I came to a stunning realization last night: I am no longer a terrible cook.
That’s not to say I’m a “good” cook. I feel I haven’t yet risen to that status. But to say I suck at cooking would, at this point in time, be a pretty inaccurate statement. Therefore, I feel I must start a new chapter of my culinary chronicles. I have stumbled through some pretty ridiculous moments, but I’ve gained enough experience that I feel it’s time to get real about cooking. Say hello to the two newest components of my blog:
Ingredient of the Week: Each week, I will select one ingredient with which I have had no prior cooking experience, or that I am not familiar enough with to feel I could use it without a recipe to guide the way.
Two-Week Technique: Every two weeks, I will select one cooking technique or method that is new or unfamiliar to me (or one that I’ve plain failed at in the past), and I will give myself two weeks to master it. The goal will be to use the technique at least three times in a two-week period with recipes as a guide, and then to use it at least once on my own, without a recipe, to see if I’ve adequately learned the technique or method.
Having said that, this week’s Ingredient of the Week is Gruyere cheese. I’ve been watching more of the Food Network lately and it seems like Gruyere is being used in all kinds of recipes. Of course, I had never tasted the stuff (as obsessed as I am with cheese, it’s amazing how many cheeses I have never tried; it’s borderline ridiculous). I went on a hunt this weekend and found some (holycowexpensive) Gruyere and used it last night when I made Giada De Laurentiis’s Baked Gruyere and Sausage Omelet.
As I grated the cheese, it was a given that I had to have a sample. My one sample turned into two, and ten or eleven samples later I finally added the grated cheese to the whisked eggs and milk. WOW, that stuff is GOOD!
As the omelet was baking, my parents stopped by for a few minutes. When I took the dish out of the oven, my dad’s response was, “That looks really good! You need to take a picture of it!” Consider it done:
By the way, something random I learned that I should have known all along: that stuff continues to cook after you take it out of the oven if whatever it’s in is still hot. My mom explained this to me as I fretted over whether or not my toothpick test indicated that the omelet was too runny. I let it sit for a few minutes and once I dished it up, the debate was over. The eggs were the perfect consistency and the omelet was phenomenal.
Later this week, I’ll be making some Gruyere-and-ham stuffed potatoes cooked under the broiler. Oh yeah, by the way: my first Two-Week Technique is broiling. Because, you know, the first time was kind of…meh.
Here’s to hoping I have more successful posts in the near future!