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Your 10 step guide to smooth sailing in the kitchen.

Your 10 step guide to smooth sailing in the kitchen.

Are you tired of crying in front of your onions? Sick of slicing your fingers instead of the cheese? Perhaps you just want to make less of a mess when cooking… Well this article is for you. It is our pleasure to save you from yourself and these common cooking mishaps.

1. Non-Stick Dampens the Mood.

When kitchen utensils and equipment do their own things it can get frustrating. For instance a chopping board or bread board. It is meant to stay in place and allow you to chop some produce. But now it is deciding to slip and slide making the now moving objects harder to cut and your fingers a bigger target. Forget the anger this time and put a damp dish cloth underneath to lock it in place.

2. Sour about your Tomatoes?

Ever tasted a sauce or soup and your tomatoes seem to be just a tad too aggressive? If you don’t want to add sugar to a pot of marinara sauce but the tomatoes are a bit acidic, add a little baking soda. Simply stir 1/4 teaspoon into the pot and cook for a few minutes to take the harshness out of the flavour.

3. Scrambling for Breakfast Ideas?

Add sour cream for extra-smooth eggs. Sour cream will keep them soft and, well, creamy for a long time while you’re holding them warm for a big brunch. Add about 1/4 cup per dozen eggs once you’ve removed the eggs from the heat.

4. Give that Roast a Rest.

It’s important to let meat rest for a while before slicing into it. The longer you can let it rest the better; otherwise, the juices run onto the cutting board instead of staying in the food. Yet another time based task for the braai master to ensure the meat doesn’t get cold but also not waste the juices. However most South Africans should be fantastic at this from the timely training rusks gave us.

5. Slice of Cake.

Ever had to cut the first piece of a cake or tart? And after you got the first slice out it makes more sense to just dish with your hands? Run a knife under very hot water and dry it off, and you’ll be able to make a clean cut through cheesecake or any other sticky dessert.

6. Be a Good Poacher…

No need for any guns here, just grab a muffin tray. Fill each section with a tablespoon of water, then crack an egg in each cavity. Bake at 180 degrees for 10 to 13 minutes for set whites and oozy yolks – perfect for adding to a family-sized batch of avocado toasts or Benedicts.

7a. Peel Me Please.

Peeling can be an art. Most of us waste a lot of the thing we’re peeling and it is never as elegant as on the cooking shows. Here is a trick for peeling ginger – No need for a special tool to de-skin this oddly-shaped root. Because the peel is fairly thin, simply scrape a metal spoon down the side and around the tricky rounded edges of the ginger to flake the skin away.

7b. Peel Me Please, Again.

Another easy peeling hack is for the sack of potatoes. Score the raw potatoes around their equator with a knife. Gently place them in the boiling water and simmer for 15 minutes. Use the tongs to safely remove your now-hot potatoes and transfer them to the ice water. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, you can effortlessly slide the peels off from the centre out to the ends.

8. Do You Measure Up?

I am sure you have used a measuring cup for something and then had to use it for another thing, but now you have to clean it just to use it again before cleaning it again. Try this next time – If you have a bowl of all your dry ingredients and now it is time for the wet stuff press your measuring cup into the flour and it will create an imprint with exactly the same volume. Pour your liquid until it fills that indent. No clean up or dirty measuring cup.

9. Scaly Operation at the Braai.

Braaiing fish can be a slippery slope to curse words and a destroyed fish dinner. The meat gets softer as you cook and the skin always sticks so when you try to turn it you may rip it to shreds. Next time it is your turn to braai try resting it on a bed of sliced lemon. This will keep it from sticking, make it easy to flip, and add a lovely zest to your fish.

10. Juicier Than Ever.

Do you feel like when you squeeze a lemon or lime there is more juice in there? Well there is. Loads! Microwave them for 15 seconds and roll them on the counter hard before you try squeezing them. You will be surprised how much extra you have been missing out on.

These are just some Spice Factory tips to ease your frustration and improve your culinary skills and knowledge. There is still so much to learn and we will definitely be releasing a sequel to this to let you indulge in the tips and tricks everyone should know.

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