Sunday, November 15, 2009

Le Menu Report: 4 Lessons Learned

This past week, I learned 4 things in the kitchen:

The Secret Ingredient: The buttered spinach recipe includes a little nutmeg which does wonders for the taste of spinach.  Totally unexpected.  

Changing Plans is OK: Really, I knew this before but this experience reinforced it. The spinache recipe was a bit like a tax form.  The first paragraph said blanch the spinach according to the recipe on the previous page.  When I turned to that, the first paragragh said wash the spinach according to the instructions on the previous page.  The only difference between blanched and buttered spinach was 4 tablespoons of butter in addition to the one already added for the second part of the blanching recipe. I considered my blanched spinach already buttered and stopped there!

Leftovers are a Savings Plan: Morroccan Lamb Tagine reheats beautifully!  It reheats best if you've skimmed off all the fat before putting it in the freezer.  All it takes is a few hours in the refrigerator to bring that stuff to the top. It's wonderful as a working girl to know you've got some good stuff in the freezer for those nights when you're just too tired to work the stove.

Knowing the Basics Enables Creativity: Sometime in the past month I've cooked Bifteck Hache a La Lyonnaise or ground beef with onions and herbs, more commonly known as a fancy hamburger. This turns out to be a great base recipe for Bifteck Hache a La Anything You Want.  This week I tried Garlic and Herbes.  Tasted pretty good! And it gave me confidence that someday I might actually be able to improvise.

Happy Cooking!

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