Cookery Skills

Here are some questions we have been asked.  If you have a question you would like answering please let us know.   We will regularly update this page with new questions.

My recipe says simmer the vegetables, how do I do that?

Lots of recipes mention the word 'simmer' but don't panic if you do not know what this means.  It is a simple term to understand and do. 

When your pan of water and food is on the hob simmering involves turning the heat to its lowest setting.  There should only be small bubbles on the surface of the liquid.  This means something is getting near to boiling but isn't quite boiling. You should keep it at this level for as long as the recipe says to do so. Simmering is a way of cooking the food slowly and gently. 

How can you chop vegetables quickly?

It is important to use a sharp knife when chopping vegetables so parents should do this or you should watch your child very closely if they are having a go.  Make sure you’re your fingers are kept well away from the blade.  You can do this by tucking your fingers underneath your knuckles.  Use a chopping board to protect your work surfaces and prevent the food item from slipping.  Keep the tip of the knife on the board and use a rocking motion back and forth as you cut the food.

How do I stir-fry?

Start by getting your pan really hot with a little bit of oil. It should only take a few minutes for your ingredients to cook through.  You can use a spatula or spoon to move the ingredients around and turn them over.  Try not to overfill the pan as whatever you are cooking should be touching the pan base of side, if it isn't it will be getting steamed rather than fried.

You can use either a wok or a large frying pan to stir fry. Visit our utensils section to find out more.

How do I knead dough by hand?

When you have mixed your wet and dry ingredients together, you will have created your dough.  Next you need to transfer this to a lightly floured surface ready for kneading.  Use the palms of your hands to push down and forward on the dough, then fold it over onto itself and then push down and forward again.

Next lift the dough and turn it round and then continue kneading and turn again.  Repeat this until it is ready. It should be smooth and elastic when you finish. If your dough sticks, just scrape it up, scatter more flour on the work surface, and continue.