Tips and Tricks

When roasting nuts, roast more than you need and keep the excess in an airtight container for another day. While roasting, set the timer at 1 minute intervals to remind you as nuts can burn so easily. Or give the job to an eager helper, who can watch through the oven window. It doesn’t take long!

Make your salad dressings in a screw-top jar, that way you can make it ahead of time and shake it quickly when needed. Make double the dressing and then you will have some in the fridge next time you need it.It will keep for a couple of weeks.

Adding sesame oil to the Asian dressings helps reduce the sharpness for the kids. If you need to, add a drop of honey as well.

Make marinades in zip-lock bags. That way you can shake them around without having to take too much time stirring. Prepare double and freeze half of the marinating meat in a zip-lock bag for a quick meal another day.

Keep your ginger in the freezer to make grating easy and you will always have fresh ginger.

If you have the time, prepare and marinate meat the night before or in the morning. Then all you have to do when you get home is pop it in the oven and dinner is ready.

An easy way to remove fat from the pan juices of a roast is to add a couple of mugs of ice to the pan. The fat quickly accumulates around the ice and solidifies. Then using a slotted spoon, collect the ice (and the fat) and discard.

Always make bread crumbs with your leftover/old bread (before it turns green) and pop in the freezer. Write the amount of cups on the front of the bag so you know how much is in there for use at a later date.

If you are really short on time, pop into to your local deli or supermarket and pick up some sliced rare roast beef, a cooked chook or pre-cooked salmon portions. Dinner will be ready in a flash!

Chopping the vegies into smaller pieces means they will cook quicker and dinner will hit the table sooner.

Pickled onions are a great way to use leftover onion, as you shouldn’t keep an onion once it has been cut. See page 132 for the recipe.

When cooking beef it is all about the thickness and not the weight. See pages 46 and 49 for more information.

For a quick guacamole, mash an avocado in a bowl with 2–3 tablespoons of Italian salad dressing, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust with more dressing if you like.

Any of these recipes can be scaled down for a quick individual meal or lunch.