There are some cooking techniques that you’ll use over and over again. Follow these steps to learn these skills and you’ll be an expert in no time!
Cooking fluffy rice
- Measure out a ratio of 1 part rice to 1.5 parts cold water.
- Wash the rice under cold water until it runs clear, then add to a saucepan.
- Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer.
- Cook for 10 minutes, then turn off the heat and leave to steam, covered, for another 10 minutes.
Stock from a shop or made from a cube is really handy, but if you’ve got time, the homemade version is much better.
- Add chopped onions, carrots, celery, herbs, seasoning, and leftover chicken, including the bones, to a pan. (Leave the chicken out if you want to make vegetable stock).
- Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 hours, skimming off any froth as you go.
- Strain the stock through a sieve and allow to cool. Store in the fridge or freezer.
Avocado is a great addition to many dishes, but it can be tricky to get the stone out if you’ve never done it before.
- Place the avocado onto a chopping board and carefully slice it length ways, all the way round, avoiding the stone.
- Twist the avocado to separate it into two halves, then use a spoon to remove the stone.
- Scoop out the flesh with a spoon and either slice it into pieces or mash it with a fork.
Rolling out pastry
Good quality shop-bought pastry is a great time-saver. All you need to do is roll it out.
- Sprinkle flour onto a rolling pin and your work surface. Use the rolling pin to push down and forward over the pastry, using long, steady strokes.
- Turn the pastry around and repeat as necessary, until it reaches your desired thickness.
Some recipes only require the egg white or yolk. Luckily, it’s easy to separate them.
- Crack an egg on the side of a bowl. Transfer the yolk back and forth from one half of the shell to the other, letting the white fall into the bowl and holding the yolk in the shell.
Onions are used in lots of recipes, so learning how to dice one is a skill worth knowing.
- Peel the onion and slice it in half from root to stem.
- Make several vertical slices toward the root, being careful not to cut all the way to the end.
- Repeat with horizontal cuts, then hold the onion together and slice down across the cuts you made earlier.
Lining a cake tin
Lining a tin will stop your cake from sticking to it, making it easier to remove.
- Grease the tin by spreading a layer of oil or butter onto the base and sides.
- Place the tin on baking paper and draw around the edges, leaving a little extra on all sides.
- Cut the paper out and press it into the tin. Fold at the corners and snip off any excess.
Kneading dough can be quite a physical job, but at least it will make you strong!
- Place the dough onto a floured surface. Using clean hands, stretch the dough by pushing it down and away from you with the heel of your hands.
- Fold the dough back toward you. Rotate and repeat for 5-10 minutes until the dough has become smooth and elastic.