I’ve been a cooking enthusiast for over ten years at this point. I love cooking and can hardly remember my first bachelor pad filled with cereal. Yuck! After getting and beginning to read Tim Ferris’ new book the Four Hour Chef I’ve been more excited than usual. I dawned on me that being able to cook delicious food and do it effortlessly and quickly, are not a common thing. Most people suck at cooking. They try a few things and when they turn out bad get put off of cooking. While this post will not be lead you to becoming a four hour chef you will learn some of the insights that make my food great.
From Cereal to Mad Scientist of the Spatula
How did I make the transition from eating cereal for every meal to crafting delicious meals in minutes? I would give credit to two factors. One was getting hooked on the Food Network. After loosing the bachelor pad I ended up back at my mom’s house and ended up watching a lot of Food network. Seeing all the great food sent me into the kitchen. Where I made some truly disgusting dishes. Basically I sucked in the kitchen and would combine everything is one dish that quickly turned gross. I learned though and by being thick headed I didn’t get discouraged from the pots of toxic waste I made.
So the first lesson is to not be afraid to royal mess up something. I’ve made hundreds, possibly thousands of delicious meals. I’ve also thrown away many. I push the culinary envelope with flavor madness. Who else thought to use chicken skin as an egg roll wrapper? Likewise I once thought it would be a good idea to steam cauliflower, mash it, dehydrate it topped with sour cream and onion flavor to make chips…I still get shivers things about the abomination that came out. My coconut bars were also gross. Paleo Bacon nachos though…OMG divine! So if you fail toss it and try something else. Never let the fear of the bad dissuade you.
Less is More
This concept was made solid in 4HC. Simplicity can taste amazing. This is the second lesson I learned from all the cooking shows and bad meals I made. trying to combine everything into a monstrosity of flavor is a bad idea. Use a few ingredients that go well together. This morning I made the following. I tossed two chicken thighs on my foreman grill with some salt, pepper and rosemary. I browned it in there while rendering diced bacon. I removed the bacon when it had rendered all its fat. To the skillet of fat I added dices carrots and green onions. Then I placed my chicken on top of the veggies then I added some powdered ginger, garlic and a splash of balsamic vinegar and temari. I covered and let cook for about five minutes. This whole process from start to finish took less than 30 minutes. The taste? Amazing! I was actually staggered by how good this was. I literally licked the plate clean. I try to keep the ingredients around five or less. Unless I’m following a special recipe, which is not often. I’d suggest keeping stocked on your favorites and use them fearlessly.
I hope this post had made your mouth water. More importantly I hope this gets you into the kitchen. Toss the pop tarts and break out the skillet. Also expect a review of the Four Hour Chef soon so grad a copy you will not be disappointed. Also if you just happen to be friends with Tim Ferris help me get him on for an interview! As homework to this article go cook something using four ingredients and report back!
Like to cook? Hate to cook? favorite dish? Let me know in the comments!