From managing food waste to prepping more efficiently, these are our top kitchen tricks.
WORDS BY KIRSTY BUCHANAN
How to make pineapple flowers
- Preheat the oven to 95°C.
- Cut the ends off a large pineapple and slice off the tough skin.
- Using the potato eye remover on a vegetable peeler, remove the brown eyes from the pineapple.
- Slice pineapple into very thin discs using a mandoline or sharp knife. Pat slices dry with paper towel.
- Space slices evenly on a wire rack placed in a baking tray. Dry out in the oven for 2-3 hours, turning a few times, until dehydrated and the edges start to crisp.
- Carefully place each slice of pineapple in a small muffin tin to mould into a flower shape. Allow to set, then use to decorate your favourite bakes and help manage your food waste.
Don’t feel like having to clean the oily pot after making popcorn over the stove? Then this hack is for you! Grab a brown paper bag and throw in enough popcorn kernels to cover the bottom (about ¼ cup). Fold the top of the bag a few times to close, then microwave for 2 minutes 30 seconds or until the popping stops. Add seasoning to the bag and shake to distribute. This hack is effortless, saves on washing up and is also much cheaper than buying microwave popcorn from the shops. Enjoy!
Keep bagged leafy greens fresher for longer
Store your leafy greens in an airtight container lined with paper towels, or pop open your bag of greens and slip a piece of paper towel inside. The paper towel absorbs moisture which would otherwise cause your leaves to go slimy. Make sure to replace the paper towels daily so that they don’t get too soggy.
6 things to make with stale bread
- Fresh breadcrumbs: Blitz stale bread in a food processor to fine crumbs. Fresh breadcrumbs don’t last well so are best used immediately or frozen for future use. Perfect to use in stuffing or mince mixtures for meatloaf, meatballs and burgers.
- Dried breadcrumbs: Leave slices of bread at room temperature to dry out or dehydrate in the oven at 120ºC. Blitz in a food processor until fine. Dried breadcrumbs can be stored in an airtight container or frozen. They’re ideal for crumbing fish or chicken schnitzels.
- Croutons: Tear or cut your bread into pieces and toss in enough olive oil until lightly coated, but not soggy; season. Toast croutons in the oven at 200ºC for 10 minutes, tossing twice, until golden and crisp.
- Panzanella salad: Panzanella is a classic Italian tomato & bread salad. The bread acts as a vehicle to suck up all the salad dressing and delicious juices from the tomatoes. To make a basic Panzanella salad, salt some chopped tomatoes to draw out excess moisture and put together a basic vinaigrette using olive oil, red wine vinegar and other flavourings. Toss together drained tomatoes, dressing, torn ciabatta or sourdough bread and basil. Rest for 15 minutes before serving.
- French toast: To make about 4 slices of french toast, whisk together 2 eggs and ⅓ cup with sugar and cinnamon to taste. Soak bread slices in the egg mixture and fry until golden. Serve with fresh fruit, honey, nuts or creme fraiche. Bread and butter pudding is created in a similar way, although it is rather baked in custard instead of fried.
- Crispy pasta topping: Prepare some fresh breadcrumbs with fresh rosemary and toast in a non-stick frying pan with oil. Once golden, stir through a clove of crushed garlic and salt to taste; cook for another minute. Sprinkle crispy topping over pasta for a crunchy finish.
How to save cookies that have gone over to the dark side
Sometimes using certain oven trays or oven settings can give cookies unappetising dark or even burnt bases. To fix this, carefully rub the base of your cookies against the fine side of a grater. Grate until the burnt layer is all shaved off. Fixed!
Effortlessly peel a kiwi
No one has the time to peel a kiwi with a peeler or knife. Rather do it with a spoon! Slice off the top and bottom ends, then push a large spoon between the fruit and the skin. Carefully run the spoon around the fruit to separate it from the skin. The fruit will pop out easily. No mess, no fuss!
Beat the beets
Prepping beetroots can stain your hands bright pink, which often doesn’t come off by simply washing with soap and water. Rather rub lemon juice and a little salt on your hands before washing. This should get the stain right off!
Want to avoid this issue entirely next time? Apply a thin coating of olive oil on your hands or just wear kitchen gloves.
Tried these hacks ? Tag us @foodandhomesa #cookingwithFH on Instagram
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