Do­mes­tic dilem­mas

Don’t be daunted by that diva de­meanour – Fri­day’s very own chef Sil­vena Rowe is happy to an­swer all your kitchen queries

Friday - - Front Page -

Q Ev­ery time I cook cala­mari, it be­comes rub­bery. I have tried re­duc­ing the cook­ing time, but I still haven’t got it right. Do you have any tips to en­sure cala­mari is as de­li­cious as it is in restau­rants?

A Cala­mari should be cooked ei­ther fast – like crispy fried – or slow – such as sautéed in a rich tomato sauce

If you de­cide to serve it crispy fried with bread­crumbs, cook your cala­mari rings or chopped cala­mari in hot oil over a high heat for no more than 4 min­utes for best re­sults. Us­ing a slot­ted spoon, re­move it from the pan and place on kitchen pa­per to drain ex­cess oil, sea­son and toss with flavoured bread­crumbs.

If you’d like to sauté your cala­mari, add a splash of olive oil to a pan, add finely chopped onions, gar­lic, chilli, sliced cala­mari (about 2.5mm in thick­ness) and fresh tomato.

Sauté over a medium heat for a few min­utes, then re­duce the heat and add a lit­tle stock to the pan, sim­mer­ing gen­tly for 10 min­utes, so you end up with lovely sauteéd cala­mari in a rich tomato sauce.

I like to serve it with crusty bread, to mop up the sauce.

‘You end up­with lovely sautéed cala­mari in a rich tomato sauce’

Q What is the dif­fer­ence be­tween a white and brown egg?

A In my opin­ion as a chef, there is no dif­fer­ence in taste be­tween brown and white eggs. And it’s not just me; ac­cord­ing to the Egg Nu­tri­tion Cen­tre, “In re­al­ity, the colour of the egg shell is not re­lated to the qual­ity, flavour, nutritional con­tent, shell thick­ness, or cook­ing prop­er­ties. Dif­fer­ences in shell colour are due to dif­fer­ences in hen breeds. Hens with red feath­ers and ear lobes lay eggs with brown shells, while hens with white feath­ers and ear lobes lay eggs with white shells.” So now you know!

Q I’m veg­e­tar­ian and am stuck for ideas on what to cook. I love dairy prod­ucts so please sug­gest a healthy, tasty and quick dish that is not a salad and def­i­nitely not a curry as I am tired of eat­ing those.

A Try avocado mac ‘n’ cheese. Make a rich cheese sauce with a hint of mus­tard in it; boil a por­tion of pasta and drain well; mix the pasta with the cheese sauce and sea­son.

To make the avocado sauce, blend to­gether a lit­tle gar­lic, avocado, co­rian­der and le­mon juice in a food pro­ces­sor to make a smooth purée. Serve mac ‘n’ cheese with the sauce, gar­nished with cubed avocado.

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