Sunday, November 13, 2005

The cook's weaknesses

I've been cooking long enough to realize that I have certain weaknesses. Last night's cooking session exposed a number of them:

1. The tendency to expect a side dish to function as an entree, due to an unwillingness to cook more than one thing at once.
2. Using less of the main ingredient in a dish, but all of the sauce, leading to something swimming in sauce.
3. A tendency to let the attention wander a bit.

So that was my attempt at "Not Your Mother's Green Beans" from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home last night. Too much dressing for the green beans, pine nuts more burned than toasted, and a side dish thrust into unwanted prominence as an entree.

The dressing is composed of a quarter of a cup each of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, plus a chopped shallot and two tablespoons of fresh parsley, basil or chervil (I used Thai basil). This is poured over some boiled green beans and then toasted pine nuts are stirred in. The right main dish would make this an elegant side indeed. Another mark against my meal-planning skills. I also noticed that the balsamic vinegar and olive oil did not want to mix with each other.

This was one of those "cook and learn" meals.

1 comment:

Adina said...

It's normal for oil and vinegar to separate. Try adding an emulsifier (like mustard powder) and shaking the oil/vinegar mixture vigorously in a sealed container.