I consider myself a pretty bangin’ home cook, all humility aside.
That (obnoxious thing) being said, there are SO many culinary skills I’ve yet to even attempt, much less master. I want to know how to butcher a massive hunk of beef. I need to learn how to make a perfectly-risen sourdough loaf. I couldn’t make an unbroken beurre blanc if you held me at gunpoint.
But I’m a firm believer that the best way to learn something is through trial and error.
There was a point in life when I didn’t know how to cook a chicken breast, either, or poach an egg, or make ragout, or properly slice an onion. I learned by diving in: picking up a knife, trying a new recipe, becoming obsessed with a particular dish. So that’s what the Eat the World challenge is going to be about for me – expanding my culinary repertoire while getting to eat some tasty stuff along the way. Win-win.
Basically, I’m going to focus intensely on one culinary style, sometimes a singular country’s cuisine, for about a month or so at a time until I turn into Julia Child or run out of countries, whichever comes first. By delving deep into the abyss of, say, Portuguese food, I’m going to force myself to use ingredients I’d never have known much about. I’ll also get to try new techniques and hopefully in the process become a better, more well-rounded cook. That’s the goal, really. No hard and fast rules…just a Montessori-style culinary education in my own kitchen using whatever unusual ingredients I can find here in Charlotte or with the help of my best friend Amazon Prime. We could all learn a thing or fifty from studying other cultures’ methods, ingredients, and flavor profiles, I believe.
I’m starting with Hungary. I’ve never been to Hungary but I sure do love a good dumpling, so.
Hope you enjoy the ride!