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  • Natural vs. Artificial Vanilla Essence

    Natural vanilla essence or extract is made from fermented vanilla bean pods. Imitation vanilla is made from artificial flavours. Natural essence and extract has a much stronger flavour and although more expensive the flavour is better and you don’t need to use as much.

  • Arborio rice

    Arborio is a variety of risotto rice and is a short grain rice. As it cooks it releases starch which gives it a creamy mouthfeel.

  • Pasta Variations

    There are different types and qualities of pasta. The best quality pasta uses a strong wheat flour – normally durum wheat which has a high gluten content. When cooked, this type of pasta holds its shape better and has a firmer texture. Penne pasta is a short tube cut on an angle.

  • Edamame Beans

    Edamame beans are soy beans often cooked in the pod or shelled and used in stir-fry dishes or as a snack.

  • Great Omega-3 Source

    Sealord Hoki Fillets are a good source of omega-3. These fillets are a quick, easy and affordable way to help meet the New Zealand recommendation to eat fish at least twice a week.

  • Making & Storing Breadcrumbs

    When making fresh breadcrumbs be sure to use bread that is a couple of days old. Use a food processor or hand blender to make the crumbs, alternatively use a hand grater. Store excess breadcrumbs in resealable plastic bags and keep in the freezer to use as required.

  • Freezing Chowder or Soup

    To freeze. Allow soup to cool. Transfer to airtight containers. Freeze for up to 1 month. Reheat in the microwave from frozen or thaw in the refrigerator and then re-heat. Only re-heat the soup once.

  • Fresh Herbs vs. Dried Herbs

    If you want to replace fresh herbs with dried, double the amount of fresh.

  • Tips for Perfect Pork

    • Using a meat thermometer is an easy way to ensure your pork is cooked the way you like it every time. Insert the thermometer into the middle of the thickest part of the pork, avoiding the bone. 71°C is the ideal for ‘medium done'.
    • Cook pork until the juices run clear when the meat is pierced.
    • Always allow the meat to rest before carving, this allows the juices to settle. Carve the meat across the grain.
    • For shoulder roasts the secret to carving is to use a sharp knife and follow the line of the bone.
  • Fresh or Dried Pasta in Lasagne?

    Dried pasta does not need to be pre-cooked but make sure that the pasta is well covered with filling and sauce to avoid the edges getting too crispy.