#1: Grating Ginger
Ginger has to be one of the most versatile ingredients available to the home cook. Use it for that fragrant zing in a stir-fry, in sauces and marinades, or add it to cakes and desserts for an unusual hint of flavour. It has medicinal properties as well, so if you’re feeling sniffily add it to a honey and lemon tea for an immune boost. It’s also purported to help with nausea, sea sickness and pregnant women swear by it for morning sickness. The problem is, due to its fibrous consistency it can be difficult to grate.
The hack: Place your ginger in a small zip-lock bag and keep it in the freezer before grating. Why? The growth of the ice crystals breaks down the fibres and makes it ten times easier to grate. This adjustable grater from Joseph Joseph is perfect for the job.
#2: The Perfect Pastry
Pastry is one of the stalwarts of the cook’s kitchen. It is a key player in some serious family favourites – apple pies, pot pies, meat pies, tarts – you name it. This is the outer crust, the base, the protector of internal deliciousness all over the world. But a lot of things can go wrong with pastry – it shrinks, it cracks or it falls apart.
The hack: Freeze pastry for an hour before baking. Why? Resting your pastry at a cold temperature allows the gluten to relax. This will prevent your pastry from shrinking in the oven.
Once you’ve created the perfect pastry, roll it out with this adjustable rolling pin from Joseph Joseph. The removable rings allow you to set the exact thickness of your pastry!
#3: Goodbye Garlic Odour
Garlic is in just about everything you cook and chefs have been using it since the beginning. It just packs so much flavour that it is irresistible to leave it out! The characteristically pungent, spicy flavour can be added raw for real slap-in-the-face-flavour or cook it out and it mellows and sweetens considerably. Whether it’s as the basis of a soup or braise, or brushed lightly over bread, garlic is a key ingredient. But it comes with the plight of the dreaded garlic odour. It stinks!
The hack: You could wear gloves while chopping your garlic, but hey, that’s a lot of effort. Stainless steel garlic crushers are a great way to get your garlic recipe ready, and you don’t have to worry about smelly hands. Why? The sulfur molecules on your skin transfer or bind, to the metallic compounds in the stainless steel.
You don’t even have to touch the garlic with this practical garlic crusher from Joseph Joseph.
#4: Storage sorted
Whilst not technically cooking, one of the problems facing home cooks is where to keep all the gadgets and utensils you need to create that magical meal. Kitchens have limited cupboard space, and before you know it, things are stacked in weird formations, drawers are jamming and chaos ensues. You don’t want to blow that killer three course meal because your kitchen is disorganised!
The hack: Modern design. Simply put, kitchen equipment designed for the spacious commercial kitchen environment just won’t work in the confined space of your home. Space saving cooking utensils that clip together, stack, or fold, are your saviour.
This 9 piece cooking set stacks within itself to create the perfect space saving solution.
#5: Steam Sensation
Have you ever wondered why the vegetables at a restaurant taste so much more flavoursome and fresh? The answer is most likely steam. A lot of people at home just boil vegetables. Don’t get sucked in to this trap – boiling vegetables leeches the nutrients and flavour into the water. Steam your veggies for crisp, healthy meal.
The hack: Steamer basket. Most people don’t have dedicated electric steamers, but you can turn your saucepan into a steamer by adding a perforated basket. Just add a couple of centimetres of water to the pan, fill the steamer basket with veggies, put the basket in the pan and close the lid. Voila veggies!
This non-scratchsteaming basket with a protective silicone hand guard is a must have for any keen home cook.
If your kitchen is in dire need of even more gadgets, head over to our nifty Yellow Octopus Kitchen Page.