There will come a time when amma is finally going to put her foot down and call you out for being absolutely useless in the kitchen. She will bring up that embarrassing story from last week where you burned Maggi noodles and it won't look pretty.
If you're keen on knowing what you can do to not set anything on fire, and actually prepare a decent meal when the fam is away then this list will be of great help.
- When spreading butter or mayonnaise or whatnot on sliced bread, start from the corners and spread towards the middle: this ensures that the condiment is evenly spread which makes for a more flavourful bite.
- If you're going to store greens in the fridge, always store them in a sealable bag. Better yet if you're going to store them for a while, blow into the bag and seal quickly letting none of the air escape. It sounds strange but the Co2 keeps your greens fresh.
- Lightly roll a capsicum between your palms to loosen the seeds. This makes it easier to cut and separate the seeds from the capsicum.
- Baking Soda is a miracle ingredient. Use it in pancake batter, omelette mixtures and anything of the like as it does a great job of fluffing up whatever it's being cooked with. So your pancakes are extra fluffy, all the time. (Editor's Note: Beer does this too, AND you can drink it).
- If you've dropped too much salt (or spice) into something you're cooking in a pot (curry for example), then add in a few pieces of chopped potato. Potatoes are awesome at absorbing large amounts of salt so if you've gone wrong with a stew or soup, add in some potato. You get to fix the salty situation AND have more potatoes. Win-win.
- Remember: chilli powder is used for colour while chilli flakes or actual bits of chilli are used for flavour. Some people add way too much chilli powder before they realise it isn't doing anything to improve the spice levels of the dish and they end up with something that looks like it's from Dexter.
- Don't cook prawns or pasta all the way through: Take off fire a minute before and let self-cook in the heat of the dish. This ensures you don't overcook your prawns, and your pasta is al dente and not squishy.
- When cooking shellfish, make sure your pan is steaming hot before you add your shellfish in. Once the pan is nice and steamy, add your shellfish in slowly and let it cook. This prevents your shellfish from becoming tough and tasting like flavoured erasers.
- There are lots of ways to thicken the consistency of soup or curry. You could use fresh cream, coconut milk or even cornflour.
In the end…
I'm aware that there isn't a single tip here for putting out house fires but it's okay. As long as you know how to make fluffy pancakes there's nothing to worry about. Happy cooking!