Recipes: Tips!

Since time began (or at least since people started to watch their weight), people have traded advice on how to make eating sensibly easier. Here is a selection of tips: why not add to their number by emailing suggestions to recipes@cheese.me.uk?

Fry Light

This is the first -and quite possibly most important- tip we have to offer: if you're trying to lose weight and cut out fat, what could be better than to be able to fry/roast/bake/grill stuff without having to use... well... fat?

Well now you can, with "Fry Light". As far as we can make out, it's an edible emulsion (containing very little fat) which just stops food burning and sticking to your pans; kind of Teflon in a spray. You basically use it whenever you would use oil in cooking but it doesn't contain any fat, so is far far better for you!

The only disadvantage seems to be that it can build up to leave a sticky residue on non-stick pans and baking trays (i.e. cookware that you can't scrub really hard). Hey, we think it's a small price to pay!


Very Low-fat Fromage Frais

Next to Fry Light, this is the single most useful thing in our kitchen: use it instead of sour cream on chilli; stir into sauces to make them creamier without adding fat; use it instead of cream on puddings; eat it instead of yoghurt - the list goes on and on!

There are only two potential slight disadvantages: it's quite a lot more sour than cream, so may need to be balanced with some artificial sweetner if using for dessert purposes; that said, we like the fresh sour taste. Also -and this can be a bit of a pain- it can't withstand heat like normal cream and tends to curdle, but this just means you have to be a bit careful when stirring it into something hot - i.e. take stuff off the heat and let it cool a bit before adding the FF. Again, we don't think either of these outweigh the benefits.


Passata

This is another another godsend for people trying to watch their weight: it's basically just sieved pure%eacute;d tomatoes and is particuarly good for making very low-fat pasta sauces. If you pour two bottles into a saucepan, rinse out the bottles with a splash of water and then add that to the pan and then put on a medium-low heat, you can leave it to bubble away and reduce for anything from 10mins to an hour, dependent on the consistency you're after. IMPORTANT: don't stir it! (see below).

Again, not many disadvantages to this key ingredient either: it doesn't taste of much other than tomatoes, but we tend to use loads of mixed herbs, pepper, worcestershire sauce, tabasco etc. in pasta sauces anyway. The biggie which we've discovered is that, once reducing, as soon as you stir it for the first time, it will then bubble and splatter all over the place, so just put off stirring it as long as you can; either that or get ready for some dishcloth action!