I know, I'm asking crazy questions again!
are you keeping your cooking personal? And, by that, I mean, is your
kitchen space personal to you, is your cooking the kind or the way you
like to do it? If it's not, then I bet you don't enjoy cooking (or at least, not as much as you could!).
you're going to either say, huh? or, Candace, what are you talking
about? I don't know HOW to keep it personal! Well...here are a couple
of tips for keeping it easy and fun that will help simplify your life.
Remember, this isn't rocket science so don't make it that way!
first, a little background...I'm all about making things easier for my
students in my cooking classes. My goal or maybe I should say, my
mission is to show you how to make great food that will impress your
family and friends and be as easy as possible to cook. So, I try to
show you sensible ways to have it going on in the cooking arena and not
dazzle you with my fancy footwork. That means that you take what we
learned in class and do it at home. So...keeping it personal is just an
extension of what I teach in my cooking classes.
emphasize recipes that need exact measurements (for me, that's most
recipes, really). I use ingredients that are not difficult to find but
are not your run of the mill, ordinary meat and potatoes. And, I show
you techniques that will make your life easier.
Case in point, I
get tons of questions about knives. What knife should I get? Frankly, I
don't know. You are the only one who knows what kind of knife you
need. So in class, I provide everyone with an inexpensive but very
sharp knife to begin finding out what kind of knife they like. The
weight, the shape of the handle and the blade are all important but
above all else, it must be sharp. So you can have great success with a
very inexpensive knife IF it is super sharp. You can also have a
disaster with a dull, expensive knife. There's one way you keep it
personal...get a knife you like. And, don't buy a big set like that
salesperson wants you to buy at the gourmet kitchen store. Buy your
knives one at a time so that it makes sense when you add a new one to
your personal kitchen. And, then keep them sharp. Learn to use a knife
steel that straightens the blade (that's another story) and then have
them sharpened professionally when needed. "When needed" is also
personal because everyone uses knives differently.
Bottom line is
choose knives, tools, equipment and food to suit your personal style.
You like Asian food...get a wok, go to the Asian market, familiarize
yourself with ingredients and flavor profiles for Chinese, Korean,
Japanese, or Vietnamese foods, search the Internet for ideas, that's
what I do when I want to personalize my cooking or cooking classes.
it be cool, though, if there was a resource out there that provided you
with a step-by-step method for personalizing your kitchen and cooking
and making it super enjoyable. Well, stay tuned my friends...help is on
To that end, you know that I have to include a little
somethin', somethin'. Here's a great recipe for Grilled
Romaine Hearts and the house vinaigrette from Urban Kitchen. With
Labor Day coming, this will change up your grilling routine.
Be sure to play around with it...make it you're own!
Grilled Romaine Hearts
4 romaine hearts
1 red onion, thickly sliced
4 oz. crumbled blue cheese or goat cheese
romaine hearts and remove any blemished outer leaves. Cut hearts in
half lengthwise. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Set aside. Drizzle red onion slices with olive oil and season with salt
and pepper. Set aside.
Heat grill to medium high. Place
sliced onions (oiled side down) on the grill and drizzle the other side
with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 2 – 3 minutes
until they have grill marks. Flip onions and allow to cook until
softened and slightly caramelized, about five minutes. Remove from the
grill. Allow to cool and then chop the onions. Set aside.
romaine hearts cut side down on the grill for about a minute until the
edges start to wilt. Remove from the grill. Dress with your favorite
vinaigrette (mine is below). Followed by chopped grilled onions and
crumbled goat cheese.
White Balsamic Vinaigrette
Makes about one cup of dressing
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 heaping tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp brown sugar
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
¼ - ½ cup canola/olive oil blend
In a pint jar or squeeze bottle, combine all ingredients and shake well.
And as always...
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Come join the fun and take a class with us!
Visit my website at Urban Kitchen on Cherry Street and check out the Class Calendar.
I continue to get great feedback about my Complete Resource Guide to Stress-Free Entertaining.
If personalizing your cooking and making it fun is interesting to you,
you might enjoy this free guide. Check it out by clicking on the link.