So it’s not that I stopped trying new things in the kitchen. I am still totally having fun trying out new foods and stuff. But I’m starting to pull away from the recipe-bound version of cooking that I have always known and am starting to acquaint myself with technique, innovation, and experimentation instead. I got a membership at Rouxbe, which is an online cooking school that I can sum up in one word: fucking amazing! (Meh, so that was two.)
The videos on Rouxbe are clear, thorough, and go into all the science behind why certain techniques are more efficient at producing desired results than others. Sadly, they do not seem to provide transcripts or subtitles for any of the videos (although the recipes do have text versions); I’ve emailed them to see if they would be willing to provide accommodations for folks who need them, and I hope to hear back soon.
I’m a woman who loves sauces and gravies, and on Friday I put together a sauce for a pot roast without using a recipe – I just winged it, tasting frequently, and it turned out DELICIOUS! Here’s what I did (I think, it’s been a few days and I didn’t write it down):
- Saute a few minced shallots and a couple of minced garlic cloves in unsalted butter until softened
- Add a pinch of kosher salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, a tiny bit of basil, and plenty of fresh rosemary and sautee for another 30 seconds or so
- Deglaze with red wine
- Add a couple tablespoons of demi-glaze (I got mine from Fresh Market for a few bucks) and stir until incorporated
- Reduce sauce a little
- Add a few squirts of Worcestershire
- Add honey a little bit at a time, tasting frequently, until desired sweetness
- Reduce sauce until desired flavor concentration is reached
- Strain and pour over meat!
All I basically did was taste frequently and pay attention to how the flavor changed depending on what I added/reduced. I don’t have exact measurements because I really just did it by taste. I feel very good about how it turned out and look forward to more experimental saucemaking in the future!