Sunday, March 28, 2010

I (really) cooked for the first time

For real. I mean I've cooked a grilled cheese here and there. I've even thrown a few patties on my George Foreman, but REALLY cook? I don't know the first thing about it.

The kitchen is the place that I go to microwave things. I know it has many other uses, but like I use my bedroom to sleep in, my bathroom to shower in, my laundry room to clean clothes in, I use my kitchen to microwave in.

My friend and self-taught chef, Allie, agree to trade Photoshop lessons for cooking classes. So last Friday we spent a few hours at Whole Foods getting everything we needed to make my first 3-course meal. She taught me that using the best ingredients is key. We smelled all the cheeses, sifted through the stacks of vegetables, and conversed with the butcher about the best choice in chicken. It was the best 2 hours I've spent in a grocery store and I didn't even leave with bags full of Eggo waffles, Coke, little smokies, and tortilla chips.

The menu included an appetizer of an green apple & brie bruschetta on pumpernickel. The main course was homemade fettucine alfredo with grilled asparagus. For dessert, we had an baked apple crisp thing. It had a fancy name but I can't remember it. We shared the meal with Tim and Jake and it was a hit! I mean they have had my specialty "Pigs in a Blanket" but this blew that out of the water.

Here are the top things I learned after my first night of cooking with Allie.

• The most important item you should have when cooking is a great knife and a great cutting board.
• Always taste every ingredient before using it.
• Clean up as you go.
• People eat with their eyes before they eat with their mouths. Presentation is everything.
• Everything looks better on a white plate.
• Great food requires great ingredients. Don't be a tightwad.
• When it comes to cheese, the stinkier the better.
• When possible, use chicken with the bone in and the skin still on it. Not quite as healthy, but the taste is so much better.
• Cook for and with fun people.


sunshine said...

Love it! After reading this, I am now VERY hungry. Success, Riles.

Allie said...

I love your take-aways. So funny! It was so much fun...I'm looking forward to next time!

I'm also looking forward to learning Photoshop. Something tells me I'm going to love it!!!