As you all know, we have long been fans of Jane Lovett’s recipes, and so it was a privilege to be able to chat with her on an Insta Live this week about her seasonal cooking tips. Of course, we knew it would be popular as, to be honest, we all love any tips or tricks that will make for shortcuts in our cooking and yet still produce tasty, impressive dishes.
Jane has written three books, Make It Easy, The Get-Ahead Cook, and her latest, Just One Pan. She is keen on presentation; however, her recipes do not require lots of “cheffy primping” (her own words). The instructions are easy to follow, and with all of her tips, she makes cooking so easy. Her recipes are kind to the cook in that they use ready-made pastry (in some cases), pouches of pre-cooked grains and tinned pulses as they are perfectly acceptable substitutes to the raw, dry ingredients.
As Jane grows much of her vegetables and herbs, her recipes are full of tasty additions. Petit Pois and Mint Tart with Parmesan and Thyme Pastry is one such example – it’s in the Just One Pan cookbook.
I will list below some of Jane’s Handy Tips from our recent Insta Live and the front of her recipe books. They are all serving me well. It is an admission that I did not know them before 😯 but you are never too old to learn.
Baking Paper: to make it sit in a dish, cut the piece to size, scrunch it up and then lay it in the tin. Something so simple and yet I did not know and have been struggling with getting baking paper to sit in a tin.
Resting Meat: It is vital to rest meat after cooking; otherwise, all the juices cascade out when cut into, leaving it tough and dry. When cooked, remove large joints to a cold plate and leave to stand for 10 minutes to stop the cooking process, then keep warm on the plate, with the over, warming drawer or cupboard door ajar, for a minimum of 20 minutes; up to an hour is even better and a little bit longer still, is fine. For smaller joints, steaks snd poultry breasts, remove to a cold plate for two minutes and then rest for the length of their cooking time. Longer is fine. The meat won’t cook anymore while resting. If you have been successful, NO juices will seep from the meat when it is cut into.
Avocados: ripen at room temperature, then store in the fridge where they will last for weeks (as long as they are not squidgy and overripe when going into the fridge.
Eggs: salt breaks down whites; hence you add a pinch when whisking whites. With scrambled eggs add at the end of cooking, if adding at the outset, the whites are broken down, changing the egg structure and producing less volume. Poached eggs cook in unsalted water.
Cream: Always under-w3hip cream. Spooning out and spreading cream thickens it more. If whipped in advance and stored in the fridge, it will also thicken up.
Chopping onions: A food processor does not work for chopping onions as they will bruise and take on a very unpleasant taste and texture. And when softening onions, add a pinch of salt as it will speed up the process considerably.
Below is the Insta Live with Jane Lovett, recorded this week. Jane gives advice on growing and cooking herbs and seasonal vegetables and she also talks about more general cooking e.g. resting meat, non-churn ice-cream and lots more tips that will benefit your cooking.
And to visit Jane Lovett’s website and for all those products mentioned in the Insta Live, the tomato knife, the Melamine plates etc click HERE.
If you would like to see some of Jane’s recipes that we have cooked, please click HERE.