Because I have absolutely nothing else to write about I'm going to answer all the questions I've been asked over the last few months. Here, for the first time in public is:
Frequently Asked Questions of The Good Cook:
Q: When did you first begin cooking?
A: The first thing I ever cooked was an omelet, I was about 9 years old and was fascinated at how the eggs puffed up as they cooked. I was so intent on watching this phenomenon that I burned it.
Q: How often do you cook now?
A: Everyday. At the minimum I cook 3 full meals a day. More if I am giving lessons or have a catered event.
Q: How often do you go to the market?
A: Everyday. Sometimes I go to several different markets depending on what I need or the season.
Q: What do you like to read?
A: Besides cookbooks and food magazines I read industry journals, food reviews and restaurant reviews.
Q: Where do you get your recipe ideas?
A: I get ideas for recipes from all over - from the market when I see what is local and available, from old recipes that I can put a new spin on, from other cooks and of course there are wonderful "old" family recipes that need no spin or improvement.
Q: Do you ever make something that is inedible?
A: Every good cook has made something that is not that good. But inedible? No.
Q: You must have a fantastic kitchen. What is your favorite piece of kitchen equipment?
A: I have a very large kitchen that is well equipped (I'm a kitchen gadget junky) but my favorite kitchen "gadget" is a wooden spoon. You can use a wooden spoon for just about anything. That, and my very own two hands.
Q: In your opinion, what is the best brand of pot and pans?
A: All-Clad. Hands down. Notice, there are no ads for All-Clad on my blog. I say this freely and clearly. All-Clad.
Q: What is your favorite thing to cook?
A: I like to cook just about everything. I love the smell of something roasting in the oven. I adore making bread. If I had to choose just one thing I would say sauces. I like the technical aspects of putting together an elegant sauce. Bernaise, Hollandaise, Bechamel, Mole, you name it. And of course I live for the look on people's faces when they get that first taste of a perfectly concocted, seasoned sauce.. like they just had a little spoonful of heaven.
Q: Do you have any food traditions during this season?
A: Christmas Eve we will have a late dinner of Prime Rib, Yorkshire pudding, roasted potatoes, sticky carrots and Champagne. Christmas morning we will have Eggs Benedict and Mimosas for breakfast. This has been our tradition for years. Even when my kidadults were littles, of course they didn't get Champagne - they drank sparkling grape juice out of champagne glasses.
Do you have any questions you are just dying to ask The Good Cook? Pose your question in the comment field by Friday, December 18th. and be entered in a random drawing to win a Good Cook apron - delivered just in time for the holidays! I will answer your questions in a future post - but will announce the apron winner Saturday, December 19th.
If you don't have a question, just leave an "ENTER ME" comment and you will be included in the drawing.
Comments must be posted by 12:00 MIDNIGHT EST (eastern standard time) Friday, December 18th.
Risotto (serves 4 as a side or 2 as a main course)
1 cup arborio rice (risotto)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, minced
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth, very hot (about)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
Heat oil in large, heavy saucepan. Add shallot and rice and cook for about 3 minutes. Rice and shallot will be transparent. Add a ladle of hot broth (about 3/4 cup) and continue to stir and cook until broth is absorbed. Add another ladle and repeat until all the broth is used and rice is Al Dente. Risotto should be "loose" - not too dry or sticky. Remove from heat and stir in cheese, butter and cream. Add salt and pepper to taste.
If rice is too tight (sticky), add a little more hot broth. You want a nice, loose, chewy risotto. Serve immediately.
A Cook's Notes: You can add steamed, chopped asparagus, sauteed mushrooms, or my favorite, shaved Black Truffles to the risotto. Use your imagination. I serve Risotto as a main course with a small mixed green salad on the side. Yum... comfort food!