Thursday, April 20, 2006

Chef's tips

The Times

Some tips by BRETT GRAHAM, Head chef, the Ledbury (020-7792 9090)

* The night before you cook rhubarb, dust it with sugar and orange zest. When you cook it, wrap it in tinfoil, lay it on a tray and cook at 130C for about 50minutes. The rhubarb will be able to cook in its own juice and keep more of its flavour than if it was boiled.
* To peel tomatoes easily without a blow torch, first score the tomatoes, then hold them to a naked flame with a skewer. After a few seconds, put them in iced water.
* Instead of boiling potatoes before you mash them, bake them. Scoop out the potato from the skins and put the potato through a drum sieve or a potato ricer. The mash will be drier, so you can add more butter, cream or milk. It will also have a stronger potato flavour.
* When you are making parfait, crack open a few peach stones and extract the kernels. Toast them in the oven, then chop or crush them and blend them into the parfait cream. It will give an extra almond taste to your parfait.
* To keep herbs fresh for longer, wet a clean J-cloth with cold water and wring it out, then wrap the herbs in it and keep in the fridge. This works best with soft herbs such as parsley, chervil, coriander and basil.
* If you are trying to get soft-boiled quail’s eggs out of their shells, soak them in malt vinegar at room temperature for a minute. The shells should peel off easily afterwards.

The original article

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