Tips & Tricks

Preventing apples and pears from turning brown

You normally place peeled apples and pears in water with added lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown. No lemons at home? Try to quickly dip them into water with a tiny pinch of salt and you get the same result.

Herb oil

If you want to make homemade herb oils such as coriander or parsley oil, quickly blanch the herbs in boiling water for a few seconds. Refresh them in icy water before blending them with oil. This way they retain the fresh green colour and do not turn brown.

Tender and quick beef stroganoff

Quickly cook the strips of beef filet in a mixture of hot oil and butter until brown on all sides. Do not over crowd the pan or the meat looses moisture and starts stewing instead of stir frying. Take the meat out and wrap in aluminium foil. Prepare the sauce by sweating onion and bacon strips in hot oil. Add sliced mushrooms and cook until brown. De-glace with some beef or chicken stock and reduce. Add some cream, salt, pepper and paprika and reduce slightly. Add the meat and its juices to the pan again. It is rested and tender and only needs to be heated through before serving. Sprinkle with chopped parsley – voila, dinner in less than 15 minutes.

Buttered moulds

If you use buttered moulds for puddings and soufflés return them to the fridge until you need them. This guarantees that your pudding or soufflé will rise evenly and comes out of the mould easy.

Fruit on the bottom of the cake/slice

Dust the fruit lightly with plain flour which prevents it from sinking to the bottom.

Crushing garlic

Crush garlic, skin on, with a heavy knife and some pressure and they are easy to peel. Chop garlic into small pieces then sprinkle with a healthy amount of salt. With the back of a heavy, big knife squash the garlic to a paste. The salt prevents the pieces from jumping off your board.

How to peel ginger

Take a teaspoon and scrape the skin of the ginger off. It’s a little bit fiddly the first time but you get better every time and you do not waste any ginger!

Short pastry

Instead of forming a ball when resting your short pastry in the fridge, form a disc. It cools faster and makes it easier to roll out after the resting period.

Beetroot stains on your chopping board

Instead of using lemon juice, try to spread sugar soap on the stains and leave over night.

Finley diced bacon

Is the bacon fat room temperature and slips away from your knife so that you cannot cut it into fine dices? Put the slices next to each other flat on a board, place in the freezer for 15-20 minutes then cut them.