Donal Skehan’s Top Tips

Donal Skehan
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No food week is complete without a brief chinwag with kitchen hero, Donal Skehan. Here he shares some insider tips on how to kill it in the kitchen. Enjoy!

Best kitchen hack/time saving tip you’ve ever learned?

I got a Bosch oven that has a self clean function – possibly the coolest thing about my kitchen!  Though one thing I do all the time is freeze empty butter wrappers, they are perfect for greasing baking tins!

Do you have any favourite cheats, such as using stock cubes instead of making stock from scratch?

I use powdered vegetable bouillon which can be bought in health food shops, it can be stirred straight into soups and stews and then just topped up with boiling water.

Could you divulge on any of your best recipes’ secret ingredients?

I am addicted to making Pad Thai and my version relies on a great little paste that you bash up before you start cooking.  The secret ingredient is coriander stalks, which most people throw away but are full of flavour, and mixed with garlic, chilli and lime zest you get a brilliant little paste!

What’s your advice when buying a set of knives?

Don’t bother getting a full set of knives, get one really good knife which is worth spending money on, keep it sharp and get comfortable using it.

Do you have a favourite knives brand?

I have a Global knife which I use but I actually use a knife I picked up at a market in Thailand for a couple of euro which I use all the time, too.

Do you have a favourite kitchenware brand in general?

I am a big fan of Leila Lindholm’s kitchenware range. Leila is a Swedish food writer and cookbook author but she also has an amazing range of kitchenware. People always ask me where my spatulas, pans and bowls are from and if they’re not vintage, they are from Leila’s General Store.

Is there one ingredient you steer clear of?

I hate liquorice! My fiancé Sofie has ruined it for me because in Sweden they eat it covered in salt and she puts it in our pick and mix bags – yuck!

Is there one ingredient you’d add to everything if you could?

I can’t choose just one! I love Asian cookery so apart from baking, a combination of chilli, garlic, lime and coriander added to most dishes where appropriate and I would be a happy man!

What’s your ultimate pet peeve in the kitchen?

I need clear surfaces! I won’t cook in my kitchen unless I’ve given it a good clean beforehand…

If you’re starving, and you want a quick fix super easy – almost like beans on toast – kinda meal, what’s your go to quickie?

Eggs are brilliant for a quick fix and there are so many different ways to use them. Scrambled eggs literally take a few minutes to prepare and served on crusty, sour dough toast they are damn good. I am a big fan of omelettes in the morning too. You can bulk them out with veggies or leave them plain. Either way, they are a perfect way to start they day. I’m not opposed to peanut butter slathered on hot toast either though.

Mmm, us neither.

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