Our Do­mes­tic Diva Sil­vena Rowe solves your kitchen dilem­mas and shares some recipes.

She might look scary, but don’t be daunted by that diva de­meanour – Fri­day’s very own chef Sil­vena Rowe is happy to an­swer all your kitchen queries

Friday - - Society Living Leisure -

I firmly be­lieve that only highly skilled chefs can make dim sums from scratch. But I would love to create some­thing sim­i­lar for my fam­ily and friends. Can you sug­gest an easy way?

The best way to start is by mak­ing fried dim sums. And in­stead of mak­ing won­ton skins at home, use the ready-made ones.

If you want to make your life even eas­ier, just deep-fry won­ton skins un­til crispy, drain over a kitchen towel and top with some­thing sim­ple and de­li­cious like tuna tartare and a hint of wasabi. A sim­ple yet im­pres­sive ap­pe­tizer.

My fam­ily and I love cold cuts from the deli at the lo­cal su­per­mar­ket as they’re de­li­cious for sup­per and even bet­ter the next day. I’ll of­ten use them in my packed lunch but are they healthy and can you sug­gest some in­ter­est­ing ways to eat them?

It is im­por­tant to read the fine print be­fore you buy cold cuts. Opt for chicken and turkey cold cuts that are non-pro­cessed as they do not have as many preser­va­tives as the reg­u­lar va­ri­ety and so are health­ier. Also, if you con­sume a lot of cold cuts, I’d sug­gest that you re­duce the quan­tity by eat­ing them with a lot of fresh ingredients such as greens, healthy sand­wich spreads and even low-fat cheese. Trust me, you won’t miss those cold meats af­ter a while.

I be­lieve mak­ing hung yo­gurt is quite tricky and friends have sug­gested that I use lab­neh in­stead. Do you think it’s a good idea?

There is noth­ing like home­made strained or hung yo­gurt. It just re­quires a bit of plan­ning. Sim­ply line a bowl with a piece of muslin cloth or a dou­ble cheese cloth, and spoon all the yo­gurt into the cloth. Bring the edges of the cloth to­gether and tie it up well so that the knot doesn’t open eas­ily.

Hang the yo­gurt from a height, place a bowl un­der­neath to col­lect all the whey and leave it for at least two hours, or prefer­ably overnight. What is left in the muslin cloth is strained yo­gurt or hung yo­gurt. Isn’t that easy?

If you’re not able to hang the yo­gurt from a height, place the pouch in a sieve and put a weight over the pouch. Then place the sieve over a bowl and re­frig­er­ate the whole thing overnight for best re­sults.

Don’t dis­card the whey as it has a lot of nu­tri­tional value. Use it in­stead of wa­ter to make the dough for cha­p­at­tis or parathas. They’ll turn out soft and de­li­cious.

That’s twice as nice a re­ward for your ef­forts!

● Do you have a ques­tion for Sil­vena? Email her at Fri­day@gulfnews.com. Please write ‘Do­mes­tic Diva’ in the sub­ject line of your email.

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