Sometimes you need to go back to the basics before you can graduate from mince on toast flat meals. Cooking can nourish you, surprise you, but also sometimes really fuck you over. There’s nothing worse than mushy rice, burnt pasta or boring eggs. It’s time to acknowledge the shit, incapable cooks in our life. This one goes out to you. Even if all you can make, and will make, is spaghetti bolognese, let’s make that bolognese the best it can be. As the Academy-award-winning movie Ratatouille says, anyone can cook! Even the rattiest of flatmates. Now, y’all will know most of this, so this isn’t going to be a step-by-step vibe but rather helpful tips to bring your basics to the next level. I hope you learn something, or even if you don’t, I hope you write long, intimate emails to me about it all. Bone Apple Teeth.
How to make perfect, fluffy rice
Rice is a versatile staple of many meals, yet it is something that white people consistently fuck up. If you have a rice cooker, use it. It will change your life. If you’re lacking in this department however, you can still make beautiful rice on a stovetop.
Tip #1: Rinse your rice before cooking. You can do this with cold water via a sieve or other meshy strainer (easy but one more dish to wash) or give the rice a bit of a swirl with your hand in the pot and drain the water out.
This removes surface starch, which is more likely to make your rice gummy and just, urgh. A good rinsing takes about 20 seconds, just stop when the water runs clear instead of murky.
Tip #2: Most people know the classic one cup of rice to two cups of water ratio, but here at Bone Apple Teeth we like to switch it up a bit. Considering opting for the knuckle method. Put however much rice you want in a pot, then stick your finger on top of the surface of the rice. Fill the pot with enough cold water until the water reaches your first knuckle. Boom! That’s how much water you need, my loves, and it makes for wonderful, dry, delicious rice.
Tip #3: Once brought to the boil, reduce heat to low, cover and, like a masturbatory teenager, don’t disturb it for about 18 minutes. It needs its privacy. Once done, remember to fluff with a fork.
How to make saucy, sexy pasta
Pasta is my pride and joy, my sun and moon. Even when you have literally nothing in the pantry, you can still always make cacio e pepe on a cool winter’s night to warm the depths of your body. If I may be so bold, pasta is always, always better when combined with the sauce in the pot, rather than placed on top during serving. Remember that, memorise that, live that.
Tip #1: Salt your pasta water. Before you add the pasta, but when the water is at a roaring boil, chuck a bunch of salt in there. We’re talking teaspoons, not pinches. Trust me. Worth it.
Tip #2: Always cook your pasta to al dente. So, ‘to the teeth,’ just ever so slightly undercooked. Depending on your quantity and type of pasta, cooking time will take around 10 minutes. There should be a firm bite and, if spaghetti, a small white dot in the middle may remain. No one likes mushy, overcooked pasta. Plus, it’s always better to be slightly under because when you combine your pasta and sauce, the pasta keeps cooking, baby.
Tip #3: Save your pasta water. When draining your pasta, save at least half a mug of that sweet, succulent water. It’ll come in handy later, I pinky promise.
Tip #4: Once cooked to al dente, add your pasta into the sauce, keeping it on low heat. Add in a splash of pasta water, then stir, stir, stir. When it looks pretty incorporated, add in another splash, then another. Don’t freak out if it looks like you’re making a watery mess, within minutes it’ll form to become a shiny, glossy sauce. If you’re so inclined, this is the step I’d recommend adding in cheese. Parmesan cheese is preferred, but any cheese helps bind the sauce together to become *chefs kiss*. Season to taste and serve.
Tip #5: Last one I promise but you better fucking be putting cracked pepper on top of all your pasta dishes okay, I swear to God.
How to make a crunchy, zingy cheese toastie
Cheese toasties literally got me through 2nd year, no shit. I was a depressed bitch. Now I run a cooking column! Through the power of a good cheese toastie you too can significantly oversell your skills and act like you know what the fuck you’re doing.
Tip #1: Bread - pick your bread wisely. You want something thick that will hold its shape, but not so thick that the cheese gets lost in the loaf. If you’re feeling rich this week, we recommend Vogel’s or Ploughman’s sourdough toast. Worried about bread going off? Stick it in the freezer to last and then microwave it slightly (like 10 secs) before frying.
Tip #2: Cheese - don’t be afraid to add more than one type of cheese. That’s all.
Tip #3: Prep - spread garlic aioli (can just use mayo) on both sides of your bread as you would with margarine. Then, assemble the toastie in the pan so the aioli doesn’t get all over your kitchen cutting boards. Having sauce on the outer side of your bread combines with the oil in the pan to give you the perfect crispy toastie. Not only that, but you can really taste the zing of the garlic aioli. God, I sound like my mother.
How to make succulent scrambled eggs
Scrambled eggs was the first thing I ever learnt how to make, mostly thanks to wikiHow. Whilst terrible hangover food, a wee scramble does make for a satisfying breakfast, lunch or dinner. Pop some toast on and you got yourself a meal.
Tip #1: The heat of your cooking will affect the texture of your eggs. It sounds weirdly obvious, but what that ultimately means is that you are the champion of your own preferences and destiny. Like a creamy egg? The lower heat the better. Like more of a solid, sturdy scramble? Hot and fast, babe. I feel like there’s probably a sex metaphor in there, somewhere.
Tip #2: Use butter instead of oil to heat your pan, if you can.
Tip #3: There are two types of scrambled egg people: the puritans and the customisers. If you’re a puritan, just whisk those eggs with a bit of salt and peps, and that’s literally all you need. This is definitely a good method if the pantry is running low, or you’re weirdly minimalist. If you’re a customiser, just fucking go crazy. I add a tablespoon of oil, two of milk, one of water and a shit ton of cheese to mine. Both methods work. You just need to know yourself intimately.
Tip #4: If you’re adding cheese to your scramble, don’t add it at the start, add it half way through the cooking process so that the cheese doesn’t liquify and get weird.
Tip #5: Cracked pepper, cracked pepper, cracked pepper.
How to make creamy, heart-warming porridge
Even though it’s spring now and hot, heavy breakfast is really something that winter deserves for its own, porridge is very fucking delicious and makes a good end-of-StudyLink-money meal, even for dinner. Like eggs, white people have gentrified oats such to the extent that porridge with toppings has become “fancy”, even though it’s one of the cheapest fucking ingredients at the supermarket. Locally made peanut butter, freeze dried raspberries and dark chocolate shavings do not make a good porridge. Like they always say, a porridge is only as good as its oats.
Tip #1: Buy rolled oats (not steel cut or wholegrain). Rolled oats are a little bit chopped up and are therefore faster to cook. Even for me, who has the patience of a saint, the others just take a bit too long (even if they are “traditional” and have slightly better “nutritional value”).
Tip #2: Cook them for longer than you think you need to. A pot of porridge cooked for 10 minutes will be remarkably better tasting than a pot cooked for five, even if they look basically the same. The longer cooking time allows the flavour to develop and lends the blessed, creamy texture that you’re after.
Tip #3: I prefer hot chocolate made with water so maybe I’m a freak but porridge is better cooked in water rather than milk. Plus, milk is expensive and water is free. Just start with twice as much cold water as you have oats, cook on low heat for 10 minutes and it’ll be as creamy and delicious as if you used milk.
Tip #4: Add a pinch of salt. Seasoned food is good food.
Tip #5: Stir the bastard constantly. The end of a wooden spoon (or a specially made spurtle) is best. A pot with porridge stuck to the bottom is maybe one of the worst dishes to wash. On that note, wash the pot (or at least fill it with water while you eat) ASAP darling. ASAP.