When choosing fruits at the market, one should always ensure that there are no blemishes or bumps. If they have been banged or dropped the bruise will start a rapid chain of events that will ensure the fruit ripens extremely quickly. Fruit is also made up of a large percentage of water, so you should pick fruit up in your hands. The fruit should feel quite heavy signifying the amount of water inside, heavy apples for example will be full of juice and crunchy to the bite. If they are light they will have less juice inside and will taste foamy when bitten.
When washing any kind of lettuce, the main priority has to be that your guests are not grinding on grit or sand whilst eating your much loved salad that you have prepared for them…there is nothing worse.
When washing lettuce it is best to fill a clean sink with fresh cold water so that when all the lettuce is placed in the sink, there is at least 6 inches of water between the lettuce and the bottom of the sink.
Mix around the lettuce whilst washing each leaf individually and allowing all the sand to fall to the bottom of the sink. When this is done, whilst leaving the water in the sink, the lettuce must all be scooped out of the water and then placed to one side.
Then the water is drained off, the sink thoroughly washed and the same process completed a second time, after this is completed the lettuce is now clean.
You must not allow the water to drain first and the lettuce to touch the bottom of the sink as the lettuce will get mixed up with the sand and place you back to square one.
When boiling prawns, one must always ensure that they do not overcook as in doing so they will become dry and spongy. The raw prawns should be plunged into an already boiling pot of salted water, when the water re-boils they are cooked and should be taken off the heat immediately. After taking them out of boiling water, they should be plunged into another pot of ice cold water to ensure that the cooking process is instantly stopped. There should be a generous ratio of water to the prawns so that they re-boil very quickly, as if there are too many prawns in the water, they will take too long to bring back to the boil and will overcook in the process. The salted water will ensure that the prawns still have the natural sea salt taste and they will remain moist, very pleasant to eat and easy to peel if they still have the shell on.
When cooking meats, the heat from the cooking process penetrates the meat and makes the juices in the center swirl around. After retrieving the meat from the said cooking process it is far better to let the meat “rest”, this will allow the juices to settle and stop moving. When the meat is sliced straight from the cooking process, the swirling juices will pour out on to the cutting board making the meat dry, if the meat is rested the juices will stop moving and the meat when carved will stay nice and juicy. The average time to rest the meat should be between 15-20 minutes and 30 minutes for a larger cut of beef. When resting meat, the easiest way to do it is to sit the meat next to your oven at kitchen temperature for the desired time and then you are good to go.