Thanks to all of you who sent in your cookery questions. Here are my answers to some that were sent in, check to see if yours is included. Sorry I couldn’t answer them all, but keep them coming in.
Lara from Manchester asked:
What’s the best way to use up leftover roast lamb please so is not dead fatty?
Here’s a few ways of using left over lamb:
– Simply chop up and use for a shepherds pie
– Slice it and make a mega lambwich ( sandwich)
– Dice up the left over to make a quick stew the list really is endless…
Alyson from Cambridgeshire asked:
I have started making my own chicken stock. No one ever tells you what quantities to freeze in. I froze mine in 750ml bags and used them in soup but how do I know this is the correct strength etc? Thanks for your help.
What batch sizes you choose to freeze in really does depend on what you are going to use them for in the future, I would probably freeze in 500ml bags as it will be easier to store.
The correct strength for soups depends on how strong your stock is or how strong you want the dominance of the chicken flavour within the dish. Taste the stock once you’ve made it, then you can decide how much you wish to use, if its strong only use half but top up with water.
If the stock is weak in flavour you may wish to use the full measurement and reduce a little.
It really does come down to the flavour of your initial stock, how strong or rich you wish the finished dish to be.
Carol from Rainham asked:
I need some fun low carb lunchbox dinners. Do you have any? I am a NHS worker doing 13 hour shifts and I need inspiration. I’ve nearly all your cookery books and I have followed your weight loss with great admiration. Inspire me Tom please.
I personally would make tortilla style omelettes (with any filling you like) the day before and chill them, the next day box up with some low carb veggies and eat hot or cold. Please check out my dopamine diet book as it s a proper low carb book with loads of fab recipes that could work for reheating at work or eating cold to keep you fuelled up for your mammoth shift.
Andy from Pontefract asked:
Hi Tom I have some beef short rib what would you recommend for cooking and marinade thanks Andy
I tend to make a dry rub of many spices and salt, apply to the beef, pop in the fridge overnight and then cook then next day. This will allow the seasoning and flavour to get deep inside the rib.
Cook slow on a low heat in the oven, the cooking time will depend on the size of the rib. At the half way stage make a glaze of brown sauce; ketchup, stout, black treacle, cayenne and chicken stock whisked together, then pour over the slow cook short rib. Baste for the remainder of the time till it is sticky and properly glazed all over.
Richard from Borden asked:
How do you know when a pan is hot enough for cooking steaks or any other type of cooking for that matter?
The secret is to be patient, put the pan on the heat for a good minute or two, then add a small splash of oil, it should smoke slightly. Carefully lay in the steak in the pan along with a good chunk of butter, this is the way I do it. Then leave for a few minutes to get a real dark crust, turn and repeat on the other side. Don’t be tempted to shake the pan when you cook steaks, you want that full contact to the heat.
Linda from Rushden asked:
Hello Tom, Can you suggest ingredients for a light & crunchy batter mix for banana fritters? Thank You
My go to at home is a very simple one, with just three ingredients.
1. Equal parts corn flour to flour then whisk in sparkling water till the batter feels like the consistency of double cream.
2. Dip your peeled banana into flour, pat off any excess and skewer with a kebab stick, then fully dip in the batter mix.
3. Pre-heat your deep fat fryer at 180c.
4. Carefully lift the banana out of the batter and into the deep fat fryer and fry till golden brown, you may need to turn the banana over to ensure an even fry.
Jane from Southampton asked:
Hi Tom, every time i try to cook pork chops they are always dry, I only cook them for a few minutes each side, where am I going wrong? regards Jane
To be honest it sounds like your pork chops might be quite thin, firstly I buy mine from the butchers and ask for a thick cut pork chop. You will find a thicker chop easier to get crackling and it will not dry out when cooked. Also try brining them for 4 hours in a 8% brine, the brine will help keep the pork moist and also season the meat too.
Charlotte from Agerlo, Netherlands asked:
Hi Tom. I live in The Netherlands now and can not buy double cream. I’ve tried a number of alternatives but find a lot of them split on adding to the dish. Is there a direct alternative or do I combine two products to create a replacement I can use? Thanks loads Charlie
It does depends on what you are using it for, if for desserts, I’d just use whipping cream, for cooking and finishing off try getting your hands on clotted cream (this might be an online order) or buy a proper thick crème fraiche and stir in the last minute to pasta dishes or sauces.
Also try using coconut milk but full fat, this is often used in many dairy free dishes and is low in flavour so shouldn’t overpower the dish. More often than not these day coconut milk has been emulsified and is more stable for using in cooking .
Sean from Lyminge asked:
Hi Tom, My wife has an intolerance to garlic. It makes her very ill. Bearing in mind there are a lot of recipes that call for it could you suggest something to substitute it? We have read about and tried asafoetida but it’s generally mixed with turmeric which is ok for curry’s but not ideal in most recipes.
Just leave the garlic out and up the onion content. Plus go bigger on other flavours, fresh coriander, lime, ginger and all the flavours that boost the particular dish.