Ask the Chef
Gabriel Gaté has learnt his craft from some of the great master chefs of France, knows the reality of being a family cook with little time, and communicates with dazzling success both the joy of cooking and how to make tasty food that is simple, easy and achievable.
Unfortunately, we're no longer accepting new questions, though feel free to browse our database of past cooking queries and Gabriel's responses.
Is there a better way to remove the wax from oranges before zesting for a recipe? I've tried scrubbing with hot soapy water, but some waxy residue always remains. Do professional chefs buy unwaxed citrus?
Yes, when using the zest of a lemon or orange, use untreated fruit as it’s too hard to remove the wax.
Do you know of any recipes using WA scaly mackerel? I like traditional Italian or Spanish styles of cooking.
WA scaly mackerel is a rich, very flavoursome and oily fish. After cleaning the fish, it’s lovely when brushed with olive oil and lemon thyme and then grilled. It can be served with a Greek or Italian-style salad. You can also bake the fish in foil or baking paper with herbs, slices of lemon, or chilli; or do it in a roasting tray with a little white wine and herbs. It’s lovely cold in salads to replace tuna.
Many years ago, I used to make a French recipe for a chocolate dessert, which was a cross between a mousse and a blancmange in texture. It required gelatine to set. I can't remember the name, but I recall it started with a "v" (not vacherin). It could be either chocolate or vanilla, or a layered combination. Does it ring any bells?
Could it be a bavarois? It’s custard flavoured with fruit or chocolate, vanilla, and coffee, then folded with whipped cream and set with gelatine. Best wishes.
When cooking frozen fish in a soup, is it best to let it thaw to room temperature first?
It’s preferable to thaw the fish first. The result will leave the fish with a better texture.
How do you prepare sour cream and condensed milk together to form a creamy topping on a baked lemon cheesecake? I can't find a recipe!
You can simply whip them together until creamy enough. Use half cream and half condensed milk. You can flavour it with lemon zest and orange zest.
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