This Sunday…We’re Cooked!
Don't forget to watch our one hour special this Sunday, January 19th on W Network! It's called "Anna & Kristina: COOKED". The show spun out of an idea we had for a new series in which we leave our cookbooks behind and go around the world learning to cook local food from the locals. Sounds fun and easy, right?
In this one-hour special we head to rural Oaxaca, Mexico, to learn all we can about traditional dishes like mole, which is something that has always stumped me. Bring on the mescal. To pay our way we promised to throw a party for a local girl who really needed one. Except this is when it stopped being easy. Or fun. Now that it’s over all I can say is, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. There were tears and not everyone got out alive. But you will need to watch for yourselves to fill in the gaps.
As a home cook, I was reminded of a very important lesson on this trip. It’s that no cookbook can truly teach you how to cook. For that you need to learn to think for yourself in the kitchen. And you can’t think for yourself if all you do is follow someone else’s rules. It’s a great idea to take some classes to learn technique, but then you’ve got to spend time in the kitchen experimenting. Start with a simple dish. Say, scrambled eggs. Then cook it different ways to see how it changes. Make it with butter, then make it with oil to see the difference in the final result. Make it with cream and then none at all. Add extras like truffle oil, diced peppers, sausages or cheese. Before you know it you’ll have created your own recipe.
To be clear, I am a lover of cookbooks. (And who knows, I might even write one myself.) One of my favourite pastimes is to follow someone else’s recipe to the letter the first time, then make it again and again, improvising with different techniques and mixing up the flavours to create my own way of doing it. It’s empowering, creative and as long as there are no TV cameras around or some big time chef waiting to be served, and no one cares if I screw it all up, it is meditative.
Depending on what you think of the show, you may or may not want my recipe for mole. But I’m happy to share it if you do. Now don’t forget to watch! And let us know what you think.