Karen’s Top Cooking Tips

Karen’s cooking tips are the key to her success as a wedding caterer, and we have convinced her to share some of the best…

  1. DON’T BE AFRAID OF SALT
    Learn to love salt. It’s not just Saxa! The (understandable) backlash on processed foods has meant a complete fear of adding salt in home cooking..result..tasteless food!
    Embrace good salt (Fleur du sel, Maldon) and if you think you’ve added enough… double it.I have been known to spend over half an hour browsing on a French Farmers’ market salt stand!
  2. USE SALT LEMON AND FRESH HERBS
    The answer to everything in our Kemp & Kemp prep kitchen. Try it.
  3. A LITTLE DAB BEHIND THE EARS
    Invest in great Olive oil. Use the old supermarket blended stuff for cooking if you like, but use a really good (which to me means grassy green) olive oil to ‘finish’ dishes. It’s expensive but only a small amount is needed to transform a dish.Strange but delicious combo for you to try: great vanilla ice cream, grassy green olive oil, a sprinkle of good salt..divine!
    ice-cream-and-olive-oil
  4. STAY AWAY FROM THE BOTTLED VINAIGRETTE
    Why???
    There’s no need, it’s got all sorts of yak in it & all you need to is 3:1 Olive oil to vinegar, plus mustard powder, and salt (natch) into a jam jar & shake it up. Add garlic for a garlicky French dressing & Robert est votre Oncle. Move away from the bottled dressing aisle!
  5. KEEP IT SIMPLE
    Buy good ingredients in the first place ( I know this isn’t actually a ground breaking idea but it is true!) and then you do as little as possible with them..remembering the salt, lemon & herb mantra!and finally..
  6. NEVER KEEP YOUR POOR TOMATOES IN THE FRIDGE!They grow in sunshine, need warmth to bring out the flavour &, so I’m told by those good people at google… putting them in the fridge actually results in a chemical change & stops them ripening (i.e: completely dulls the flavour!)
    Pop them in a gorgeous bowl on your kitchen work top.