Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Joy(lessness) of Cooking

"The Kitchen Counter Cooking School" by Kathleen Flinn Viking 285 pages $26.95

Flinn graduated from Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, and found herself rather at loose ends. And then one day at her local supermarket in Seattle, she noticed a woman and a teenage girl grocery shopping. Their basket was filled with easy-quick things like Hamburger Helper, canned vegetables, frozen meals. She became curious about what they would buy next, so she stalked them!

In the meat department, the woman remakred to no one at all that she couldn't believe how expensive chicken breasts had gotten. Seizing the chance. Flinn said that whole chickens were only 99 cents a pound. "I can't cut up a chicken!" "The butcher will show you how to do it, c'mon!"

The woman thanked her and said that she uses so much box stuff because "it always turns out right." This made Flinn wonder how many other women were doing the same thing. She found that most women didn't particularly like to cook (their mothers had never bothered to teach them how) or they were short of time and that they also overbought at the Costcos and Sam's Clubs and had to throw out spoiled food left and right. She vowed to change that and started her school with nine students.

Advice: Don't dig the measuring cup into the flour - use two measuring cups and fill the one you're going to use from the "digging" one. In baking, weight is more precise than volume and that's why so many recipes call for ounces of an ingredient.

One of the 10 ways to flavor a roast chicken:
Thai Style
2 T coconut oil (one of the worst fats you can consume)
1 teas. sesame oil
1 T finely-crushed peanuts
3 T fresh lime juice
2 1/2 teas. Thai curry paste
2 T finely-chopped cilantro
Mix all of this into a paste and slather it deeply and thoroughly on to the bird. Roast as usual.

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