I make resolutions with gusto. The reason I am able to keep so many of them is that they are often wildly selfish. (Request a month off of work! Go to Italy for weeks! Learn to make 12 delicious new recipes that can feed a crowd! Learn Italian! You see how this becomes so easy. Life-improving hedonistic things make the list. This is how I stack my deck in my favor.)
Tonight was dish one of twelve in my resolution to learn go-to recipes to feed a crowd. I went with Ina's beef bourguignon. I didn't follow the recipe perfectly because:
a) I didn't have the little frozen onions and I didn't really want to cook with frozen onions
b) I didn't have cognac
c) I didn't have a full pound of mushrooms. Poor planning on my part.
No matter. It turned out just fine. My people were happy, not to mention incredibly patient given that I started prepping and chopping and dicing at 6:30 and we only finished eating at 9:30. The recipe tasted a little too much of the cotes du rhone, so maybe next time I will cut back on that in favor of more beef broth.
I served it with garlic-rubbed crusty toasted bread. Holy god, sopping up all the broth-y business with the bread was delicious.
So there you go. I am going to call this a success.
Next up is mac & cheese with a white sauce, not the ghetto fabulous all-cheddar version I usually make. (Lisa - - I am trying to fancy this up for you. Get ready.) The closer I can get to the kind they make at Volunteer Park Cafe, the closer to heaven I will be.
Reggie, not helping.
Rickey, also not helping.
In other news, I bought THIS book and I am just in love with it. It's like cooking school in a book. It's fascinating. (Why didn't we get to read this in 7th-grade home ec? Oh yeah, because they were busy having us all sew ill-fitting Bermuda shorts since the sewing skill will be used exactly never again, and you will need to cook for the rest of your life... argh.) When the author details some assumptions in the beginning of the book, one of them is the use of unsalted butter. I feel so stupid. We always keep salted butter around because, duh, salt is delicious! But I bought unsalted for my cooking now that I am, you know, on this cooking rampage. UNSALTED. Heaven. How did I not know that this is how it's supposed to be?? I feel like a rube. Oh well. If you see someone standing at QFC eating unsalted butter straight from the dairy case, it's probably me. Just look the other way, please.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Labels: Decorno Learns to Cook