While cooking frequently has been quite fun, every good thing ends. In this case, that good thing is blogging about my cooking. Of course, while this blog has only covered a portion of my culinary ventures over the past month, it has been interesting to analyze my own cooking and really breakdown what I do in the kitchen. I have a very long was to go as a cook, even though I do not wish to pursue cooking as a career.
Personally, I believe that cooking should be a part of everyone’s life. Well, maybe not. What I mean to say is that healthy eating should be a part of everyone’s life, and cooking with real ingredients is a pathway to a healthy lifestyle. Should someone discover a way to eat healthy without preparing meals with real ingredients, more power to them. I may even give that a try. But cooking will always be the best way. Throughout thousands of years of human civilization, nothing has had the power to bring people together like a homemade meal. Cooking connects people. Sure, different cultures have different styles and techniques for how they prepare their ingredients, which differ as well, but ultimately, there are no barriers created by food. No matter who you speak to, no matter how you intensely you disagree on politics, religion, or any other issue where disagreement has quite literally started wars throughout history, we all need to eat.
For this reason, I believe that no matter what new diet pill or nutritional fad comes along in the future, cooking good, quality food will always survive. There’s simply nothing else that comes close to the creating the feelings that eating a well made meal with your friends and family can create. So, if you enjoy cooking, keep on cooking. If you do not, or if you’ve never tried, play around with it, cook whatever you want, make it fun. But when you’re done, make sure it tastes good. After all, someone has to eat it. It’s your meal, and more importantly, it’s what’s for dinner.
Prep time. Arguably the most important time in the creation of any recipe. Without proper preparation, even the best chefs can find them selves to flustered and disoriented, scrambling for ingredients as their meals fall apart. Because of this, it is imperative that chefs take the necessary time to plan and prepare for their meals.
This is why today’s post will focus on the future. Either tonight or tomorrow night, I plan to make a pizza, which sounds like a relatively easily endeavor, but could present many problems. To begin, this is my first time making a pizza, so it may as well already be burning. At my current level of expertise, I am not familiar with the intricacies of sauce flavor, cheese selection, and dough consistency. In other words, I’m going to wing it. I know what a pizza looks like, so I’m just going to shoot for that.
All in all, this should be a fun new experience for me, and I’m looking forward to branching out and trying new recipes. Hopefully it turns out well, or else I might have to run to Domino’s. Stay tuned.
Before I begin, allow me to say that I highly recommend stir fry. Unlike most meals, stir fry allows you to essentially throw whatever you want in a wok (or cooking utensil of your choosing) and cook it up. Of course, certain ingredients work better together than others, but hey, you’re a chef, you don’t have rules.
My experience with stir fry began when my mom got me a wok for Christmas. Had I ever cooked with a wok before? No. Did I know how to cook with a wok? Not at all. Regardless, like many chefs, I am open to trying new things and I looked forward to experimenting with my new kitchen tools. After watching a few YouTube videos about wok basics, I found a recipe (http://allrecipes.com/recipe/8934/garlic-chicken-stir-fry/) and gave it a shot. After a bit of tweaking ingredients and experimenting, I eventually came to the meal that is pictured at the bottom of this post. The full recipe (as intended) is listed in the URL in the bottom of the picture. However, my personal take on this recipe includes:
-Beef (Instead of chicken)
-No Sugar Snap Peas
This is a perfect example of how Stir Fry can be modified depending on how you feel while making it. In the end, what’s important is that you have fun with it, and (more importantly?) make sure it’s good. After all, it’s what’s for dinner.
When looking to prepare a quick meal, there are many dishes that have been done over and over again, yet constantly changed based on who is making them and what that person has to work with. Things like grilled cheese, which can be modified and tweaked to suit the needs of every chef, and egg sandwiches, which range from the simplest of recipes to more complex combinations of spices and add-ins, are dishes that never cease to be produced in kitchens everywhere, primarily in the Western world.
Of course, when I made this egg sandwich, it was not the first one that I have ever made. However, the beauty of these dishes is that each time I make one, it is a new experience because there are new specific rules and guidelines. Simply put, you can do whatever you want! In this case, I used what I had on hand:
-Two Eggs (Free Range)
-A Little Bit of Shredded Cheese ~1/4 Cup
-1/2 Red Bell Pepper
-Cayenne Pepper ~1 Teaspoon
-1 Plain Bagel (Toasted)
-Valley Doll Hot Sauce as desired (Product of St. John, USVI)
For now, we will keep it simple, and I will not provide specific instructions on how to make this, because there is no right way. Try it, experiment, play with it and see what happens, but make sure it’s good! After all, it’s what’s for dinner.
For my blog, I would like to write about my experiences as I seek to increase my cooking skills. For this blog, I will cook 2 recipes every week that I have never cooked before on Mondays and Thursdays, and I will blog about how it went. I would like to do this because I wanted to do a Food & Travel blog, but my opportunities to travel and try different types of food is rather limited right now.
Although I am not 100% sure on what I would like to cook yet, I am excited to determine which recipes I will be trying along with the help of my Recipe Manager Nathan Maltz. Nathan has had extensive experience with food, as he has been eating it for his entire life. He is well versed in the intricacies of amateur culinary ventures and taste testing, and will be an exceptional fit for this position. I look forward to seeing where this blog takes us!