Our top tips and tricks to help you become a pro cook at home
Make meringues from leftover egg whites
Have leftover egg whites sitting around and not sure what to do with them? Why not whip up some meringues! Meringues are a great, versatile treat to have on hand. Serve them as a last-minute dessert with cream and fresh fruit, use them to decorate cakes, or crumble them over ice cream. Bonus: They can keep for a month at room temperature in an airtight container. All you need to do is weigh the egg whites you want to use, then weigh out twice the amount of caster sugar in a separate bowl. Using an electric hand mixer, whip the egg whites until firm peaks form – you should be able to hold the bowl upside down over your head without anything falling out. Gradually add the sugar one tablespoon at a time, whipping well in between additions. Continue to whip the mixture until the sugar has mostly dissolved (rub a little meringue between your fingers to check). Then dollop or pipe the meringues on a lined baking tray and dry out in the oven at 100C for 2–3 hours, depending on the size of your meringues. You’ll know when they’re done when they have developed a crisp shell, start to turn off-white and peel away easily from the baking paper.
Get more juice out of a lemon
Start by firmly rolling the lemon on the counter under the palm of your hand. You should feel the lemon become softer. Microwave the whole lemon for 10 seconds (trust the process – this is a beloved trick used by lots of our favourite cooks, including chef and The Great British Bake Off judge Mary Berry). Once juiced, you can use the tines of a fork to encourage all the last pockets of juice to release, although you’ll probably find that this isn’t necessary.
Perfect basmati rice every time!
With this guide, you’ll never have to tolerate soggy or mushy basmati rice again! For 3 servings, place 1 cup basmati rice in a pot and add in 1 ½ cups cold tap water, then season. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to medium- low and cover with a lid. Cook the rice, covered, for 12 minutes (no peeking). Shake the pot occasionally to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Turn off the heat and leave the rice to steam with the lid on for 5–10 minutes. Fluff up with a fork and enjoy!
Words by Kirsty Buchanan
These informative food hacks will help you prevent waste in the kitchen.