Saturday, October 10, 2009

Polls, Polls, and more Polls

It seems like every other post is in response to a poll. I’m sorry for this. I haven’t had much to say lately due to my lack of work. Not being in a kitchen kind of leads to a lack of trials and tribulations, and if you want to read about being unemployed just open up the newspaper, so I’ll stay clear of that, trust me. I also have been getting a good number of responses to polls so instead of letting them roll for 2-3 weeks as I’ve done in the past, I’m keeping them open for just 7 days. So look for a new poll soon, and I’ll do my best to find something interesting to post. I’m pondering a personal “best of” post as well as a trip into my personal recipe books.

On a ratio of two to one those polled find cooking a good meal is more rewarding than eating out. I do like these results. Don’t get me wrong. I encourage everyone to go out to eat as much as possible. Then again there is something ultimately wholesome about a good home cooked meal. There is a lot to be said for the theatre of a restaurant; the celebrity chef in an open kitchen with a never ending pantry of unique items along with the wine list, interacting with the server, maitre de, and sommelier, the fancy table top, cloth napkins, crystal stem wares, variety of plates, and most notably the lack of any cleaning up! Sure you may pay more than three times the cost of the food, but the food is only a small part of the experience. The home cooked meal is all about good food and good company. As a chef the food is number one for me also so I completely agree that an awesome meal I cook at home for my family is much more enjoyable, on a very peaceful, Zen level opposed to a night out on the town.

My favorite things to cook at home for myself and my family are very simple things. I have almost perfected the frittata. I absolutely despise browned eggs, so getting a nice tight end product without browning the outside take a bit of patience. And patience isn’t always in surplus when your starving in the morning. That said, I’ve been known to break down on a sweet frittata after a long day work around mid-night. For the family it really is the simplest things: caramelized onions, steaks cooked to temperature, potato gratin, perfectly cooked vegetables, and cutting up anything which makes what they are making go smoother.

Of those who find enjoyment in cooking for themselves I would be interested to hear what you like to cook, what challenges you’ve overcome, or what nagging shortcoming keeps haunting you.


Rachel said...

I like finding a classic and then repeating it until I get it right. Unlike most of your "real-chef" readers, I'm perfectly happy with a good Betty Crocker Chicken Chili recipe or cheeseburger pie. Having said that, I've been plagued with problems with making the perfect omelette.

Cory said...

sandos.... sandwiches... the options are endless... they can be elaborate or as simple as you want... and after cooking all day it is the easiest thing to do..

Michael Walsh said...

Rachel, you hit the nail on the head. Alot of us 'chef' types aren't content conquering the classics when that is what should be done before manipulating them. It takes a seasoned, older, wiser chef to admit the classics are the classics for a reason...they are good. I mean that weather its chateubriand with hollindaise, or spaghetti pie, or an ommlette.

Good luck with the omlette. Eggs are one of the trickiest items to cook. My advice it to get a nice nonstick pan, and keep the eggs moving as long as possible. This cooks things evenly. If stiring is not the option, then lower the heat.

Michael Walsh said...

cory, i have to agree. I would guess that almost 75% of what i eat comes between two pieces of bread.

Rachel said...

Clarification: by "classic" I in no means of the word meant that I could come close to making chateubriand with hollindaise. I don't even know what that is. I just learned how to make sauces this last summer for goodness sake! (I've gotten pretty good, though, at the white-wine caper sauce I've made a thousand times, though. Man -- I need to experiment more!)