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Helpful tips/short cuts for cooking

(18 Posts)
Fennel Tue 27-Oct-20 12:40:29

Yesterday I decided to make a meat pie with some leftover stew. I hate making pastry, it makes such a mess, so I bought a packetof jusroll puff pastry. It was in a small block, I thought it was a large piece folded over, but no.
Then I realised what 'jusroll' means.
I cut it in half, spread a sheet of clingfilm on the counter, placed the pastry on top, another sheet of clingfilm , then rolled it out to size for the base Same for the top.
No mess at all and the clingfilm makes it easier to lift.
Have you any clever tips etc?
ps someone told me the clingfilm one years ago, forgot it.

B9exchange Tue 27-Oct-20 19:25:25

Cling film is really useful for gluten free pastry, which breaks so very easily.

vampirequeen Wed 28-Oct-20 12:11:20

A lot of my cooking prep is done by my Auntie Bessie and my friends Mr Patak and Mr Sharwood.

Oopsadaisy4 Wed 28-Oct-20 12:13:54

Fennel most supermarkets sell their own brand of pastry, already rolled out, so yo7 just unwrap it and voila!
Vampirequeen we share some friends then, Mr Grossman also helps to add some oomph to my Spagbol.

Oopsadaisy4 Wed 28-Oct-20 12:14:41

Sigh......‘ you’ not Yo7 , wherever did that come from?

Daddima Wed 28-Oct-20 12:18:11

Clingfilm is easier to work with if you keep it in the fridge.

Teetime Wed 28-Oct-20 12:21:04

Many years ago my domestic science teacher told me to get every thing ready first, measured out for anything you are going to cook ('mis en place' I think) and clear as you go. They would be my top tips for cooking. I would also use some short cuts as I said in a previous postings M & S parsley/watercress sauce for salmon.

Jane43 Wed 28-Oct-20 12:21:26

This was mentioned in another thread but frozen, chopped onions save so much time and tears.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Wed 28-Oct-20 12:23:15

I'm not sure how helpful this will be but each morning as soon as I get up I prepare breakfast and then lunch so that all I have to do is either just eat the former or switch on the latter at the appropriate time.
If I'm doing something interesting or creative I don't want to stop and ask myself, "What's for lunch?" as it's prepared in advance. This stops me from being too self-indulgent by choosing something instant which is not as wholesome.

GrandmasueUK Wed 28-Oct-20 12:26:57

I use the Tesco frozen base mix of onions, carrots and celery for casseroles. Already cut into tiny dice, saves time, tears and adds taste. They also do a curry base mix.

Fennel Wed 28-Oct-20 17:50:31

Some brilliant ideas, I'm just stuck in the past.
lovebeigecardigans - I try to do that sometimes. I did it today beacause I had a hair appt. at 10.30.
But the big decision is what are we going to have today?
Husband would be happy with the same old menu week after week, but I like to try something different now and again.

Lucylastic Wed 28-Oct-20 18:07:33

Frozen mashed potato pellets from the freezer section at Morrisons. Just microwave and add a knob of butter.
Saves all the peeling, boiling and mashing.
And tastes great.

kittylester Wed 28-Oct-20 18:13:19

Sainsbury's frozen cauliflower cheese 'clumps' are really good.

And, I only ever use rice in a sachet unless it's for a curry - then I buy Sainsbury's chilled.

I use Lazy garlic, ginger and chilli.

Callistemon Wed 28-Oct-20 18:21:13


Cling film is really useful for gluten free pastry, which breaks so very easily.

Yes, useful too for carrying the gf pastry outside for the pigeons.
I've never made it successfully yet and the ready made stuff was nearly as bad.

Callistemon Wed 28-Oct-20 18:24:20

I've been making curries from scratch recently but have inv
ordered Lloyd Grossman to visit with my next grocery delivery.

You can buy frozen chopped ginger.

kittylester I've never bought rice in a sachet since reading a post of yours ages ago!
I do use boil in the bag, though.

kittylester Wed 28-Oct-20 21:03:42

I've recovered from that!! It was horrid at the time but anything for an easy life!!

Fennel Thu 29-Oct-20 17:34:44

kitty - you've reminded me that I tried that rice in a bag once. It was horrible so I threw it in the bin and cooked some fresh. It doesn't take long.
Another thing I binned today was some 'french fries' - far too greasy, bought by mistake instead of some other oven chips which are fatter and less oil.
Quickly boiled some small potatoes instead.

JackyB Thu 29-Oct-20 18:29:52

Grate garlic instead of chopping. You are just left with the skin.
Use scissors for cutting:

-spring onions
-bread into cubes for croutons

I always use cling film for pastry, too. It's great when lining a pie dish, as you can put the pastry into place first, pushing it into the corners, then "peel" off the cling film. The pastry doesn't tear and your fingers are clean and not floury.

Use a piping bag for:
-Dosing cup cake mixture into cases.
-making biscuits
-preparing quick canapés. Fill bag with liver sausage (beaten with a little butter and herbs) or a flavoured cream cheese and pipe onto a plateful of Ritz crackers.

Disposable piping bags are easiest to deal with.

When preparing a large number of, say, carrots, peel them all, then top and tail all so you don't have to keep changing tools or shifting position.