Aladdin & his Genie have been busy putting together this Collection of Hints & Tips which we have gathered together over the years.
We are hoping to build this as a knowledge base for all our Visitors and Customers to use so if you have any of your own Tips please send them to us via our Contact Us page and we can include them for you.


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Apples : When using Apples, either Cooked or Uncooked, eg. in a Fruit Salad, if you add a little lemon juice this will stop the fruit from turning brown. ( This also works with other fruit such as Pears and Bananas)

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Bamboo Skewers: When using Bamboo Skewers always soak them in water prior to using and this will prevent them from burning.

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Chillies: Generally the smaller the chillies the hotter they are. It is very important to wash your hands immediately after touching chillies as if you touch your eyes they will burn

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Deep Fat Frying : When deep fat frying make sure that your Oil is hot enough before starting to cook. Fry in small batches and bring the oil back up to temperature each time.

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Eggs: Always place Hard Boiled Eggs in Cold water immediately after boiling otherwise you may get a Black ring around the yolk.(The Black ring would not effect the flavour but looks unattractive)

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Fish : When descaling fish if you do not have a fish descaler then use the edge of a fixed bladed potato peeler, this will work just as well

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Glass Boards : These are not good as Chopping Boards as they will damage your knives. A good alternative is a Wooden Board so the blade of the knife hits a softer surface and thus protecting the edge of your knife. It has also been proven that if a wooden board is treated correctly it is much more hygenic.

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Hard Anodised : Hard Anodised Cookware / Bakeware is a very good product to use but when using Bakeware it sometimes appears to stick. The solution is to take your tray or tin out of the oven and leave your Food for a minute or so. Then once the juices have gone back into the food  you will be able to move your Food around. Patience is the key but with fantastic results and less cooking time.

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Indian Curry: If possible try to make your Curry the day before you need it and allow it to rest in the Fridge. This will give your dish a chance for the flavours to mature and marinate into the meat giving a richer flavour.

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Jam: Jam will keep much longer if stored in the Fridge.

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Knives: Always keep your knives sharpened. It is much safer to use a sharp knife as you don't need to apply as much pressure so you are less likely to slip. If you use a knife on a regular basis then you should sharpen it once a week to keep a good edge. You do not necessarily need to purchase a Full Block of Knives as 4 or 5 knives are usually enough. It is safer to store your Knives in a Knife Block rather then in a kitchen drawer and also better for the blades as they will blunt if being stored together in a drawer. Always wash your knives immediately after use.

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Leeks : These harbour a lot of dirt so it is best to slice them first then wash thoroughly in a colander.

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Meat : After cooking any Meat it is best if it is rested for at least 15 minutes. This will allow for the natural juices to go back into the meat and tenderise it.

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Nuts : If a recipe asks for Hazelnuts they could also be called Filberts or Cobnuts ( grown in kent). These three varieties are not exactly the same but are interchangeable.

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Onions : When buying onions they should be hard with no obvious soft spots and above all they should not be sprouting.

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Pastry : Pastry should always be made with Cold water and if possible a Cold bowl. Once made cover and refrigerate for approx 30 minutes. This will make the pastry easier to work with, shorter and nicer to eat.

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Quick & Useful Gadgets: Measuring Cups/ Spoons, Pineapple corer and slicer, Silicone equipment ie: spatulas,colanders,bakeware.

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Runner Beans: These are a very useful seasonal vegetable and can be easily grown at home. They are very versatile and freeze very easily. They can be used as a main vegetable or cut into chunks and used in Thai or Indian meals. To freeze string down each side with a swivel potato peeler and cut as required, blanch in boiling water for 1 minute then place in cold water. When cool drain and pack in meal size bags. You can then cook them straight from frozen.

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Squid : When cooking squid it should almost be flash fried as over cooking will make this fish tough and rubbery.

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Thickening : If a sauce needs thickening you can use arrowroot mixed with a little cold water, this will thicken but still leave you with a clear sauce. If a gravy or sauce needs reducing then fast cook with the pan lid removed to allow for evaporation.

U...U...U...

Unused Herbs : Fresh herbs can be frozen in small batches wrapped in tin foil parcels. When needed just chop up the frozen herbs and add to the dish. It is best to add the herbs at the end of cooking and they will then retain there colour.

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Vegetarian Gelatine : Agar is a setting agent made from seaweed, this can be used by vegetarians as a substitute for gelatine. This is sold in a powdered form or in long strands. It is colourless and tastless and is effective without refrigeration.

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Water : If your water at home tastes very chlorinated then if you fill a bottle or a jug and place it in the fridge this will improve the flavour.

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