COOKING AND FOOD
Useful ideas to save time and to add
that extra special something to dishes.
- When defrosting meat from
the frig, pour over vinegar ( ex pickled onion vinegar is good!). This
lowers the freezing temperature of water in the meat, i.e. defrosts
faster and tenderises the meat.
cheat - One can now buy those nasty powdered instant soups in
Tomato and Lentil in ASDA. Saves the tedium of overnight soaking and
long cooking of the lentils - adds tomato at the same time, which is not
strictly correct, but Brits like their curries with tomato puree` !
Shame about the sugar and salt content, but sometimes speed is more
important than exactitude.....
have tried all sorts of strategies to keep fresh
leaf coriander in the refrigerator. The best way, I find,
is to loosely wrap in aluminium foil, leaving an opening at the top.
Doesn’t go mushy, doesn’t dry out, lasts a week or more!
Leftovers - add the leftovers from roast chicken to your crockpot
along with carrots, onion, celery, and herbs and let cook on low
overnight. In the morning, let it cool, strain and discard solids, and
season, and you will have flavorful chicken stock to use in other
Pastry mix - Save
precious time by mixing your pastry to the "breadcrumb" stage i.e. rubbing in
the flour and fat and then put this mixture into a freezer container. It is a good
idea to make quite a large amount. When you want to make pastry, take out enough of
the dry mixture for your requirements and add the water in the usual way.
This mixture can also be used to make crumble by just
Thanks to Brenda Roff for this
Chicken and dumplings (Southern
style) - take a packet of flour tortillas, floured on
both sides and cut in strips. Put them in with your chicken and broth and let them
cook (just like the old fashioned kind). Add a can of cream of chicken soup for
extra richness and a dash of yellow food colouring for that "extra rich look"
and there you have it - Chicken and Dumplings Southern style!
Burritos are wonderful and so easy. Purchase large tortillas, take any kind
of meat you like and cook it until it is tender, then grind (mince) it up. You could
also use leftover meat which has been ground/minced. Brown meat, mixing in any
variety of seasonings. Cumin is a mainstay in this type of food. When the meat
is all finished (and I usually add a little wine or water and cook it down), add in
refried beans. Warm the tortilla, either in the microwave or on a skillet.
Place a dollup of meat mixture to one edge of the tortilla, add sour cream, grated cheese,
salsa, whatever topping you want and roll away. mmmmmmmmmmm !!!!!!
Thanks for this mouthwatering offering Pam
A tip received from R. Muniz to make
"4 for 1$ mac and cheese
kits" more enjoyable. Add a little more margarine
until melted. Then add the cheese powder. Omit the salt and the milk. Mix
well. This makes a more flavourful and deeply coloured side dish with a cheesier
When drying herbs use the clean bags provided with the tablets for
washing machines. Put in the fresh herbs, hang them to dry, when ready just rub
between your hands onto a piece of paper and then store them in empty herb jars. All
the stems will be left in the bags so it is very quick and easy.
Courtesy of Brenda Roff
Use condensed soup as a quick
and easy sauce. e.g. cut some leftover chicken into cubes and mix with either
condensed chicken or mushroom soup and serve on a bed of rice. "Chicken à la
King" in minutes.
To make mince go further
add some breadcrumbs or carrots into the recipe.
Add Worcestershire sauce
to baked beans or scrambled egg to give them that extra zing.
Alternatively, add a spoonful of
ready mixed 'curry' cooking sauce. Pataks is best (by a large margin).
Enough to wake anybody up in the morning!
To make a few sausages go a
very long way; make "Toad in the Hole" by cutting the sausages into
small pieces and using a bun tin to make individual portions. Add chopped onion for
an extra twist.
What is "Toad in the
Hole"? It is a batter made with flour, egg and milk, which is poured over
sausages and baked in the oven.
Fold some orange liqueur and
orange rind into whipped cream to add that special "something".
Particularly nice with fresh fruit salad.
Pipe whipped double cream into
rosettes onto a tray. Open freeze, then pack carefully. These can be
used as decorations for desserts, cakes etc. Allow 30 minutes at room temperature to
For something a little different, stir a little natural yoghurt into fresh cream. This can be
used on both sweet and savoury dishes.
Slice fresh lemons, open
freeze on a tray, then pack in the usual manner. Always there for that gin and
After washing and drying, freeze
fresh sprigs of herbs, which can either be used whole or crushed whilst frozen - no
need to chop.
In order to
find any lumps within dry ingredients e.g. when rubbing fat into
flour, just gently shake the container and this will make any lumps rise
to the surface.
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More kitchen hints.
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