MIKEY’S KITCHEN HABITS, PART 2

I have a cupboard dedicated entirely to empty jars. I’m always making sauces, meat rubs and dips of some description and I never want to be without an empty jar to hold it.

When making a pasta sauce, I always use a little bit of the pasta cooking water in the sauce. The starch from the pasta water will recognise the starch on the pasta and will cling to it better.

The first cookery book I ever read cover to cover was Nigella Bites (2001) by Nigella Lawson which was given to me by a lovely lady in work called Sharon. This was the beginning of my addiction to cook book collecting… it was the start of the end…

When cooking for other people, I tend to cook things that require marinating. That way, I can do it a day or two ahead and all the dinner requires is shoving it in the oven.

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I don’t keep tomatoes in the fridge. A freezing cold tomato, in my opinion, goes crunchy and totally takes away the juicy reason why you want to eat one in the first place.

The only things in my freezer are bags of peas, mixed seafood and ice cubes. Grab & Stab meals just don’t do it for me.

When I boil a ham, I always try and boil it in interesting liquids (Cola, Pineapple juice, ginger ale, cider etc) with a bay leaf and a few onions because the liquor that is leftover always makes fantastic stock or basis of a soup.

When baking, I beat the eggs before adding them to the butter and sugar. It makes the process a lot quicker and makes for a smoother batter.

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I don’t feel bad about pre-making Yorkshire puddings. Nobody needs that stress on a Sunday. I’ll make them on the Thursday, freeze them and then cook them from frozen. Shoot me.

I never melt chocolate in a bowl over simmering water. Not once in my life. I microwave it for a bit and stir after every 10 seconds or so.

I very rarely use measuring jugs. I go by sight and often pour all my liquid ingredients into mugs, shot glasses or pans that are lying about.

I don’t keep eggs in the fridge. I mostly use eggs for baking and when baking, ingredients at room temperature is best.

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I always pick up a wooden spoon on every holiday and keep them in a big tin flowerpot on my Kitchen windowsill for easy grabbing.

I will always scatter semolina on my parboiled potatoes before putting them in the oven for roasting.

I only use Maldon salt. The crystals are flexible under the weight of your fingers so you can really control how much you use.

I don’t ever do a ‘Big Shop’. I do one shop a month where I buy bulk pantry items (spices, herbs, pulses etc) and then I shop little and often for meats and vegetables.

I grate garlic in cold oil before I put it on the heat. If you add cold garlic to hot oil it starts cooking immediately and will burn quickly whereas adding it to cold oil means it heats up along with the oil at the same time.

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I continuously have a shopping list on a Post-It in my diary that I update as soon as I run out of something. It’s not because I’m organised, it’s just because I never want to be without milk or bread.

I don’t own matching mugs. My favourites are either my ‘M’ mug or my Wonder Woman mug.

I stole a food processor from my mother when I moved out and to this day, I still have the nerve to recommend recipes to her that require processing ingredients.

I will always roast a chicken for 30 minutes on 200C and then another hour on 180C.

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(Recipe for this chicken coming soon)

(Photography by Lowri Bethan Photography – https://www.facebook.com/LowriBethanPhotography/)

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