of eggplant with salt draws these bitter compounds to the surface, which can be then blotted away. This is also results in less absorbtion of fat if it is being browned or pan fried. While making stews which involves lengthy simmering or other spices, you can omit salting the eggplant. To take away traces of bitterness in tomatoes, add a bit of sugar to them. If you don t want your sliced potatoes to color, dip them in cold water. To avoid tears while you chop onions, after you peel them, dip them in cold water for a while. LONG LAST THE LEMONS! Lemons last longer when refrigerated. PICK LEMONS The best lemons to pick are the ones that feel heavy and have a smooth, but a tight and coarse skin. FRESH LEMONS To get the maximum juice out fresh lemons and oranges, first bring them to room temperature and roll them under your palm against the kitchen slab before squeezing them. SPINACH DELIGHT Tie together spinach stalks in bundles with a string. Cook these in boiling salted water for about 25 minutes or until tender. Serve topped with plenty of melting butter. CRUSH GARLIC To crush garlic, peel it, chop it fine and then press it with the heel of a knife. Another method of skinning tomatoes is to place a tomato on a kitchen fork and hold it directly over the gas flame, and keep turning until the skin pops. When cool, peel off the skin. SKINNED TOMATOES To remove the skin from tomatoes, in case you have not skinned them before: At the end of the cooking time, boil the mixture rapidly for 2-3 minutes, by which time the skins will rise to the top and you can skim off with a perforated spoon. PEEL TOMATOES Make a shallow cross at the bottom of the tomatoes with a knife. Then, place the tomatoes in hot water for a few minutes. Remove them from the water and allow them to cool. The skin can now be peeled easily. BETTER TASTING TOMATOES
Adding sugar to tomatoes when cooking takes away that slightly bitter taste. RIPE TOMATOES Sunlight doesn't ripen tomatoes, warmth does. Find a nice warm spot near the stove or dishwasher where they can get a little heat. RED ONION STAINS Red onions really can stain your hands when you handle them with your bare hands, and soap will not get the stains out. Cut a potato in slices, run it under cold water, then rub the wet potato on your hands. The stains will just fade away! RAW ONION SMELL If you want to take the sharp smell of onions, and wish to use it as an accompaniment for an Indian dish. Sprinkle some salt, red pepper and lemon, and put it in the fridge for a few hours. DRY FRESH HERBS If you purchase picked herbs, wash and pat them dry. Tie a few sprigs together and hang the bunches upside down in a warm, dry spot. Keep the bunches out of direct sunlight, this can burn the leaves and destroy the aroma. The herbs will be dry in 1 to 2 weeks. FRESHER SALAD Your salad will taste better and crisper if the vegetables have been soaked in chilled water for a while. DISCOLORED POTATOES To keep peeled and sliced potatoes from discoloring before use, keep them covered with cold water. WELL-BAKED POTATOES If you would like crisp and well-browned baked potatoes, place them in hot water for half and hour, then pierce the whole skin with a fork, then put them in to bake. BAKE POTATOES If you are in a hurry to bake potatoes, you can boil them in salted water for 10 minutes, and after that place it in a hot oven to bake. SOFT SWEETCORN To make sure that you don t; end up with tough corn, do not add salt while cooking it. It will make the corn tough. SWEETCORN To keep sweet corn yellow, add one teaspoon lemon juice to the cooking water just about a minute before taking off the stove. CLEAN MUSHROOMS To clean mushrooms, wipe them with a damp cloth, or rinse them quickly in cold water. Do not attempt to soak them as that makes them soggy. Use a paste of mashed boiled potato to any soup to thicken and add body, if you have run out of cornflour.