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Expert kitchen tips from The Guardian

The Guardian has some solid-gold chef’s tips for home cooks today, such a method to keep cut avocadoes from browning, and a way to quickly soften cold butter without melting it completely.

I picked up a handy tip recently – coriander is my favourite herb, and I had been in the habit of stripping the leaves off the stems to put them in food. A (lovely) chef told me that the stem has loads of flavour and should be included. So now I just chop the whole lot, stems and leaves, it’s both quicker and tastier.

Do you have any nifty kitchen tricks?


  1. Freeze fresh ginger.

    I’ve been doing this for ages myself, but was recently delighted to see this tip repeated by a michelin chef on ‘Nevin’ on RTE.

    Freeze fresh ginger, and grate a piece off the end when needed.

    Frozen ginger grates really easily and super fine too.
    Just use a hand grater.

    Quick, easy, no waste.

  2. A great site to check out is the UK one below, there are brilliant tips on leftovers and freezing:

    BB totally agree with the ginger tip, it’s fantastic. I basically freeze anything I can, chillis, leftover chopped scallions/onions,sliced peppers…..the list goes on. No need to defrost, just put straight into a hot wok or pan.

    I also freeze bananas that are just about to turn: peel them, wrap in cling film and pop in the freezer. When you want to use just allow to soften slightly and either whizz in a blender with some milk and a little vanilla to make a delicious milkshake or use for baking. Don’t leave to defrost fully or they will turn to complete mush 😉

  3. I also do that with ginger, another thing I freeze is left over fresh cream, pour it into ice-cube bags and freeze, then anytime I want to enrich a sauce or risotto I just add a couple of cubes, saves having to buy another carton.

  4. Freeze left over wine in wine cubes and use for sauce. Rub a cut half lemon onto your chopping board to clean it.
    Put some lemon juice in a saucer and microwave it to get rid of bad smells. Use white vinegar to descale your kettle (leave overnight, rinse thoroughly, boil at least once before using again).
    Put meat in the freezer for a few minutes before slicing it if you need thin slices.
    When a recipe calls on resting shortcrust pastry in the fridge before rolling it, roll it straight away, line your tin, then rest it in the fridge, as it will be much easier than rolling a hard block of cold pastry.
    Let your leftover bread dry, then whizz it and freeze the resulting breadcrumbs
    Grate your cheese and freeze it in small containers
    Leave a tea towel on top of cakes just as they come out of the oven, they will be easier to turn out of the tin
    Grease and flour the tins to prevent the cakes sticking
    Pour oil in your hands, rub them together and then rub your chicken rather than pouring the oil all over
    Stick half a lemon and some thyme in the cavity of a chicken before roasting, it will be moister and have more flavour
    Squeeze lemon into milk and let it stand to replace buttermilk, or use half milk half plain yogurt
    Freeze egg whites in plastic containers when you only need the yolks for a recipe
    add a layer of semolina or ground almonds to pastry bases before adding soft fruits, it will absorb extra moisture

    pfiuuuu, I could go on and on!

  5. Thanks Catherine for the Love Food website link – just added it to my favourites.

    My only tip is the double dinners, make one and freeze one – very handy for when you don’t want to cook.

  6. For more lemon/lime/orange juice, roll the fruit first…makes sqeezing easier too.
    Same goes for pomegranates; the pulp will come off easier then.

  7. If you put an orange or lemon into the microwave for a few seconds, you will get twice the amount of juice out of them. Also, to remove the smell of onions from your hands, use a stainles steel teaspoon like a bar of soap, and the smell will disappear.