Don’t let fear of mistakes stop you from cooking dinner. You needn’t be perfect in the kitchen; you simply need to be brave. I made oxtail tonight. I did it all wrong, and it was phenomenal. Author Jeff Potter’s take, via ivillage.com:
Potter is eager for cooks to bring science back into the kitchen, and Cooking for Geeks, as he describes it to Graber, is an effort to stoke cooks’ curiosity and encourage experimentation. He advocates a process of trial and error, so cooks will not only gain more confidence, but also a greater understanding for why certain dishes turn out the way they do.
Trial and error? Where have we heard that before? There is no better way to learn.
Like I mentioned, I got straight experimental this evening. I needed some ideas for what to do with oxtails, so I went searching. I found this recipe online that looked good. However, it called for 3.5 pounds of oxtail; I only had 1.5 lbs. on hand. I added a 1.7 pound sirloin to the party. The recipe asked that I brown the meat, but mentioned nothing of cutting the tail into chunks. I threw the whole thing in the pot. I also poured the liquid from the sirloin package into the Dutch oven without thinking.
I had no clue what my net result would be. It turned out splendidly delectable. My kitchen fearlessness was rewarded. The sirloin emerged with a juicy, brisket-like consistently, and the tail was fatty, rich and perfectly cooked.
Could this have been a disaster? Of course. If it did, I would have the experience and walk away knowing what not to do next time. We can learn equally from successes and failures. It’s always worth the risk. From chef John Foster via kyforward.com:
Culinary students are generally kinesthetic learners which by its very definition is a repetitive process. You simply can’t push a button and be enlightened, you need to try and fail multiple times. I teach Advanced Techniques at Sullivan, and this class more than any highlights my point: You can’t Google your way through my class.
C’mon, John. While we are aligned on the kinesthetic learning process, but starting with a search is just the right sweet spot for many home cooks like me. Don’t start making rules on me, dig?
Here at Kaplifestyle, we have philosophies, not policies. When it comes to cooking, we like trial and error, we have no rules, and we don’t judge.