Scratch Cook

Image of lamb sharwarma
Image of lamb sharwarma

One of the silver linings about being at home more often is taking time to cook a wonderful meal, relishing in the simple joys of chopping, stirring, and smelling the ingredients, as they bubble away on the hob or in the oven. Use the opportunity to master some new skills, practise classic recipes, and create some gorgeous meals you haven’t had before

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SLOW SIMMER

Take your time to caramelise onions for soup, or relax and enjoy the gentle, repetitive stirring that's needed for making risotto

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HOW TO MAKE A WHITE SAUCE

This classic sauce forms the basis of so many dishes, from a simple macaroni cheese to fish pie and lasagne. Stir in chopped parsley and pour over white fish, or mix with spinach and cheese and toss with pasta

Step 1

Melt 20g butter in a small pan over a gentle heat, then stir in 20g plain flour and mix to a paste. Cook for 1 minute, stirring, until starting to turn white at the edges. This means the flour is cooked

Step 2

Turn the heat down to its lowest setting. Stir in 300ml milk, a little at a time, waiting for the milk to be incorporated into a smooth paste before adding more. Stir constantly

Step 3

When the milk is added, turn the heat up a little and keep stirring while it comes to the boil. Simmer for 1 minute, stirring, then take off the heat, season and add any flavourings, such as grated cheese, parsley or mustard powder

COOK'S TIP

Use this method to make a stock-based velouté sauce, cooking the butter and flour for 2-3 minutes until it smells like biscuits. Replace the milk with stock, and add a splash of cream at the end if you like. Serve with chicken or fish

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ADD YOUR WHITE SAUCE TO THESE RECIPES

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CURRY NIGHT

While there’s nothing wrong with taking shortcuts with pastes and sauces, when you have the time, take pleasure from cooking a curry from scratch using fresh spices

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HOW TO COOK RICE

There are numerous rice varieties and ways to cook them. Try this one for any long grain white rice. For brown rice, cook for 25 minutes then leave to stand for 10 minutes

Step 1

To make roughly 600g cooked rice (enough for 4 people), put 200g long grain white rice in a sieve and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear. Tip into a large bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside to soak for 30 minutes

Step 2

Drain the soaked rice through a sieve and put in a large pan. Cover with 400ml cold water (double the weight of the rice) and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, stir once, then cover, turn the heat down to low and simmer gently for 11 minutes

Step 3

Turn the heat off; stand for 5 minutes with the lid on. Fluff up with a fork and serve. If serving cold or using later, put in a sieve and run under cold water to cool. Refrigerate immediately for up to 24 hours, and heat through until piping hot to serve

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FAKEAWAY FAVOURITES

Learn how to make these takeaway delights in your own kitchen. They’re simpler than you might think

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MORE RECIPE IDEAS TO TRY

making lunch recipes
Baking with kids recipes
making bread recipes
comfort food recipes