A few Tips and Theories
Recipes such as Tabouleh call for lots of lemon juice. To make squeezing lots of juice easy and to keep pips out of the juice, Mum has a handy tip. She keeps a piece of netting in the kitchen drawer. Mum’s LEMON JUICING TIP: wrap a lemon half in a piece of netting and squeeze. The netting will serve as a strainer to catch any pips. It’s a great idea and although this is a foolproof way to catch the pips, there is an easier way to do this. IF you were imitating Jamie Oliver (or pretending to be him – in the case that it may improve your cooking) you would just squeeze the lemon into your cupped hand and let the juice run through your fingers, using your fingers as a strainer to catch the pips.
THE FRY-PAN THEORY: Mum has a superb theory on how to make sure food doesn’t stick to the surface of a fry-pan. Heat the fry-pan to the temperature you need and then add the oil. This really does work and ensures non-stick frying. If the oil is added to a cold fry-pan (as those of us impatient for the pan to heat – as I am, will know) we will end up with food stuck to the bottom of the pan.
RICE COOKING TIP: This is by far the best tip for cooking rice:
Fill a pot with water to the depth of the first joint of your forefinger (any finger actually). This is really weird because no matter what size pot or how much rice is cooked, this amount of water is always the right amount. Boil water. Add rice. Add salt – about 1/2 teaspoon. Stir and place lid on loosely. On a high heat boil until most of the water is absorbed by the rice and when bubbles appear through the rice. Turn off the heat and place lid on tightly. Let rice sit in the pot with the lid on and it will continue to absorb the rest of the water and shouldn’t need draining.