Chef Anthony Telford could fill a book with kitchen tips after more than three decades as a chef in professional kitchens with regular stints on radio and TV, including Channel 10’s celebrity chef nesting ground Ready Steady Cook.
So he did just that!
Telford’s new book The Kitchen Think has more than 600 tips, tricks and explanations for anyone who loves cooking and wants to understand more about culinary terms, food types and measurements. Here are five of his favourite kitchen hacks:
1. Flat pack before freezing
I teach this method often to young cooks, apprentices and my own children. It’s great for meat products like chicken breast or thighs, burger patties, mincemeat etc, but can also be used on chopped fruit, vegetables and left overs. Line a tray with baking paper or freezer bags (never foil). Lay the food on the tray as flat as possible. Cover with more freezer bags or baking paper. Freeze. Once frozen, the items can be either wrapped individually or placed in a container. Defrosting becomes so much faster.
2. Faster way to peel tomatoes
Peeling tomatoes by blanching in boiling water is a 10 second process, NOT 20-30 seconds as is often recommended in cookbooks.
3. Go cold on chopping boards
When washing your cutting board, especially after cutting meat or strong smelling foods like garlic and onions, always wash in cold soapy water first. Cold water neutralises smells and proteins on the board. By contrast, hot water cooks the aromas and the proteins onto the board. Best case scenario, scrub with cold soapy water then disinfect (kill bacteria) with hot water (dishwasher).
4. Baking paper is your braising friend
When braising meat dishes with aluminium foil on top, always add a layer of baking paper directly on the food before adding the foil covering. Foil has the annoying habit of reacting with acid and breaking down. When foil is touching the braised food directly it will stick to the food and breakdown leaving the food covered with a grey looking aluminium “salt”.
5. Easy tip to revive crystallised honey
Boil a pot of water. Turn off the heat and then place the bottle of honey into the hot water. Do not turn the heat back on. Also, do not microwave the honey, as it tends to cook it and ruin the natural enzymes. If you are patient, hot tap water over the jar will also do the job, but will take much longer.
For more tips, grab a copy of Telford’s book The Kitchen Think available in hardback, paperback and digital formats.