As someone who travels quite a bit for work, it is too easy to fall into the TV dinner rut. You come home jetlagged and the last thing you want to do is stand in line with the rest of the neighborhood to buy fresh produce. Instead, you rely on the frozen meals patiently awaiting moments like this. The more you eat them, the less motivation you have to finally replace them with a warm, home cooked meal.
That’s why my latest venture at a Cook Au Vin class was the best kick in the culinary butt I’ve had in a while. It reminded me just how much I love the feeling of sitting down to a plate filled with goodies I made all myself. I joke that it’s practice for my future housewife duties, but really it is all about me and my never ending goal to fill my life with amazing food and people I make happy with it.
The class was taught by Chef Ryan, a culinary enthusiast who got his start working through restaurants while earning an English degree in college. He worked for the Army’s public affairs department before finding his way back to the kitchen. I think the cooking life suits him and his beard much better.
The menu for the day was brunch: croissants, gravlox and eggs Benedict. Each dish requires attention and a high level of preparedness, but as long as you follow the French mindset of mise en place, the results will not disappoint.
I discovered just how much love, rule-following and butter croissants require. Each layer of lovely flaky crust may clog my arteries, but the elbow grease required to make it happen balances it out.
Gravlox is so easy that I am willing to make my first seafood purchase at the market just to attempt this dish again. All it takes is the right balance of herbs and spices and a few days to let the fish cure. Oh, and about a pound of salt.
Then there’s eggs Benedict and the poached eggs that I dreaded the entire class. But lo and behold, I successfully created three that were edible but perhaps not the most visually appealing. The trick is to crack the egg into a cup first to make sure the yolk isn’t broken. Then, dip the cup into the boiling water with a splash of vinegar so the egg can easily slide into the pot. Then let the egg whites do their magical swirling dance.
I can’t wait to use my new impressive skills again in my own kitchen. Hopefully my roommate doesn’t easily get sick of eggs Benedict…Cook Au Vin As someone who travels quite a bit for work, it is too easy to fall into the TV dinner rut.