Thursday, January 28, 2021


Going to pot
Recently I was digging through the depths of
our deep freeze when I came across a forgotten
"arm roast." Having rarely if never cooked such
a cut, I consulted with Julia Child and assorted
experts for advice. The culmination of which
was the admonition "slow it down." Giving me
free reign to do what I do best which is braising.
Nothing draws out flavor like drawing out the
cooking process. Hence tonight after five hours
at three hundred we'll dine upon a tender yet
economical feast. Which is more than proof that
the best comes to those who wait. Or even better
yet - that in fact patiences makes PERFECT.
You're getting warmer...
We're all so busy these days. Hence we don't
take the time to smell the roses. Or invest an
proper amount of time and planning needed
to prepare delicious meals. It's tough enough
to remember to defrost something let alone
plop it in a crock pot at dawn. Yet if one just
takes some time-  invests a bit of effort - the
rewards far outweigh any forethought. I'm
at the point in life where I'm willing to defer
gratification ONLY if it's worth the wait. And
at least in the case of many culinary pursuits -
instant gratification rarely matches the joy of
a proper and lengthy investment of time.
The soupçon
Sometimes one must put off the inevitable.
Consider homemade soup. One can't argue
that it's better the day after. Mostly because
a lengthy span of commingling brings out
the best in everything. In my opinion the
same applies to pasta sauce. I'm as guilty
as the next speed demon in doctoring up
the jarred variety - But it's still even better
after twenty four hour hours in the fridge.
Just like the French classic Coq au Vin.
Only a fool serves said dish on the same
day as preparation. That's because magic
happens when you push the pause button!
Free as a bird
Given I'm a control freak - I avoid compromise.
Especially when it comes to flavor. My natural
inclination is to go for the long haul. The French
give their pot roast a bath in a bottle or two of
red wine for days before. Then braise it. The end
result being a decadently rich slab of protein that
has a depth of flavor only time can provide. The
tough job is planning ahead in order to yield the
best results. In the case of chicken, I find that it's
best to let your bird hang out before you pop it in
the oven. So early the morning of, I strip it down
and let it chill naked for a few hours in the fridge.
In the end I assure you... a dry bird roasts better!
Easy does it
The majority of quick fixes simply cannot
compare to a long term investment. When
caught in a bind - adding something old to
the new can enhance the outcome. That's
why I keep a supply of homemade beef
and chicken stock on hand in the freezer.
While said brew takes many hours to make
it's frozen incarnation instantly adds depth
to any dish. And while such things require
forethought - that doesn't mean they have
to take up too much of your precious time.
So why not think ahead? Invest the time
and effort that insures a successful meal.