Cooking secrets

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Everyone’s got them. A closely guarded family recipe, a grandmother’s explicit instruction or secret ingredients whispered to you by professional chefs.

Sometimes they are used daily in cooking; others, like my addition to guacamole, are stored away only to ping up at an opportune moment. A lack of oomph in the green sauce I made last week led to the memory trickling back of a chef telling me to use Tabasco to add punch, spice and depth to a guacamole – and it works a treat. It’s vinegary heat is an ideal counterpart to
the creamy avocado.

A little tip from Jeffrey Steingarten, the famous American food critic, tv personality and author – once you’ve got avocados ripe at room temperature, store them in a paper bag in the fridge. They’ll stay ripe for around a week to 10 days.

Spicy guacamole

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