M Kitchen Confidential

Kitchen know-how

It’s best not to boil asparagus in water as it dilutes the flavour. Steam, griddle or pan-fry it. Asparagus tastes best when it's in season - that's right now! (Try our delicious asparagus recipes here

Reader Dilemma

Q Reader panellist Tim Lang asks, ‘I always have cucumber in my fridge but I only ever use it in sandwiches or salads. Please can you suggest some more interesting recipe ideas.’

A M Kitchen executive chef Neil Nugent says, ‘Cucumber is in season now and I like making cucumber pickle. Skin, core and slice a cucumber lengthways. Sprinkle with salt and leave for 30 minutes. Rinse well then add a splash of red wine vinegar, a pinch of sugar, fresh chilli, dill and coriander. Serve with salmon or grilled meat. Or make a chilled soup: whizz cucumber in a blender with a glug of apple juice, a handful of mint leaves, some natural yogurt and a pinch of salt. Cucumber is great in iced water, too, with fresh mint and lemon.’

Tweet us your cookery dilemmas @Morrisonsmag

Did you know…?

Couscous is a type of pasta (no, it’s not a grain). It’s actually made from ground semolina – a type of wheat. (You can impress your friends with that fact now!)

How to peel a tomato, with M Kitchen chef Jon Coates

Hold the tomato firmly. Use a sharp knife to score a shallow cross in the top of the fruit. Make sure you draw the knife away from your hand.

Place the scored tomatoes in a heat- proof bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to stand for 3 minutes then place in ice water to refresh.

The tomato skins will blister in the hot water and peel away from the flesh. Refreshing in cold water will ensure the tomato itself remains uncooked.

As soon as the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, simply peel away the skin. Perfect for home-made salsa or tomato sauce.

Tomatoes are in season right now. Find out how to make the most of them with this month’s Seasonal Heroes recipes.

Kitchen lust

We love Morrisons new range of quality ceramic cookware, which includes ramekins, flan dishes and roasters. It comes in red or cream and prices start from £1.

Know your sugar

ICING SUGAR is granulated sugar ground down to a fine powder then sifted. It contains cornstarch to stop it from caking. It dissolves quickly and doesn’t need to be heated, which makes it ideal for quick icings and buttercreams.

CASTER SUGAR is a fine, white refined sugar. It’s treated to have the molasses (a sticky by-product of the refining process) removed from it, which makes it a free-flowing sugar. The fine crystals make it perfect for baking light cakes and crisp meringues.

GRANULATED SUGAR doesn’t dissolve as easily as caster sugar, so it needs to be used in recipes with longer cook times and enough liquid to dissolve it properly. Use it to sweeten cereal and hot drinks, or when no sugar type is specified in baking recipes.

DEMERARA SUGAR comes from Demerara in Guyana. Its large, pale gold crystals and intense flavour make it perfect for adding crunch to bakes such as crumbles and biscuits, or sweetening coffee and sharp fruits.

MUSCOVADO SUGAR is mostly unrefined, so it still contains molasses, which gives it a sticky quality. Its treacle-like flavour makes it a great ingredient for fruit cakes and gingerbread.

You'll need sugar for our delicious British summer recipes.

We sneak into the kitchen of Morrisons chefs to uncover their top tips, tricks and culinary secrets