Line a prepared pastry case with baking paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. The beans support the pastry as it cooks. Bake in a preheated 190°C–200°C oven for up to 20 minutes before removing the paper and weights. The shell should now have taken form. Return to the oven for the time specified in the recipe.
This is a way of preserving the texture of vegetables, or prepping them for freezing. Cut your veges into pieces of similar size, and add to a large pot of boiling, salted water. Cook for about 30 seconds, quickly remove with a slotted spoon, then plunge into a bowl of iced water to stop them cooking further.
This term refers to food, often vegetables, that are sliced into thin matchsticks. This is most easily done using a mandolin but can also be done by hand. First cut into 3mm-thick slices. Stack the slices and cut into 3mm-thick strips. Cut into desired length.
REMOVE PIN BONES FROM SALMON
Fillets almost always contain small pin bones. To remove them, first run your finger down the centre of the fillet, pushing down gently so the bones pop out slightly as they are located. Using a pair of tweezers or needle-nosed pliers, pull out each bone carefully, with the grain to avoid tearing the flesh.
Place the capsicum on a tray and roast in a preheated 200°C oven until tender but not collapsing. When cool, peel and remove the seeds.
Spread the nuts out in a single layer on a shallow baking pan and place in a preheated 180°C oven. Shake the pan every few minutes until the nuts are golden. Watch carefully as the nuts can become too brown very quickly. Remove and tip into another dish to cool.
STERILISE BOTTLES AND JARS
Put jars or bottles and their lids through a hot cycle of the dishwasher. Alternatively, wash in hot soapy water and rinse well. Place them on an oven tray in a cold oven. Turn the heat to 120°C and leave for 30 minutes.
TOAST AND GRIND SPICES
Heat a small dry pan over a medium heat. Add the spice and toss until fragrant and just starting to darken in colour. Be very careful not to burn as this will make it bitter. Toast one spice at a time rather than combining, as each spice will take a different time to toast. Tip out onto a plate and cool. Grind in a mortar and pestle, or a small coffee grinder reserved for this purpose.