Six inexpensive tips to make dinnertime fun for the whole family

Has dinner time gotten a little boring?

As most of us are saving for a break or school holidays, this often means eating the same budget meals over and over.


Six inexpensive tips for cooking delicious dinners for the whole family every nightCredit: Shutterstock

But there are trade secrets you can use to add the wow factor.

Follow these cheap tweaks to transform tea time. . .

ACID POWER: The late chef Anthony Bourdain swore by using sour cream to make scrambled eggs and it really is a game changer.

Get Aldi’s sour cream, 95p for 300ml, and stir it into your eggs just as they’re cooked to take your breakfast to the next level.

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A CUT ABOVE: Turn cheaper cuts of beef into savory bites using a technique called velouté. Sprinkle your beef strips with half a teaspoon of baking soda, let stand 30 minutes then sauté.

The meat should be tender. You can also do this with cornstarch. And always let the meat rest for at least four to five minutes after cooking.

RETAIN: Instead of using a colander to drain the water from the pasta, pour the starchy water into a jar. Add it to a bread mix instead of water for extra flavor or cook rice in water for extra richness.

SAY “CHEESE: Do you want to be the king of barbecue? Make the ultimate cheeseburger by adding the cheese to the burger while cooking, not after.

If cooking indoors in a pan, do the same and flip it at the last minute and let the cheese bubble and crisp before serving. It will leave a crisp, cheesy edge known to chefs as “cheese skirt” – and it’s delicious.

STORE: Instead of cooking pasta in water, top chefs opt for chicken broth. Also cook couscous, rice and quinoa in meat broth as this adds real depth to a dish.

DRESS IT UP: The secret to an incredible vinaigrette? A light pinch of sugar. Whisk it in and it should tame the sharp acid notes. Honey can also be used and it works especially well in a mustard vinaigrette.

  • All prices correct at time of printing. Promotions and offers subject to availability.

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