Whether you’re an aspiring chef, a person who has a creative culinary streak or perhaps even someone who wants to boil an egg independently, without creating havoc in the kitchen, everyone needs at least some basic kitchen skills. Granted, certain people may be innately skilled and gifted, so their talent comes easy. Others may have even been fortunate enough with a up-bringing surrounded by artistic cooks who gladly gave them a few useful tips along the way.
However, there are still many people out there who shy away from the kitchen simply because they find cooking difficult, and even a little bit puzzling. To these individuals, we say: fear not. Sciacca has come to the rescue with some tips that will not only change the way you look at cooking in general but also ones that will make you warm up to the idea of becoming your very own personal chef!
1. Create herb-infused meals easily
Freeze a fresh herb mixture in olive oil to enhance your meal’s flavour. If you’re the type of person who likes to add fresh herbs to meals, you can stock up fresh herbs easily. All you have to do is chop them, put them in an ice cube tray, cover them in olive oil and freeze them. And the next time you’re whipping up something yummy in your pot or pan, just drop a cube in and allow the flavour to work its magic.
2. Dry out herbs in the microwave
Sure, fresh herbs are always best, but if you’re looking for a more permanent storage solution, just buy a bunch of herbs from your local vegetable vendor and make your own unique blend of herbs – and then dry them out in the microwave. The technique is pretty straightforward: put them in for 20 second intervals, and keep turning them over until they’re entirely dry, at which point you can crush them up.
3. Let hard-boiled eggs ‘sit’ in the fridge for a few days
We all can agree that boiled eggs are many a time notoriously difficult to peel, but this only applies to the freshly boiled variety. If you want them to peel easily, it’s best to allow them to rest for a number of days in the fridge.
Week-old eggs are perfectly good to eat, and more importantly, they’re incredibly easy to peel. So, next time you want to have an easy hard-boiled egg peeling session, make sure you buy eggs well in advance and let them sit in the fridge for a while before boiling them.
4. Healthy doesn’t have to mean boring
Why not use protein powder, almond milk, oat flour and frozen fruit for healthy snacks? People normally look at pancakes as a guilty pleasure. But you can make healthy and diet-friendly pancakes using protein powder, almond milk, oat flower, different fruit and other healthy ingredients.
5. Think ahead: food preparation helps a ton!
Whether it’s to prepare healthy meals or simply save some time, cook up enough food for several days on Sunday and store it in the fridge. This allows you to spend a couple of hours on a lazy Sunday to cook up enough frozen veggies, chicken, fish, steak, rice, baked potatoes or whatever else your heart desires, and store the food in plastic containers.
This way, you needn’t add to the daily hustle and bustle of life by having to rush home to prepare food. Mix it up, and you’ll have quick meals ready to go for the next few days or even the entire week! Always remember however, to ensure your food won’t spoil, you need to make sure to store it in the right container and refrigerate it at the right temperature.
6. Mix pancake batter in a plastic bag
This will save you the time and make far less of a mess in the long run. Try opting for a zip-lock or pastry bag, which can be used to mix up pancake batter. Be sure to make a small cut in a corner of the plastic bag if you don’t have a pastry bag. Apart from avoiding the hassle of having to clean up a lot afterwards, you can also make some very creative shapes. Neat!
7. Use dental floss to cut softer foods
Let’s be realistic: things can get messy if you’re cutting a particularly large and clunky cake and only have a small knife. But even things like cheese and Swiss rolls can be difficult to cut in a precise manner. So we suggest for you to use dental floss, to make quick and precise cuts and avoid the trouble.
8. A slice of apple does the trick
Throw in a slice with baked treats to keep them soft and moist. It’s common knowledge that baked treats tend to get fairly dry and don’t taste as great as when first opened. A good way to eliminate this problem is to keep them in a plastic container with an apple slice, which will help them preserve moisture and stay yummy for much longer.
9. Put ice cream in a bag
Ice cream can get rock solid in the freezer, making it really difficult to serve. To avoid the hassle, we have a simple trick to keep it at just the right consistency before popping it in the freezer. Basically, you need to put the container in a plastic zip-lock bag before chucking it in the freezer. We know how annoying it is when it takes ages to thaw out ice cream, so this trick will definitely help ease the frustration.
10. Use frozen banana as base for a healthy ice cream
When frozen and then mashed up, bananas can produce a perfectly smooth and creamy ice cream base. The great thing is, you can mix it with other fruit and various toppings to create a super-healthy home-made ice cream.
If you’re one of the many people whose knee-jerk reaction is to run when asked to flaunt your culinary skills, then we hope we’ve managed to enlighten you on some tricks to make your life a tad easier. Still not quite confident about your capabilities and somewhat baffled when throw in the kitchen confines? Then we suggest for you to drop everything and come and chill out at Sciacca Grill. Our talented chefs will surely concoct a dish that will wipe your troubles away.
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