Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Simple Chef: Ben's foray into the world of culinary arts

Some people are mistakenly under the impression that I cannot cook, this is simply not the case. I say simply because the simple truth is that I can simply cook, that is I can cook simply. And I for one believe that there is a lot of value in being able to quickly make food that can fill you up, fortunately I have a wife who can do much more than simply cook, but there are times when I do cook and I thought you might all like in on a few of my secrets. Yesterday I cooked for both breakfast and dinner and they highlight my two, sometimes opposing, culinary secrets.

#1: If you have a box and on the box is a recipe, follow it, follow it as exactly as possible, do exactly what it says and then it will probably come out ok. This is the first secret to being a simple a chef, be able to take directions from others. Pictured below is me making dinner: Hamburger Helper. Which if I were writing a blog on money saving I would let you know how we got a great deal on a large quantity, but I'm not, so I'll just say that pasta in all its forms is the friend of the simple chef and Hamburger Helper is one of those forms. I made the stroganoff kind and the most important thing to keep in mind, should I inspire to put on your own simple chef's hat, is this particular concoction needs to sit for several minutes to let the sauce properly thicken before serving. So don't make it when you are starving because you won't want to wait the proper amount of time and the sauce will be to runny. Fortunately I did not know I was starving until we started eating last night so I was able to let it sit and it was just about at perfection.

#2: Should you not have a box of pre-preped food use whatever you want and just go to town. Let yourself experiment a little, generally if you have good raw ingredients you can't go to wrong (I love farmer's markets for this very reason). For breakfast yesterday I made O'brian potatoes, which I love, they are fairly simple and you can really go wherever you want with them. I prefer to fry the diced potatoes with peppers and onions, salt and pepper them. Because I don't have a recipe for them I can just do whatever I want. Sometimes I add more vegetables, sometimes less, sometimes cheese, or hot sauce or salsa. Thats the secret, just go where your heart leads you, and you can be a simple chef too.

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