Don’t be daunted by that diva demeanour – Friday’s very own chef Silvena Rowe is happy to answer all your kitchen queries and share some of her favourite recipes as well
Every time I make pizza the base turns out almost like a biscuit. Is it possible to make a soft, spongy pizza base without using yeast? What you’re getting is a thin-crust pizza base, which has its own appeal.
If you want to make a soft, spongy base that’s like fresh bread, then yeast is an absolute must as it helps ferment the dough, giving it volume and eventually the right texture. I like to cook salmon with the skin on, but my friends tell me that I should discard the skin. What do you think? I am on your side. I too believe that irrespective of the cooking technique, salmon tastes best when cooked with the skin on.
So for instance, if you sear it, you will get wonderful crispy skin, which in its own right is considered a delicacy.
If you want to steam the salmon, you can still leave the skin on while steaming it as it keeps the fish moist. Just remove the skin once the fish is cooked.
The only time I would advise removing the salmon skin is if you wish to use raw salmon in sushi. In this case it’s better to ask your fishmonger to remove the skin, as this requires a lot of skill.
However, there even are some sushi recipes that use crispy seared salmon skin and they are delicious. How should I get perfectly boiled eggs? Mine are either raw inside, have a dark ring around the yolk or the shell cracks, even when I drop the egg gently into the boiling water. What am I doing wrong? There are a lot of people who believe that achieving perfectly boiled eggs every time is almost impossible. But that’s not the case.
The key to getting hard-boiled eggs right is patience and timing. Perfectly hard-boiled eggs start out in water that is at room temperature. Gently place the eggs in a saucepan that is big enough so they are not touching each other and have plenty of space to move around, and pour over enough room temperature water to cover the eggs.
Bring the water to a boil, then immediately remove the pan from the heat and let the eggs sit in the boiling hot water for up to 15 minutes for hard-boiled eggs.
If you prefer a yolk that has a slightly drippy middle, remove the eggs after five to eight minutes. For slightly harder yolks, let the eggs sit for 10 to 12 minutes.
If a hard-boiled egg has a dark ring around its yolk, it’s overcooked.