COOKERY Q&A - Here to help.
Summary: Our expert chef Andy Campbell offers practical advice to tackle all your cooking dilemmas.
Q. What's the best way to pack avocado for lunch?
A. Avocados spoil very quickly! I like to douse them in sweet chilli sauce or lime juice and then put it in a zip lock bag - with all the air pushed out. These bags can be frozen and used when needed.
Q. I tried bread-crumbed crisp egg at a restaurant recently and tried to recreate it at home, but the yolk turned out too hard. What's the right way to make it?
A. Heat a heavy bottomed cast iron frying pan on a medium to hot heat. Meanwhile, soft-boil a room temperature egg for three minutes - the egg should always be at room temperature, as it takes longer to boil if it's cold. When the egg is boiled, roll in flour and breadcrumbs and then cook in a little vegetable oil for one minute.
Q. My children love beetroot, but I'm not very creative with the vegetable and usually boil it. Do you have any suggestions?
A. I like to peel the beetroot and then slice it thinly with a mandolin or a very sharp cook's knife and add to salads - beetroot tastes great when eaten raw! Cut it into matchstick-size pieces and season with vinegar. You could also enhance the flavour by adding a little mustard oil and toasted mustard seeds.
Q. Could you please suggest an alternative to anchovies? Also, is there a way of toning down the smell and flavour of the salty fish?
A. I like to use fish sauce as a substitute for anchovies in some recipes. The aroma is neutralised after adding lime juice, garlic, fresh chilli and sugar. If you do use anchovies in a dish, you could use the same seasoning. The mix of sweet, sour and pungent flavours tones down the saltiness and smell of the fish.
Andy's ingredient of the month
I've been using the nutrient-rich vegetable, Kohlrabi (which is part of the cabbage family) in quite a few dishes. I like to slice it thinly, mix it with orange, lemon and white vinegar dressing, and serve with sour cream and dill on the side. The vegetable, which looks a bit like turnip and cabbage, is low in cholesterol, rich in Vitamin C and promotes healthy digestion. Available at leading supermarkets.
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