Friday, February 10, 2012


The more I cook, the more I think simplicity is key. Take bread. I've fallen in love with the no-knead technique I discovered several months. I now bake bread every other day. It's so simple, just flour, salt, yeast and water, but so good. It's the best bread I've ever had outside of Europe.

And then there's what you can do with really good bread: Sandwiches, of course, not to mention toast for breakfast. Either inside or outside the bowl, it's a wonderful addition to soup. Stale bread can become bread crumbs, bread pudding or go into the salad. A quality loaf has endless uses.

That's true of many things. Take stock (no pun intended). Making it is cheap and easy: a chicken carcase, root vegetables, salt and pepper. It's a base for soups or sauces and a major flavor booster in stir fries.  It can show up in places you don't expect, like Julia Child's potato salad calls.

So think twice before shelling out $20 for that special ingredient in the fancy dish you found on the Internet. Something simple and skillfully prepared will almost surely be tastier and lead to greater understanding and appreciation of food.