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8 Things I’m Challenging Myself to Cook in 2019

by Anne Maxfield on January 28, 2019

In the spirit of New Year’s resolutions, I’ve been kicking an idea around about all the dishes I swear I’m going to cook—recipes I’m going to try.

If you’re reading this and thinking I can’t believe she’s intimidated to make (fill in the blank), know we all have culinary roadblocks.

When I was thinking about this, I came across a piece on the Taste website, “Everyone Should Have a Winter Cooking Goal.” The author’s goal is to work on one dish until she masters it and has explored all its variations.

My goals are a little different–some of these I’d like to master, some I’d like to have become a regular part of my cooking repertoire and others are rainy day/all day projects. I’m thinking that maybe there should be one a month, but at the moment, I’m 4 short. Any suggestions?

8 Things I’m Challenging Myself to Cook in 2019:

  1. Crêpes: One of those projects that I thought I could throw equipment at and be okay. This just needs practice and probably patience. For you crêpe makers out there, is it easier to start with regular (flour) ones before moving on to savory (buckwheat) ones?
  2. Soupe de poisson: This is one of my favorite soups and a prelude to bouillabaisse. Making this is just a matter of deciding to do it and getting some good fish.
  3. Whole fish: I don’t know why this has always seemed so challenging to me and since they just published this in the NY Times, I’m not the only one. Could it be one of those things like roasting meats that’s super easy but looks like you can cook? Anyone got a favorite recipe to share?
  4. More fish: Where we are, it’s much easier to get great (farm raised) meat, than good fish, but I’m going to make finding a good source for fish and befriending a fishmonger a priority this year (and it will make #2 & 3 much easier).
  5. Cream of mushroom soup: (as good as the CIA and/or the late Campfire in GB) Like the soupe de poisson, this is more a matter of going shopping and facing the stove.
  6. Cauliflower rice: Yes, I can be trendy, and we need to cut carbs/sugar in my house.
  7. Grains: Freekeh, farro, oats, lentils, etc. Time to switch it up from rice and potatoes. And if I would do #8, probably faster cooking than an hour on the stove.Accidental Locavore Insta-Pot
  8. Use my Insta-Pot: for more than yogurt and use the pressure cooker part of it. Shoot, I guess that means I have to find the instruction book and read it.

And, I’m going to start using the “good” silver!

What would go on your list?

 

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The Best Ways to Cook Corn on the Cob

by Anne Maxfield on July 16, 2018

Accidental Locavore Corn on the CobCorn has to be one of the great foods of summer.

There’s nothing like a great ear of corn, with a smear of butter and a dash of salt.

But how do you cook it?

Used to be you just shucked it* and tossed it in a pot of boiling water, but now we have options.

Here are some of the ways I do corn:

  1. The easiest and quickest is the microwave. Cut the stem end of the corn close to the cob, peel off the outer layer or two of the husk, and microwave for 1-2 minutes an ear, depending on the size and number of ears and the strength of your microwave. To see if it’s cooked, peel back a little of the husk. It should have lost its opaque luster and the kernels should be bright and almost shiny.
  2. My favorite way to cook it? Simply to toss it on the grill, husk and all. We often just put it on when the grill is heating up and let it roast over on a corner, while grilling the rest of the meal. You’ll want to turn it occasionally, but not too often, as it’s better when it gets a little browned in spots.
  3. Recently, there were a lot of comments on Facebook about cooking it sous-vide. This method is not quick, or easy (and requires special equipment), but people were raving about how good it was, so I tried it. Not impressed, but the corn was the very first local corn so it may have been the culprit. If you want to try it, husk the corn, seal it in a bag with a pat of butter, and sous-vide it at 183° for 30 minutes. I might give it another shot later in the season, but for now it’s the grill or microwave.Accidental Locavore Corn for Sous Vide
  4. Shuck and toss in a pot of boiling water (good for a crowd, but not my favorite method), cook for 10 minutes and serve.
  5. For any of these methods, if you really want to show off, take a blow torch to the corn after it’s cooked and shucked. This is a trick I learned from my friend Kerry at Cafe Miranda. It browns the kernels, making them taste like popcorn, and will either scare or impress all of your guests!

What’s your favorite way to cook corn?

Accidental Locavore Corn*Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to shuck corn after it’s cooked? This is a not-so-subtle nudge to those who insist on shucking it before buying it, a habit I hate! Pick some good-looking ears, put them in a bag (silk ends first, so you don’t rip the bag), take them home and then you’ll have options and fresher corn when you decide to use it.

 

 

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