The executive chef of dine by Peter Gordon at Sky City answers your cuisine questions.
I want to make some lemon-infused olive oil. I tried to make my own by putting lemon peel into the oil but it didn't work. Any ideas?
- Leigh Bramwell
I place two to three whole, unwaxed (or well-wiped) lemons in a 500ml jar, pour on enough oil to cover them, seal with a lid and put somewhere dark. After a month the flavour is gorgeous. Try using 50 per cent extra virgin and 50 per cent sunflower oil. Occasionally the lemon causes bubbles in the jar, so just open the lid and let out any air as necessary. You can discard the lemon then or use for Moroccan salted lemons.
I have a very picky vegan friend, who doesn't like to eat onion, garlic or tomato - and of course any animal products. What on earth do I cook her for dinner?
- Zoe Walker
Slice a 500g pack of silken tofu (or fresh if you can find it) into 3cm thick slices and gently press between kitchen paper and two plates for two to three hours to remove the excess moisture. Coat in cornflour and pan fry in a little sesame oil to colour on both sides. While this is cooking, mix together 60ml tamari (wheat-free soy sauce), 60ml mirin (rice wine) or one dessertspoon of sugar, and 100ml water.
Pour this into the pan and cook with a lid on for five minutes, turning the tofu once. Stir in 200g shredded raw spinach and some toasted sesame seeds, and serve with brown rice.
I was told many moons ago that a steak should go on a very hot pan and only be flipped once during cooking. But blokes around the barbecue tend to flip and then reflip. Does it matter? And does the same rule, if there is one, apply to other meats such as lamb chops, pork fillets and chicken breasts?
- Claire Trevett
Turning just once for all meats works best - it's all to do with heat penetration. The more you turn, the longer it'll take to cook.
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