The executive chef of dine by Peter Gordon at SkyCity answers your cuisine questions.
Please can you tell me what I am doing wrong - whenever I make lasagne, whether using fresh or dried pasta sheets, the top layer is always dry once I've baked it.
One other thing - I've always wondered if baking foil should be used with the shiny side "in or out"?
- Jo Patel
I assume you're covering the top with sauce of some sort before baking it? Tomato or bechamel will keep it moist.
And about the baking foil, I wondered about the same thing for years but came to the conclusion it doesn't matter at all.
I adore quinces, but how do you core them after slicing them in half? I always struggle and end up with some nasty wee nicks from my vegetable knife - not to mention the stress of cutting into those tough little critters with something that is dangerously sharp. Knife safety rules don't seem to work on this fruit.
Invest in a melon-baller. It's like a small icecream scoop - they come in differing sizes - try Millies on Ponsonby Rd or any good kitchen store.
I don't have Vietnamese mint or lemongrass in my garden (next year) so wondered if I could substitute regular garden mint in Asian recipes? And would lemon zest or juice give me anything close to the flavour of lemongrass?
Regular mint will be fine, slightly different, but totally okay. Lemon zest is better than lemon juice, but a little of the juice at the end (so long as it's not too sour) is good too.
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