Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Follow the recipe!

I haven't been on the blog for a while due to life. Just life.

But one thing I have been thinking about is how I wasn't worth a pinch of salt in the kitchen before, and I can now quite easily prepare a great meal without going through a recipe.

What I did wrong before was NOT following the recipe. Some people think they know how to cook and actually can, others think they can cook and rather shouldn't. I was probably somewhere inbetween. Once I started learning techniques the whole mystery of cooking was unlocked.

Mastering the Art of French Cooking is not a glossy, coffee table type of cookbook loaded with full-color graphics and photos. Instead, there are only a few black and white line drawings where the technique is quite tricky. But if you can read, you can cook.

The trick is, especially as you are training yourself, is to follow each recipe EXACTLY. Do not deviate. Do not skim over it. Study it. Review it. Imagine it. Before you even start. As you progress by cooking more and more of the recipes you'll discover a pattern. You might think to yourself, "But this recipe sounds very familiar. Isnt' it the same as the previous one?" And you might be almost right. The technique is the same with variations in ingredients.

So it is inevitable that as time goes by you will more and more be able to execute a meal without reading in detail the recipe. But this comes with time and practise. Like any skill really.

So I'm off to go and throw together a lovely Coq au Vin, from scratch, from memory. Because I can.

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