Kitchen tips and tricks

There are many risks associated with cooking indoors. PHOTO/MICHAEL KAKUMIRIZI 

What you need to know:

  • Trying out new and complicated recipes will only cause a lot of panic and stress should they not turn out the way they are supposed to.

These tips will streamline your cooking process, make your time in the kitchen more efficient and transform your cooking experience.

Make fresh herbs last longer  
Fresh herbs add great flavour to dishes but often spoil before they are all used up. Preserve their freshness and make them last longer by chopping them up, putting them in ice cube trays, filling each compartment with olive oil and freezing them. Use these herb-infused ice cubes to flavour your dishes when cooking.

Mellow food that’s too spicy 
If your curries and sauces turn out to be too spicy, adding some potatoes, cream or coconut milk will help balance them out and mellow the spices.

Make boiled eggs easier to peel  
To prevent the egg white from coming off with the shell when you peel boiled eggs, add a teaspoon of baking soda to the water before boiling the eggs. This will help the shells come off easily and cleanly, without damaging the eggs.

Know when to flip your pancakes When frying pancakes, wait for a minute after bubbles begin to appear on the surface, before flipping them. Flip them only once and cook for a minute or two on the other side, depending on how thick the batter is, and they’ll turn out perfectly every time.

Make your own oil spray  
Buying a spray bottle and filling it with cooking oil is a lot cheaper than buying a cooking oil spray. Oil sprays make it easy to apply oil to pans without dripping and making a mess. They also help you to control the amount of oil you use, making your cooking healthier. Set the spray nozzle on the spray bottle to a fine mist setting, to apply a fine mist of oil evenly to your pans. Infuse your oil with garlic, or your favourite herbs and spices and spray the oil over meat and vegetables when grilling or roasting.

Clean blenders safely  
Avoid getting your fingers cut on the sharp blades of blenders when washing them by filling them one-thirds full with warm water and liquid soap. Run the blender for a few seconds and then rinse thoroughly to clean it easily and safely.

Easy garbage collection  
Line a plastic bowl with a polythene bag and toss peels, eggshells and other vegetable scraps into it as you cook. This will contain the mess and save you endless trips to the garbage bin when cooking. The polythene bag also makes cleaning up so much easier, as all you have to do is to lift it out of the bowl and throw it into the garbage bin.

Stick to what you know  
When hosting dinner parties or gatherings, stick to the dishes you know how to cook well. Trying out new and complicated recipes will only cause a lot of panic and stress should they not turn out the way they are supposed to.