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Lift your game in the kitchen with these 6 cooking hacks. I’m spilling my secrets and you NEED these in your life right now.
I’ve made a lot of mistakes in the kitchen. Perhaps the worst was that time I tried to melt chocolate in the microwave and I set it for 2 minutes and walked away. If alarm bells aren’t ringing in your head, you’ve never burnt chocolate. Burnt chocolate smells putrid. My house smelt putrid for weeks after. And possibly the most distressing part – the chocolate was completely unusable. RIP chocolate buttons.
Whilst I’ve learnt a lot of lessons in terms of what not to do (set and forget melting chocolate), I’ve also learnt a few tricks of the trade that can elevate my dishes from ho hum to AMAZING. And today I’m imparting that knowledge onto you.
6 Cooking Hacks You Need In Your Life Right Now
1. How to make perfectly fluffy scrambled eggs
My secret for making perfectly fluffy scrambled eggs is to add a dash of milk into the egg mixture. It makes a HUGE difference. I usually sprinkle a little garlic powder in too for extra flavour. Then make sure you are cooking your eggs low and slow. Pop your frypan on the lowest temperature and stir your eggs until small curds form. You’ll be tempted to turn up the heat but DON’T! That’s the key to perfect scrambled eggs, every time.
2. The best crispy bacon with no splatter
Whilst we are on the topic of breakfast, the key to perfectly crisp bacon with zero oil splatter all over the floor is to cook it in the oven. I converted years ago and haven’t made bacon in a pan since. Heat the oven to 180C/350F, line a baking tray with baking paper and lay out your bacon strips without touching each other. Pop in the oven for 10 minutes, then flip the bacon and pop back in the oven for 5-10 minutes until they reach your desired crispiness.
3. Keep your pasta water
Say goodbye to the watery, red puddle at the bottom of your pasta bowl forever and hello to your best pasta yet with this simple hack. Pop your cooked pasta IN the sauce with a ladle of pasta cooking water and cook together for a little longer until the sauce is reduced and is clinging well to the pasta. The starch from your pasta is an emulsifier and a thickening agent, making that pasta water your key to soggy free spaghetti. You’re welcome.
4. Turn salads from drab to fab
Season your greens before making the rest of your salad, not only with some dressing but with salt and pepper too. Trust me – I was skeptical at first but it turns a salad into a taste sensation. Preparing a kale salad? Take an extra step and massage the kale with salt first. This softens the kale and makes it less bitter.
5. Repurpose your veggie scraps
Did you know you can make a pretty damn good vegetable stock from kitchen scraps? All you need to do is collect your vegetable scraps, throw them in a large ziplock bag and store them in the freezer until you have at least 3 cups worth of scraps. Then throw them in a slow cooker, cover with water, throw in a bay leave and a dash of mixed herbs and cook on low for 12 hours. Viola – vegetable stock. Just make sure you have some onion, carrot and celery in there, and don’t use vegetables with seeds (like bell pepper).
I was shocked at how many scraps I had after collecting them for just a few days. Such a great way to repurpose food that’s destined for the bin.
6. Give your meat a rest
You’ve probably heard this 1000 times before, but if you aren’t doing it, it’s time to pay attention. Resting your meat allows the juices to redistribute evenly, making your meat juicer and tastier. While you’re at it – don’t keep flipping your meat over and over again. Cook one side, then flip it and leave it alone until done.
What’s your best secret cooking hack?