Chow Mein

Chow Mein in restaurants or from take-aways varies depending on where you order it, some use thin vermicelli, some serve with an oyster and cornstarch sauce.  I like my chow mein with medium egg noodles and served ‘dry’ without any sauce other than soy.  The trick to stir frying noodles is to only partially cook them in boiling water – say about 75% cooked, they should still be slightly firm in the middle and this will stop them becoming overcooked when you stir-fry.  So if the packet instructions say cook for 4 mins, take them off the heat at just 3 minutes.  It is also important to have everything prepared and close at hand once you start cooking. [Read more…]

Butternut Squash & Pancetta Risotto

I think a lot of people are put off making risotto for fear of overcooking or being chained to the cooker for hours on end.   Risotto really isn’t anything to be scared of – once you have everything prepared and to hand then it is simply a matter of 15/20 minutes stirring and you will be well rewarded for your efforts.  The most important thing is to stir almost constantly to help the rice release starch and to absorb the liquid, which should only be added one ladle at a time. [Read more…]

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