ALWAYS put a cloth under your chopping board when doing prep, not only will this stop the board from moving BUT it will make it much safer and less stressful. I hate to watch people battle their way through prep with the board moving all over the place. Also, sharpening your knives will change your life. You can get a mobile knife sharpener to come to your house, it's not that expensive and you will be surprised at what a difference it makes. A sharp knife and a board that doesn't move is very cheffy indeed.
I love to share this sneaky little hack where I cook one huge dish, split it up into the freezer, and then make different meals out of it later in the month. My family have never caught on that I do this, and it's less work in terms of dishes and effort later! For example. I cook a huge batch of my Bolognaise, Moroccan or Mexican mince recipe. Serve some for dinner that night, but stash some away in the freezer. Next week comes along and it's one of those nights I'm just too lazy, then I defrost and heat the bolognaise and throw it through penne pasta OR spiralise some zucchini and serve it with that OR if it's the Mexican mince I can make it into nachos, tacos, goodie bowls, rosti mince pie…with a little imagination and experimentation, you will find endless uses for pre-cooked mince.
You need to manage the heat in your pan. If you add 650g cold meat drenched in a liquid marinade and then add it to a small cold pan and then stir you ARE DEFINITELY going to get a grey soggy stew and not a stir-fry!
If you put your meat into a cold pan or stirred it too much, it will stew, seep, and cook grey every single time. The more you stir the more it will stew. You know I'm right.
If there is grey liquid in your pan at any stage it is simply because the pan is too cold, you are stirring too much, and the mince is stewing. Scrape all the mince to the ONE side of the pan, leaving half the pan NAKED, put up the heat and back away from the pan. Eventually the grey liquid will cook back into the mince and VOILA, you have learnt to cook mince in the sexiest way! It really does mean FREE flavour. You will now live happily ever after.
Extra virgin olive oil is great for dunking bread into or roasting veggies in the oven, but it's like a princess in the kitchen…it does NOT like to get hot and sweaty and will set off the fire alarm repeatedly. It just can't take the heat. If you need to cook at a high temperature, use one of the workhorse oils like canola, sunflower, rice bran or vegetable oil.