Category: Cooking Techniques

A Quick Guide to Steaming Vegetables

Cooking Techniques
Steaming your vegetables is a quick and simple process. You can get food on the table in no time at all, and it will still remain tasty and nutritious. In order to get the best results from steaming, there are a few things you should think about. What are you going to use for your steaming? The easiest thing to do is buy a steaming set, which will come with everything you need. If you don’t have one though, it’s easy to improvise. You can use a heat-proof colander over a pan of boiling water. Just make sure the veg is covered and doesn’t go into the water, otherwise this is the same as boiling and you will lose valuable nutrients. Is your veg cut up properly? It will need to be chopped up into similarly-sized pieces. Don’t make them too small or too big, otherwise they will cook at the wrong speed, and if they’re different sizes, they will cook unevenly. Do you know how long you should be steaming different vegetables for? Here are some approximate Keep reading

Simple Changes for Healthier Meals

Cooking Techniques
It can be very easy to eat too many foods containing high amounts of fat and sugar, especially if eating takeaways and ready meals. Eating more healthily is about making lifestyle changes, finding ways to replace your unhealthy habits with healthy ones. Here are some inventive ideas to help you swap everyday unhealthy foods with more nutritious alternatives: Use shredded courgette instead of pasta. Simply peel it into long, thin strips and then fry until softened. You can eat it with sauces and dressings in the same way that you would eat pasta. Eat wholemeal bread or wraps instead of brown bread. The seeds contain fibre, and brown bread is made from complex carbohydrates that are good for you and will keep you full for longer. Swap fatty meats for fish of chicken. These will still give you the protein that you need, without the fat. Swap crisps for low fat popcorn. This is still a satisfying and quick food to snack on, but it is much lower in calories. Choose natural, home-made food instead of processed options. Keep reading

How to Cook Eggs Benedict

Cooking Techniques
Eggs Benedict is a delicious breakfast dish consisting of poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce on top of a sliced muffin. There is usually some kind of meat used on top of the muffins as well, often ham, bacon or salmon. For a vegetarian alternative, try large sliced field or portobello mushrooms. Of course, the key to making the perfect Eggs Benedict is getting the poached eggs right. You want them to be runny in the middle but firm enough on the outside. Some people may choose to crack them directly into boiling water but this can be difficult to get right. There are lots of products on the market which help you to cook the perfect poached egg and they’re usually very cheap, so it might be worth the investment. They’re usually small pouches which need to be stood up in boiling water with the eggs inside. You may also choose the make your own Hollandaise sauce, but again, this is challenging. It will taste just as good if you buy a ready-made one and it will be Keep reading

How to Cook Rice to Make it Light and Fluffy

Cooking Techniques
Cooking rice to perfection can be a difficult skill to master. It’s easy for it to come out slightly undercooked, or at the other end of the spectrum, overcooked, stodgy and sticky. Follow our guide to help you cook light, fluffy rice every time. Rinse the rice thoroughly first to get rid of any excess starch. If you’re cooking older rice or basmati rice, you might want to soak it for around 30 minutes as this will help the grains to expand. The absorption method is the ideal way to cook your rice and the key is using just the right amount of water. Use the ratio one part rice: two parts water. Place the rice in a heavy-based pan to prevent it from burning and sticking to the bottom. Add in 1 teaspoon of salt and the correct amount of cold water. Bring the rice to the boil then turn the heat right down and cover the pan. The cooking time will vary depending on the type of rice so check the instructions on the packet. Once Keep reading

How to Chop an Onion

Cooking Techniques
Preparing your ingredients can often take you longer than the cooking process itself – onions in particular are very fiddly to chop. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you to cut onions up finely and evenly: Make sure you have the right equipment. You should make sure you use a sharp serrated knife and have a good quality chopping board. Start by peeling the onion, slicing off the top and cutting in half down the middle through the root. Place the onion with the flat cut side face down on the chopping board. Slice finely lengthways from one edge to the other. Slice from the root downwards 4 to 5 times, leaving about 1cm of the onion still attached to the root to keep the pieces in place whilst you’re cutting it. Finish off the process by slicing from top to bottom. The onion may feel like it’s starting to fall apart slightly despite having the root in place, so you’ll need to hold it together carefully. Once you get to the end you should just have Keep reading
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