Handy hints and tips when preparing Ramadaan savouries
Expert tips for crumbing
To crumb foods quickly and easily and achieve perfect results, try these handy hints.
Before you begin crumbing, arrange your ingredients in an assembly line (starting with the flour, then the egg, and finally the breadcrumbs) on the work surface. This will make the crumbing process easier.
Keep one hand as your "dry hand" and the other as your "wet hand" throughout the crumbing process. Use your "dry hand" for coating the food in the flour and breadcrumb mixtures and your "wet hand" for dipping the food into the egg and transferring it to the breadcrumb mixture. Not only will this prevent the wet and dry mixtures from combining and sticking to your hands, it will also save you time, because you won't have to keep washing and drying your hands as you crumb.
Once you've finished crumbing, cover the plate of crumbed food with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest. This helps the coating stick firmly to the surface of the food and
stops it from lifting away from the food during cooking.
Make Your Own Dry Bread Crumbs, Plain or Seasoned -
Place stale bread slices in the oven, set at 225° for about 15 minutes. Turn the slices over to dry for 15 more minutes.
Tear the dried slices into pieces and process to fine crumbs in a blender or food processor. Use the crumbs to coat chicken or seafood or as a filler in meat loaf.
For Italian seasoned bread crumbs. Add about 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning mix to 1 cup dry bread crumbs.
Freezing Pizza Dough
Pizza dough can be frozen before baking it. Take enough dough for one pie and form it into a semi-flat disk shape. You don't have to spread it all the way out, just enough to make it into a circle an inch or two high. Spray the inside of a zip-top bag with some cooking oil spray and pop the dough in the bag. Lay it flat and place in your freezer. To use, simply take the dough out of the freezer and remove it from the bag. Place it on a floured surface and let it rest for about two hours or until it is completely thawed and pliable. Form it into your crust and bake as usual. You can also place the frozen dough in your refrigerator the day before you want to make your pizza. Dough can last in the freezer for up to three months. This is great when you are short on time, but still want a freshly baked pizza right from your oven.
Bake unused pizza bases partially and blind, in the oven and cool. Cover in cling wrap, freezer bags or even layer them in a Tupperware and freeze. Use as required by thawing for about ½ an hour.
Make your favourite pizza dough.
Get a muffin pan, and use the pizza dough to make miniature pie crusts in the muffin pan. Then fill them with whatever you choose. Cover them with crust and bake.
Then you can put the little hot pockets in the freezer and freeze them.
Prepare and fill samoosas as usual. Pack neatly in Tupperware containers. Layer each row with plastic or cling wrap, to prevent samoosas from sticky to one another.
Or alternately put samoosas neatly in plastic bags as many as will be needed for any one serving in the future. Put the bags of samoosas in a large Tupperware container. Do not crush samoosas and allow space between bags.
When required for use, put oil on stove and heat oil and fry.
PASTRY AND PIES:
Fill pies with filling of choice. Then pack into large flat containers and freeze. When packing pies layer each row with plastic or cling wrap.
An excellent idea is to brush egg and sprinkle till, kus kus etc before freezing.
FILLINGS FOR SAVOURIES.
A good idea is to make up your different types of fillings for different types of savouries ahead of time and freeze them up. The day before you going to fill them up thaw you’re filling in the fridge overnight. In this way it saves you a lot of time and u can then make up more savouries.
Some more tips………
* Want finely mashed potatoes? - Always mash potatoes when quite hot so that you get finely mashed potatoes.
* Want to chop finely mint/green coriander? - Use kitchen scissors instead of a knife to chop finely, green coriander, green chillies, mint or
* Storing green chillies fresh - Wash and trim stem from each chilli and store in freezer bags. Will keep fresh for a number of days.
* To make samoosas crisper add some corn flour to the dough.
* To make fluffy puris: Use a little ghee while kneading the dough
When freezing food, always leave some headspace between the foods that you are storing and the lid of the container, especially with liquids.
The headspace will allow your stored items to expand as it freezes with out breaking the container.
If you are freezing your items in freezer bags you will want to make sure that you remove as much air from the bag as possible before sealing.
When making moons instead of dipping them in egg why not try dipping them in milk. In this way the moons will not absorb so much oil.
Add a little salt to water in which potatoes are to be boiled for making cutlets. The potatoes absorb salt better this way.
Add 2-3 pieces of potato to chutney to absorb excess salt.
Instead of adding curd to green chutney, try adding limejuice. The chutney will not only be tastier, it will remain fresh for a longer time and will also retain its healthy green colour.
When frying with butter, add a few drops of oil in the pan first, the butter will not burn.
Using the right substitute is an art by itself. If you run out of breadcrumbs while making cutlets, use crushes cornflakes or crushed cream crackers or sieved semolina and they will be equally crisp.
If your puris do not turn as fluffy and nice, as you would like them to be, try this one. Add a little milk while mixing the dough.
Potatoes can be boiled in a jiffy when a little vinegar is added to the water.