Welcome to Braised and Infused, my blog about cooking in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis-Saint Paul). I can’t imagine a better time than the present to be a passionate home cook, especially with respect to ingredients. Access to fresh, local fruits and vegetables has never been better – even in the land that Spring forgot. Local is the food religion of the moment in the popular press. I’ve been a believer for over ten years, attending Saturday morning services at the St. Paul Farmer’s market.
But this blog isn’t just about cooking with local ingredients. It’s about cooking with the best ingredients available. Until the University of Minnesota develops a cold hardy mango, I will continue to cook from the world’s pantry of fascinating ingredients available at Asian, Indian, and Mexican markets and grocery stores in the Twin Cities.
Most chefs are quoted as saying that you have to start with the freshest, best ingredients to make incredible food. That’s fine and true, but it neglects the importance of technique and technology. You can overcook breast of organic bug-eating chicken just as easily as breast of caged beak-less chicken. Sous vide anyone?
As I cook, I’ll discuss classic techniques and innovations applied to the home kitchen. Interestingly, as restaurant kitchen techniques become more transparent, the technology restaurants use to create their dishes becomes less accessible (read: expensive) at home. I hope, with your help, to find ways to bridge this gap without a home equity loan.
This blog is also an excuse for me to drink more wine. I’ll discuss wine in the context of pairing it with food. Cooking a variety of foods demands a variety of wines and I’ll be able to focus on less popular varietals and regions.
I welcome your ideas and comments.