Friday, April 18, 2008

Ask Mary: Cooking Fears

Hi Mary,
What was your biggest fear when you first started cooking?
Best, Greg

When I was in culinary school, I was really afraid of cooking without looking at a recipe. I always felt that cooking had to be by the book, and that you had to follow every recipe exactly as it was written. I found that as I got more comfortable with cooking, recipes are really just ideas and guidelines. They help you to feel comfortable and help match up ingredients you might never think to combine on your own.

For instance, here’s a dish I love: Saffron Cupcakes with Almond Buttercream Icing. Sounds strange at first, right? But it’s actually delicious. Now, take this combination idea, that almonds and saffron blend well together, and try creating something entirely new, like saffron rice with toasted almonds. Yum! In cooking, you don’t have to always follow the rules.

Have fun,