It wasn’t too long ago that finding Mexican food in the UK was very difficult, but over the last ten years or so, it has been a quickly growing trend. We’ve seen the introduction of fajitas, taco, and enchiladas ready meals, and even the odd Mexican restaurant here and there.
There is a pretty big difference though, between making something from a packet and making it from scratch. Here’s a recipe for a good, vegetarian, bean-based burrito:
What you need to get is half a cup of refried beans (vegetarian), half an avocado, a large tortilla, some pico de gallo (however much you want – it’s what makes it spicy), and some lettuce. Once you’ve gathered these ingredients, you need to heat up the tortilla, to stop it being brittle, and then lay it down. The first ingredient you add is the refried beans, followed by the avocado, then the lettuce, and finally the pico de gallo. After you’ve done this, you just fold up the tortilla, and you have a burrito.
The trick with making a burrito is actually with how you fold it. You actually should be laying the ingredients down after you’ve already planned how to do this, and the best way is by laying them out length-wise across the tortilla, with about an inch left empty on either end. You then take both those sides (the ones with only an inch of space, not the ones with 3-4 inches) and fold them back over onto the ingredients, and afterwards grab one of the sides and fold it all the way over to the opposite side of the tortilla, and then tucking it underneath the ingredients, and finally rolling it. Hey presto! you have a burrito.
When a lot of people think about certain kitchen appliances, like a soup maker or bread maker, they will think that they are pretty poor. Although this was largely true twenty years ago, and most people would be able to identify from taste whether or not a soup was made with a soup maker or not, the current level of technology means that this is now far harder to do.
Current soup maker models are much better than previous ones, and not only that, they are also a lot cheaper. Typical models will have numerous settings so that you can make a greater variety of soups than ever before, and not only that, you can also set different settings for those different soups for a outcome that you prefer.
Soup makers are in effect a mix of a blender and a kettle. All you need to do is add the assortment of vegetables you want in the soup and water and then turn it on. The soup maker will then cycle between blending and boiling the mixture, until it has finished. Not only will it massively reduce the work involved in producing a soup, the results are also exemplary.
Somebody who has never tried this out will not be able to truly understand how difficult it is. The nature of fish meat is that when it gets cooked it starts to flake, and inevitably with a barbecue, the fish will start to get stuck to the grill.
The temptation is there to try and play around with the fish; continuously teasing it from the grill to stop it from sticking, but this temptation must be resisted.
The best way to barbecue fish is simply to wait until it is done. Throughout the cooking process, you should be trying to lift it of the grill; if there is any difficulty with it lifting off it, like there is a bit which has cooked onto the grill, then you should leave it, and eventually it will be cooked enough that it can just lift straight off the grill.
Another important part of the process for perfect barbecuing of fish is to try and cook it at a low temperature, as this will stop it from getting burnt before it has a chance to firm up.
Kitchen cleanliness is very important (at the risk of repeating myself). It is important because, of course, a kitchen is where food is being prepared, so where you can you want to limit the growth of bacteria and germs which could be harmful to you and those you’re feeding.
Stopping the spread of germs is something which every chef needs to be concerned with, but pros know that dealing with a mess as soon as it is created is the best way for people to keep their kitchen clean and healthy. There are specialist items which make things like this easier, such as bins which can attach to the counter, which is particularly handy for vegetable peelings. Mostly though, the thing you need to do regularly is wipe down counter tops before and after every use.
Another great product to help keep your kitchenware clean are non-stick frying pans. Hardly anything new and revolutionary, but getting a high quality non-stick frying pan could last you for years and save you hours of scrubbing time over that period. Just remember not to use any cooking utensils which could scratch the surface, as that will make them wear out a lot more quickly.
Spaghetti carbonara is a much loved dish of Italian cuisine, and is thankfully pretty simple to make. It only requires a few different ingredients in order to make it a great meal, so it is a great option for beginners in cooking and those who aren’t very confident.
- To start with, you need to boil spaghetti, ideally ‘al dente’ which is basically spaghetti which is slightly uncooked in the centre, although that isn’t necessary.
- While doing this you should fry pancetta ideally, and if not that bacon or ham, until it is slightly crispy, but not too much. A good rule for choosing how much to use is basically half the weight of the spaghetti you’ve used. You should put the pan back on the hob before you combine the ingredients to warm up the pancetta and cook some garlic (the amount of garlic depending upon how much you like garlic).
- You also need to prepare the sauce, which is pretty easy as it is just beaten eggs. You should use about 1 egg for every 120grams of spaghetti used.
- After you’ve finished all of the components, you just need to combine all of them together, starting with adding the eggs to the spaghetti, and then top off with cheese and black pepper.