Ask Me!

Send me your cooking questions using the comment section on this page. I’ll post them here along with my answers and include handy cooking tips and tricks to help make your time in the kitchen more fun!


COOKING TIPS & TRICKS: BACON — Now, I use bacon in an obscene amount of my cooking.  I have strong memories of watching my dad stand over a hot, greasy skillet full of bacon strips, dodging popping fat as he carefully turned over each slice as it browned. However, unless a recipe calls for the bacon to be broken up after I’ve cooked it (in which case I cut it into small strips and cook them up in a frying pan just like that) I’ve found an easy solution that avoids nasty grease burns, keeps your stove free for other pots and pans and doesn’t overwhelm your house with the smell of bacon.  Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Line your sheet tray with foil and place your bacon strips on this – you can place them really close together as they’ll shrink when they cook.  Place the tray in the oven for about 20 minutes or until it’s as crispy as you desire.  Once the sheet tray is cooled you can remove the foil and put it in the garbage – no clean up!

19 thoughts on “Ask Me!

  1. So how do you deal with shallots? I find them impossible to peel and then I never know if I should cut them up like they’re onions or like they’re garlic. Can you help?

    1. Hi Ellen! I treat shallots just like onions. Cut off the root end (as close to the root as possible to keep it all together while you chop) and the top end, then cut the shallot in half lengthwise. Now it should be easier to peel and cut. Once peeled, I make several cuts lengthwise, cutting almost all the way to the root end, along the shallot (as big or small as you need it) and then turn and cut along the width so you have a nice even dice. I hope that’s clear – much easier to demonstrate than write about! Good luck.

        1. Hello Queen Jeanne! So nice to hear from you…..all is fine here but we are in the process of moving to Amman Jordan and starting up a little food business. In all of the hubaloo I’ve neglected my blog but am hoping that once we have a premise I will be blogging about the process of opening our shop and all that entails. More details to come very, very soon I promise! Thanks for being in touch and I will hopefully have the time to check out what you’ve been up to. Take good care! Sally

  2. Hi Sally,
    Looking for a nice dressing for a pasta and greens salad. Like balsamic based. don’t like any mustard based dressings tho. Any suggestions.

    1. Hi Zaid! Not sure what all your salad has in it, but a nice basic balsamic dressing would be as follows:

      2 tablespoons Balsamic
      6 tablespoons olive oil
      1 teaspoon honey
      1 garlic clove, minced
      salt and pepper

      Whisk that all together and immediately pour it over your salad (so that the oil and vinegar don’t have a chance to separate). You could also use a pinch of ground cumin if you’re looking to add a little spice to the mixture.

      Hope this helps and enjoy it!

    1. Hi Anne! Much like the shallot, I think of chopping up potatoes in a grid. I cut them in half lengthwise and then maybe each half in half again (depending on your potato size). Now place each half on your board flat and again make cuts lengthwise making sure to keep everything in place so it’s easier in the long run. Now turn the potato so the cuts are running horizontally in front of you, and chop across the width of the potato so you get nice cubes.
      I hope this makes your job of cubing potatoes just a little bit happier!

  3. Hello,

    My name is Harry Roberts ; I am a massive foodie, healthy eating fanatic and love all things haute cuisine!
    I am a food writer, I have been writing for as long as I can remember, on different topics – my experiences in restaurants, culinary delights that I have enjoyed on my travels and of course recipes etc. I’ve recently started writing for blogs and was looking to see if you were interested in a mutually beneficial partnership where you share my work.

    I was hoping that you might consider me as a contributor, I would not expect any payment as I’m just looking for a little exposure.

    Here are some ideas I had in mind for an article:
    1) Healthy Ways to Cook a Delicious British classics
    2) Food recipes that you can whip up quickly for unexpected guests
    3) Health benefits of Coconut Oil
    4) Really Delicious yet surprising British recipes
    5)Throwing a Fancy Vegetarian Dinner Party
    6)Tips on Cooking the Ultimate Dinner for that special one
    What do you think?

    Look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Warm Regards

    1. Hi Harry! Thank you so much for being in touch with me and your generous offer to contribute to my blog. Your ideas are really great, but I’m afraid I’m somewhat proprietary about my blog and all of the writing and content is my own. I wish you all the best with your foodie writing endeavors and thanks again for the offer!

    1. Salmon Wontons with Green Curry and Coconut
      from Tyler Florence’s, Eat This Book
      1 pound wild salmon fillet, skin and bones removed
      2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
      2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
      2 tbsp minced shallots
      2 tsp rice vinegar
      1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
      1 large egg white
      Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

      2 tbsp vegetable oil
      2 tsp minced garlic
      1 tsp minced fresh ginger
      1 small hot red chile, split
      1 tsp green curry paste
      1 14.5 ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
      1 lemongrass stalk, bottom 3 inches only, split and pounded
      Juice of 2 limes

      1 – 1 pound package of 3 1/2 inch wonton wrappers
      1 egg white, lightly beaten
      Cornstarch, for dusting
      Small handful of shredded coconut, toasted, for garnish
      Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
      Fresh mint leaves, for garnish

      Filling: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the salmon, ginger, cilantro, shallots, vinegar, sesame oil, and egg white. Pulse until well-combined and season with salt and pepper. (This can be done ahead and refrigerated)

      Sauce: In a large sautee pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and chile and cook for 2 minutes. Add the green curry paste and stir well to combine. Pour in the coconut milk and toss in the lemongrass. Bring to a low boil. Stir in the lime juice and taste for salt and pepper. Fish out the lemongrass and chile and discard. Take the sauce off the heat and bring a big pot of lightly salted water to a low boil while you fill the wontons.

      To fill wontons: Lay a wonton wrapper on a flat surface and bush with the beaten egg white. Place a teaspoon of the filling in the center. Bring the sides up to meet over the top of the filling to make a half-moon shape. Crimp the edges to seal. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling. Lightly dust the filled wontons with cornstarch to keep them from sticking together and place them on a cookie sheet.

      Put the coconut in a small sautee pan and toast over medium heat until lightly browned and fragrant. Set that aside.

      When all of the wontons have been filled, carefully drop them 8 to 10 at a time into the boiling water and cook for 3 minutes, no more. Drain in a colander, then transfer to a serving bowl. Rewarm the sauce over low heat and pout over the wontons; toss carefully. Sprinkle the toasted coconut over the wontons, toss in some basil and mint leaves and serve.

          1. You did??? That’s bizarre – oh, you were signed up to this thread from ask me. Not from me though. We’re good – be seeing more of you very soon! Take care!!

  4. I’m sorry for the terrible delay Zumrud! I’ve been travelling a lot and coming up with some new business prospects which have made me unsure as to whether I’ll actually be able to offer cooking classes. Given all that’s happened I have to say, that for the time being, in London, I don’t offer classes. Please stay tuned for big news on what I’ve got coming up next! Thanks and kind regards!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *