Little hints and tips to make life easier in the kitchen
Store meat on the bottom shelf of your fridge; it’s the coldest part of the fridge, but also means if any juices leak they won’t cover food below. Make sure your meat is covered to avoid any potential cross-contamination.
To work out how long you’ll need to cook fish, measure it at its thickest point. Cook it for 10 minutes per 1 inch / 2.5 cm. For example, for fish that’s 2.5cm thick, cook it for 5 minutes on one side, then turn and cook for 5 minutes on the other.
Store nuts in the fridge, ideally in an airtight container or jar, to stop them going off (nuts can go rancid easily because of their high fat content). You can also freeze them for 6 months up to a year.
To get the most flavour when cooking with spices, it’s best to sauté them in oil in your pan first. This will toast the spices and give you a bit more flavour oomph. Keep an eye on them though, as spices burn easily and will ruin the taste of your dish. If this happens before you add anything else, it’s best to get rid of the spices, clean the pan and start again.
Unless a recipe says otherwise, always use butter and eggs at room temperature for baking. The main exception is pastry as this normally needs cold butter, but otherwise room temperature is best.
You don’t have to store eggs in the fridge; if you have a cool cupboard or pantry (under 20° C) you can keep them in there in a container. This means you won’t have to leave eggs out to get to room temperature for baking.
Double cream can go a bit grainy if frozen, so just whip it lightly before freezing. Single cream doesn’t freeze so well and can go watery.
Don’t throw away overripe bananas; peel them, break into chunks and put in the freezer in a container or freezer bag. The frozen chunks are great added to smoothies, or you can churn them in a blender or food processor to make a healthy ice cream. (Overripe bananas are also perfect candidates for banana bread or banana muffins.)