Kitchen tips to save time and effort
Good cooks are savvy, economical and know how to achieve maximum effect with minimum effort. Here are some tips that will serve you well in the kitchen:
- Prepare soups and stews the day before you plan on eating them, or make enough for leftovers. The extra day gives ingredients time to come together for flavours to develop and intensify.
- Reheat leftover pizza on a preheated baking sheet at 225C until the cheese melts. The high heat is the secret to making the crust crisp again. (Never microwave pizza: it makes the crust tough and chewy.)
- Revive a day-old loaf of bread by spraying it lightly with water, wrapping in foil and placing it in an oven at 180C until it's heated through.
- For even results, slice decorative goat-cheese rounds from a log by using a piece of dental floss pulled taut between your hands.
- Use a wooden skewer to clean out the nooks and crannies of kitchen appliances such as stand mixers or food processors. Wrap a damp cloth around the tip to tackle sticky corners.
- After working with fresh chillies, press your fingertips into the cut end of a halved lime to tame the oils that can lead to a burning sensation.
- When a recipe calls for a buttered baking dish, use a pastry brush for less mess and to distribute the butter evenly.
- Melt crystallised honey by submerging the container in a pot of hot water removed from the heat.
- Need an extra trivet? Use disposable wooden chopsticks lined up in neat rows to protect any surface.
- If you don't have a sifter, use a food processor or blender to aerate flour when a baking recipe calls for sifted flour.