Somethings to keep in mind…

Here are just a few things it might help to know about how I cook. From equipment to storage of ingredients…

 
 
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Equipment and cooking

Knifes. I own a lot of knives but I only really use a small selection. A chefs knife, a serrated knife for bread and small paring knives for vegetables etc… I also have a Japanese knife that I love and use often.

Other equipment essentials are a Microplane - for citrus zest, finely grated garlic and Parmesan. I use mine at least once a day! A set of digital scales for consistency - you can pick up a cheap set at Briscoes and they work a treat. A spatula, wooden spoons, large and mini tongs, a fish slice and a slotted spoon are the main serving utensils I use and couldn’t live without them! A digital thermometer is a super handy tool for cooking meat. I use it all the time to double check chicken and to cook the perfect steak. A set of measuring spoons are a must have. My tablespoon measurement (T) is 15mls. My cup measurement is 250ml.

All my oven temperatures are fan bake. If you don’t have a fan bake function on your oven, increase the temperature by 10-20 degrees. This does depend on your oven, as some are slow and some run hot!

I have a Circulon pan/wok that I used for sauces and stir-fries and the my cast iron skillet gets a good run for its money with searing, pancakes and fritters. Stainless steel pots fill in all the gaps.

 
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Ingredients

I use full fat milk and yoghurt in all my cooking. I do tend to buy mixed grade free range, sometimes organic eggs but always save the large ones for baking and if they happen to be tiny, then I might use 3 small instead of 2 large. Use your intuition on that one. I always keep them at room temperature. I also mostly use salted butter and will state unsalted if I use it. I tend to adjust the salt I use when using salted butter, especially in baking.

Fat. I use olive oil in most of my cooking. I also use butter depending on the dish and sometimes coconut oil if something needs a high heat. I use extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) for salad dressings and finishing dishes.

All herbs I use are fresh unless otherwise stated.

 
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Storing vegetables

For leafy greens, wash and either keep in a sealed container or a plastic bag. For turnips, carrots, beetroot and radishes, remove the tops and store in a plastic bag. The tops tend to draw moisture out of the vegetables and make them soft. I wash herbs and store them in a sealed container on a paper towel, they last for a good week this way, sometimes longer. Tomatoes are stored at room temperature always. Citrus fruit I keep some in the fridge some out at room temperature as they turn quickly if the room is warm. Asparagus I tend to store in a jar with 2cm of water but only for 2 days. It really is best to each fresh. Celery is best washed and cut and stored in a container with a lid. If you don’t think you will use it all in time, finely chop and freeze. Use from frozen.

Store avocados at room temperature but out of direct sunlight. I also find that for optimum avocado satisfaction, buy green avocados and wait for them to ripen. You will find the perfect avocado every time instead of one that has been squeezed by everyone in the shop! The worst!

Keep potatoes in a dark cool cupboard, along with onions, kumara and pumpkin. I store freshly dug new potatoes in a brown paper bag in the fridge.