Three chilli hacks you need for your next meal by MasterChef contestant Sophia Gallo
"A sprinkle of chilli flakes is what will give warmth to your dishes. Maybe a gorgeous soup on an autumn’s evenings, or on a pizza just to give it that little kick. But there is more than one way of using them in cooking. These are 3 of many ways to incorporate chilli flakes in everyday cooking, easy to follow recipes and ready in no time, but full of flavour"
Prep: 10 mins + chilling
Serves 125g butter
- 125 g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 tsp of chilli flakes
- ½ tsp sweet paprika
- ½ tsp onion granules
- 1 tbsp honey – preferred flavour although quite delicate
- Sea salt flakes
- In bowl place your softened butter and remaining ingredients.
- Using a spatula, mix all ingredients making sure there is an even distribution.
- Place the butter now seasoned, in parchment paper and roll before placing in the fridge to chill.
- Use on steaks for example of to cook your preferred protein, but also mushrooms.
- The butter will keep for about a month.
You could make the butter yourself by turning double cream with a hand or a standing mixer. When the whey is split from the fat, use it in your pancakes.
Confit garlic and chilli infused rapeseed oil
Prep: 10 mins
Cooking: 30 mins
Serves 100ml oil
- 1 garlic bulb
- 100 ml rapeseed oil or other preferred oil – or enough to cover your garlic
- 1 tsp chilli flakes – or more if preferred
- Peel your cloves and place them in a saucepan.
- Cover with your oil and let simmer on a low heat for about 30 min, until they are nice and soft.
- Halfway through the cooking time, add your flakes and let infuse for the remaining time. If the oil starts bubbling take it off the heat and then replace it back.
- Cool the oil before placing in a jar. Store in the fridge for a year, making sure the garlic is always covered by the oil.
You can prepare this in the oven too if you worry about the very hot oil on the hob.
Add fresh rosemary to the cold oil before storing, for an additional flavour.
Drizzle on pizza, pasta or even soups for a warm kick.
Prep: 10 mins
- 2 and ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pinch of sea Salt flakes
- Juice and zest of half lime
- A handful of coriander finely chopped
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- Place all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk lightly.
- Use to marinade your favourite fish.
Once your fish or seafood is marinated, make sure to use all those juices when cooking. The honey will give a lovely caramelisation and is great to brush also after cooking for a glossy finish.