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Category Archives: Kitchen Hints

Fish

 

Fish is a superb food it is highly nutritious in proteins and vitamins and the carbohydrates are in the form of oils that are very beneficial to health. it is quickly cooked and easily digested.

Pressure cooking

Pressure cooking fish offers speed, control of cooking, and prevents the build up of fishy smells in the kitchen. The standard method of pressure cooking fish is high pressure steaming and it is one of the best and tastiest way of producing fish. The fish is laid on the trivet over super heated water or a fumet a light fish stock and the juices inside the fish are heated up. The taste is like top quality fried fish.

Buying fish

Good food starts with good ingredients. Buy your fish carefully. A fresh fish looks and feels firm, the eyes should be transparent and slightly bulging sunken and  glazed eyes are bad sign. The gills should be bright red inside and scales shiny.

To get rid of the smell of fish, boiling up a lump of sugar in a pan will counteract most kitchen smells; a slice of lemon will remove smells from the hands.

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2012 in Fish, Kitchen Hints

 

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Fast Cooking Aids

Stock, Fumets, demi glace- any of these made to the classic recipes or your own adaptations of them can be frozen and stored. Pour into the ice cube tray until frozen and then tip into plastic bags and label carefully. Alternatively, pour into plastic egg boxes, freeze and store stacked up.

Beurre manie- this is equal quantities of flour and butter worked together for a last minute thickening of sauces and stews. Make in advance, put hazelnut-sized pieces on a baking tray, freeze, tip into plastic bags and keep in the freezer. Use a nut or two whenever you need to thicken sauces.

Seasoned flour- keep seasoned flour in a plastic container. To each 1lb of flour add about 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp pepper. Mix well and taste it. If the seasoning is not noticeable, add a little more of each, a pinch or two at a
time until it taste right. To this basic seasoned flour you can add grated lemon rind or various herbs. Use the
seasoned flour to coat food before frying, to thicken sauces or stews. Mix with an equal weight of butter to make a beurre manie.

Herbs- Spread leaves and sprigs of fresh herbs on a baking sheet, freeze and store frozen in well labelled containers.

Garlic and herb butter- Mix freshly chopped herbs or frehly squeezed citrus juices into softened butter and store in walnut sized pats in the freezer, carefully labelled. Make in the proportions of one teaspoon of chopped herbs or citrus juice (or a judicious mixture of the two) into one tablespoon of softened butter. Try one or two cloves of crushed garlc, insted of herbs. These butter are dilicious melted on grilled fish or meat.

Garlic – You can peel a head of garlic and pound it in a mortar or in a blender with two tablespoons of oil. Keep in the refrigerator in a tightly stoppered jar. Use as required.

Dried peel- finely grated lemon or orange peel can be put into small plastic container frozen and used in a number of recipes.

A Final touch for soups and stew or cold dishes

2 clove garlic, crushed

grated rind of 1 lemon

2 tbs finely chopped parsley or other herbs

Prepare these at the last minute. Mix together and sprinkle over the hot food before serving or over cold food some minutes in advance to permeate the mixture. The smell is delicious.

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2011 in Kitchen Hints

 

Kitchen Hints

storage

Avocados – If your avocados are ripe but you dont want to eat them yet, store them in the refrigerator to stop ripening further.

Bananas – If you put bananas in the fridge their skins will darken, but the flesh will stay firm.

Basil – To preserve the delicious flavour of fresh basil leaves, store them in oil with a little salt added. When you have to sue up all the basil, you can use the oil to make a basil-flavoured salad dressing.

Cakes – Tins are better than plastic boxed for storing cakes, because plastic is porous and may not give alright seal, and also because it tends to harbour smells.

Don’t store fruit cakes in silver foil for a long time, or the acid in the fruit may corrode the foil and form a mould.

Cream – store carton of double or sour cream upside down in the refrigerator and they will keep fresh longer.

Ripening fruit – If your pears peaches or tomatoes are under-ripe, put them in a brown paper bag with a ripe apple. Make a few holes in the bag and then leave overnight in a cool, dark place.

Lettuce –  lettuce will stay fresh for several days if stored in a tightly lidded saucepan, or  wrapped in newspaper in a cool place.

Parsley – Wash fresh parsley, shake dry and store in a plastic bag in the freezer compartment. When it is thoroughly frozen you can simply crumble off what you need, without having to chop it.

Refrigerator smells – To get rid of unpleasant smells, put a saucerful of charcoal in your refrigerator.

Mixing

Mashed potatoes – Make mashed potatoes extra good by mixing with sour cream instead of milk, and adding freshly grated nutmeg. or mix with hot milk instead of cold.

Dried beans – When cooking Dried beans, do not add salt until the last minute, as it tends to harden them.

Custard – A teaspoonful of cornflour added to real egg custard will prevent it curdling.

Filming – If you make a white sauce, such as a cheese sauce or bechamel, in advance, put a few dots of butter on top while it is still hot to prevent a skin forming.

Brown stock – When making stock from meat bones, brown them first under a hot grill and the stock will have rich colour.

Cheese sauce – Make a cheese sauce more interesting by adding a sprinkling of dry mustard, a pinch of cayenne pepper and a dash of lemon juice.

To clarify stock – If your home-made stock is cloudy, add some empty egg shells to it for 10 minutes while it is simmering.

Seasoning cold dishes – When serving a cooked savoury dish cold, always check the seasoning at the last minute. You may need to add more, as flavours tend to diminish as food cools

Mustard – Always use cold water to mix mustard and mix it at least ten minutes before serving, to allow the flavour to develop.

Salt – When you double the ingredients in a recipe, you wont need twice as much salt, but one and half times as much.

White sauce – If you heat the milk before making a white sauce you will find that it blends in more smoothy and quickly.

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2011 in Kitchen Hints