I love luxury food – not the kind where you get barely recognizable dishes in minuscule portions – but beautiful gourmet food using great ingredients in fabulous combinations. Hundred layer crepe cakes, pasta with white truffles or browned butter sage sauce. Roasted pork belly or duck breast. You know – food porn.
If I had the time or skill, I would spend my days cooking such edible works of art. Unfortunately I get intimidated really easily in the kitchen. I’m not a bad cook, but I find it really hard to do something for the first time. It doesn’t help that with a small child around the house, I have about five minutes a day alone in the kitchen.
There have been some exceptions, though. Last year for my birthday I really pushed myself and made a duck cassoulet. I had never made duck before – even though it’s one of my favorite foods – but I found a fairly easy recipe and I was inspired by a gift of a dutch oven, my go to cooking utensil these days. It came out pretty good – everyone seemed to like it and it certainly tasted to me like something I’d usually go out to eat.
I also went beyond myself a couple of years ago and wound up making the world’s best turkey breast. I brine it, and coat it with a paste made of olive oil, sage, garlic and thyme. This year I even used apple cider! I didn’t like turkey previous to mine and I’m really proud of it. If you had told me five years ago I would be brining something, I wouldn’t have believed you!
I still have a long way to go, though. I am absolutely obsessed right now with French macaroons and there is nowhere nearby to get them. They aren’t cheap either! I looked at a few recipes, and I”m way too intimidated to make them – especially in those really fancy flavors I like! I just look at the lavender growing out in my garden and sigh. I guess it’s off to the Macaroon Parlor as soon as I am able!
mmmm………..caramel fleur de sel with salted caramel buttercream………..
What foods intimidate you in the kitchen? Where do you go to satisfy that craving?