PRO AT COOKING
(a nod to this example of true artistry)
One of the best gifts my parents gave me was the foundations of how to cook. When my daughter was born, I started collecting recipes in a leather-bound book that I had kicking around so that I can give the book to her when she is ready to move out and start adulting. Then my son was born and I realized that if I want to give him a family cookbook too then I've got a lot of writing to do, and if I want to keep a third for myself then I'm going to get carpal tunnel, so I thought I'd slowly digitize all my recipes (makes em easier to share too!).
I don't claim to be a Michelin-quality chef but I fancy myself a pretty good cook. I collect recipes that I like; some of my own creation and others I've scavenged from around the internet and subsequently refined and modified. My philosophy in the kitchen goes something like this:
- Prioritize flavour. Don't shoehorn something in where it doesn't belong for the sake of, say, making something "healthier". I'd rather just serve it with a salad on the side and have smaller portions. A lot of this is comfort food.
- Strive for authenticity. Some of these recipes are total white-people food and I'm okay with that. But I want my butter chicken to taste like you'd get at a proper Indian restaurant, and I want my velouté to adhere to the classic French recipe wherever possible.
- Make reasonable concessions. Sometimes you can't get, you know, Amalfi Lemons at the supermarket. Or whatever. A regular lemon will probably do.
- Real food for real people. My wife and I both work and we have two small children. These are recipes I personally enjoy making and eating; sometimes I cut corners.
- Don't be preachy. I don't do this to feel superior. My writing style tends to be dry and sarcastic, but that's just because that's my sense of humour. Cooking is supposed to be fun!
If that sounds like your cup of tea, here is a non-exhaustive list of jumping-off points:
- Fundamentals: Techniques and rules of thumb that I find helpful
- Gear I recommend for kitchen, grilling, etc.
- The Five Mother Sauces of classic French Cuisine
- Of the two of us I'm more of a stovetop person but I do dabble in baking from time to time.
Also here's an alphabetical listing of all the articles within PRO AT COOKING.