8 Simple Commonsense Cooking Tips

Do you get lumps in your white sauce? When making white sauce (béchamel) or any sauce that requires slow cooking to thicken use an egg whisk and you can increase the temperature (not too much though) to speed the process up.and you wont get any limps in it.

Turn your open barbeque into a gourment oven. Want to try a new barbeque recipe that requires a hood on the barbeque which you may not have. Try using a wok lid or any domed lid. This works very well indeed. Great for roasted meats when camping out.

Never buy frozen pastry again. Do you hate making short pastry. Use a kitchen whiz instead of the usual hand method. Use slightly less liquid than may be asked for in the recipe.Just run the whiz until all the pastry forms into a ball. If it wont form into a ball you may need just a touch more liquid. The liquid depends on what recipe you use for your pastry.

Do your scones look more like rock cakes ? Make your scones in a kitchen whiz. Many people just can’t make scones no matter what. Usually the problem is too much handling. Using the whiz eliminates this problem.

Also try and make your scones as though people or the family are sitting at the table waiting. In other words the less time you take means less handling. The mixture should be quite moist not dry after you add the milk.

Turn onto a well floured board and top a few times with the tips of your fingers to draw the extra four in. This should only take you about 5-8 seconds. Gently pat into shape and cut into whatever shaped scones you want – round or square -whatever.

Scones seem to come out best when cooked in what is variously described as a rising oven. In other words turn your oven on not too long before you start to mix your scones and when they are put in the oven it still has not quite reached the required temperature.

I learnt this way of making scones when I was used to crew on a yacht when I was younger and the guys would want morning tea and see if they could cajole me into making some. Hence my reference to having a waiting audience. The oven was only a small benchtop gas oven and I would turn it on to its maximum temperature and then throw the flour butter and milk together. They were most impressed and I was most surprised at the result. I was not at all sure of my expertise in scone making as my mother could never make scones – hers were the ones that came out like bullets.

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