Organized Mom on November 18th, 2009

I’ve been distracted tonight by watching Top Chef. We watch every Wednesday and it’s getting down to the wire. I’ve learned a lot about food since watching it the last several seasons. I would love to read more about classical French cooking and techniques. And I would love to be a much better cook.

Since meeting my husband, I think my cooking has vastly improved. I’ve learned a lot more about improvising, making a recipe my own, and how flavors go together. I’m a much more adventurous eater and cook since I’ve known him. I am a much better cook due to him.

Along those lines, I made soup tonight. I took the broth left over from the pork roast I made Sunday, and also tossed in all of the leftover veggies and some of the shredded pork. Then I sautéed some veggies, starting with a mirepoix, then adding cubed potatoes and Cremini mushrooms. After the veggies softened up, I added them back into the broth. Then it was a matter of tossing in some more spices and about a cup of already cooked brown rice.

I love building upon flavors. Starting with a broth from a previous dish, adding more ingredients and increasing the depth of flavor. It’s different every time. I don’t always write down my recipes and it can be hard to recreate a dish. But that’s okay because it’s always an experiment with us.

This time, I added a little bit of oregano, some basil, garlic, sweet paprika, pepper, and cayenne. Of course, there was salt & pepper in the fresh veggies, too. Next time I might toss in a pinch of ginger. Or cumin. It depends on my mood. Or what sounds good that night. But I’m really happy when something turns out well, and the soup definitely turned out well. Making soup has become one of my favorite ways to experiment in the kitchen.

Maybe I should ask for a French cookbook for Christmas? Branch out a little more? What are you learning in the kitchen? Anything?

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