Friday, December 20, 2013

now. cook.

I saw this while doing some research on my other entries – interesting. I can do 28 of them from memory, but I might question the Ratatouille and beef bourguignon being on the list of essentials. Listen kids, instead of this many recipes, what you need to know are more basic ideas that will get you to most of these. (For those who aren’t my wife, if you are a guy and you can cook even the most basic stuff…well, you know what that means with the ladies.) Soups/Stews: know mirepoix. Love mirepoix. Once you learn to go carrots, celery, onions (I add garlic), and have some stock, you are gold. If you want it creamy, roux it up after the mirepoix base cooks, and you are in then in open soup. Know the basics and you can do about a dozen soups with little help. Oh, buy a nice loaf to go with dinner; don’t be cheap – find a real bakery and get some solid bread. Don’t by crap at Food Lion or Safeway. Breakfast: know how to cook basic egg stuff (over easy, scrambled, omelette). If you add in learning to make a romesco sauce then you are gold. Waffles, pancakes, and French toast are all variants on the same theme. Keeping French toast in your hip pocket is the best option (milk, eggs, vanilla, bit of salt, nice sugar, flour, Challah!). Roasting: primarily vegetables. Don’t underdo them. 400 degrees for 40-ish minutes: olive oil, rosemary, ginger, salt and pepper. Don’t get fancy. Squash: easy money. Half, scrape, face down in bout 1/4 in of water. Oven. 400 degress, 40-ish minutes. Then you can stuff them with any combo of sautéed goodness and rice (hey, buy a rice maker…don’t kill yourself.) Chicken: full roasted bird with lemon and sage. Chicken tenders. X’s big platter of French-y chicken lusciousness. Yard bird. Mashed potatoes: Boil. Rice. Mash. Milk. Butter. Salt. If you can’t, or won’t do this, you aren’t worthy. Greek food: as a last item, focus on a basic area. Learn some basics from the cuisine and pull it out when you need to – spanakopita, tzatziki, gigantes, bread. Some day I’ll be 55 and teaching home-ec somewhere. Everyone will be able to cook and survive.

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