Our first Just Cook It challenge potluck of 2011, held on March 20th, was great fun. We had 10 very different and very delicious dishes to try, all featuring a novel kind of soup stock or broth. Everyone got the chance to describe the process they used and the parts of their dish they were most excited about. It was a great chance to try a lot of different flavors, from Pho to rabbit stock, from duck confit over chicken broth-based bean soup, from shrimp bisque to beef stock. All of the dishes were very unique and showed the efforts and passion of the people who brought them. This event kicks off the season of these monthly potlucks where we slow food enthusiasts can try something new and share the challenges with others in a very convivial atmosphere. I like to see this as an opportunity to try something that I have been meaning to try for a while, but haven’t had the occasion. I tried making beef stock, then clarifying it with an egg raft according to Julia Child’s recipe. It worked even better than I expected and I found that it was indeed worth the extra effort. The next Just Cook It challenge potluck is coming up this Sunday, April 17th and will focus on smoked foods. While this is a valuable food preservation technique still today, there are many ways to use the aroma of smoke to add complexity to any type of dish. This is a chance to try a small stove-top smoking technique, or start the grill outside for the first time this year. The great food, conversation and enthusiasm at the stocks and broths potluck make me look forward to the whole series of these events in the coming year. Hope to see you there!
April 12th, 2011 by Admin