I’m not a timid cook. Whilst I may have had a stubborn teenage moment, I grew up baking and being in Mum’s kitchen, and as the years have gone on I’ve gone from being a basic follow a recipe only kind of cook to a more confident ready to create my own versions of recipes cook. Even with time spent in the kitchen with some serious professionals over the years, being a part of cooking classes and working in the industry for a while there is still some techniques that elude me that I would really like to get my head around. So here is my list for the new year, nothing too daunting I hope, but cooking skills that I’d really like to master in the year of 2014.
1. Roasting Lamb, Pork and Beef.
For some reason roasting lamb, pork and beef eludes me. Chicken I can do, and really quite well, but for some reason I just don’t feel comfortable when it comes to other meat.
2. Making Soufflé
Just ‘cos I can really. It’s not actually ever something I’ve tried. You hear of the stories of deflation and it intimidates me, plus prior to having an electric mixer these past 12 months the thought of beating the egg whites by hand was enough to scare me off even attempting to make one.
3. Tempering chocolate
Again, too many stories of mistakes and opportunities for messing this up have prevented me from giving this a shot.
4. Making Gravy.
I watched my Mum, and my Nan less successfully, make gravy as a child, but I’ve never done it myself. This challenge is pretty much tied to number one and being successfully able to roast a piece of meat.
For some reason with pastry I’m intimidated by the temperature that I need to keep the dough at and the fear of over working it. I use the reason of not having the right equipment, but really when there are centuries of history making pastry way before a food processor was invented I can really only say that I’m making excuses.
We are a little bit obsessed by dumplings in our house. It doesn’t matter if they are steamed or fried and which nationality they might hail from we want them on our plate. Late last year we acquired some tools to help in the making process and with one batch under our belt that was semi successful we are ready to take it to the next level.
I really should add making muffins to this list, but with years of failures I’m not sure that I’m ever likely to “master” this particular baked delight. For now we shall call it a work in progress and I’ll let you know if I think I’ve actually got the hang of it!
So all you wonderful foodies out there, do you have any tips for me? Feel free to post links to me in the comments section of any advice that you might have from posts you have created when you’ve faced these challenges. I’m really quite serious about wanting to learn some new food techniques in the new year.
Happy New Year and Happy Food Experiences,