I’d like to introduce you to a new series of posts I will be “peppering in” (pun intended) going forward. “What John ate” will outline what my “Ina Garten in training” wife made for the family that day.
You often hear people say “Cooking is simply the ability to follow a recipe. If you can read, you can cook.” That may be true to some extent, but I have been witness to the fact that it goes much deeper than that. I am a horrendous cook (most likely due to my inability to multi-task, what was I saying?) but I know good food. And I know when someone goes beyond just following a recipe line by line. That would be my wife and today’s dinner was a perfect example of that.
Today was a pot roast and I had my first inkling that it was going to be off the cuff, when my wife asked me to pick up the meat and some onions and she would “wing the rest.” And she did.
First, the meat was seared to give it a nice crust on the outside (excuse the photos, I’m a first time food photographer):
Then the vegetables – celery, onions, carrots and parsnips – were sauteed to up the flavor. By the way, I have become a monstrous root vegetable fan and parsnips might be at the top of that list:
The roast was to be cooked in a slow cooker and here is what the necessary liquid consisted of (again, it was all on a whim and not from one recipe – color me impressed).
The liquids were first cooked together in the same pan as the meat so the bits of meat left in the pan would further enhance the flavor.
In it all went and I have to admit I totally dug the difference in colors, which is not all that different from observing beautiful color combinations with plants. Uh oh, my worlds are colliding.
Hours later it was all done and the house smelled heavenly (my apologies to any vegetarians/vegans, although you probably left already):
All that was left was to strain the remaining juices and thicken it with flour and boom, the gravy/sauce was complete. Time to eat:
Now I know it was good because the kids ate it, even if they insisted on calling it “meatloaf”. Whatever, as long as they weren’t eating grilled cheese or chicken nuggets again. Top it off with a fire, football and a bottle of wine and you have yourself the prototypical Sunday winter dinner. Good f’n times.
My next step is to get my wife to write her own food blog. Yes, there are thousands of them out there, but I am completely sincere when I say that I am spoiled by what I eat every night. This is done by someone who works all day, is home to get the kids off the bus and out of school, helps them with their homework and runs a mean household. I think that makes for a good read and it WILL HAPPEN sooner than later. Bank on it!