Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Guest Chef: Cooking with Ami

Ami's Delicious Beef Vindaloo and Sides!!!!!
So I promised a follow up with details about our night of Indian cooking, but let me first say how fun it can be to have a guest chef in your own kitchen. Everyone has their own idiosyncratic style of cooking, an amalgamation of tips learned from mom (or dad), favorite spices to use, and techniques discovered in books or on cooking shows. A guest chef gives you the chance to learn new techniques and enjoy a great meal at the same time. Hosting a guest chef in your kitchen also teaches you to let go. If you tend to be a kitchen-nazi, (Carrots, celery, and onions must be cubed to 1x1x1 cm squares!) being a facilitator and sous-chef rather than the chief orchestrator can be a trying, but liberating experience.

That said, cooking with Ami (and our friend Colleen) was a blast. The menu featured beef vindaloo, an eggplant and spinach side dish, spiced basmati rice and few sauces: yogurt and spicy cilantro. Ami directed the kitchen and her sous-chefs (Colleen, Vince and myself) with ease. Wielding a chef's knife and an immersion blender, Ami layered flavor upon flavor never passing up a chance to infuse her dishes with complex and multi-faceted tastes. For example, black pepper corns, coriander seeds, cloves, and various spice powders were roasted in oil before being blended into a sauce. The heat intensified the natural flavors and supplemented later additions of dried powders. We ate with our hands and the help of some soft pitas until we were stuffed. Here are some more pictures of our cooking adventure:
Ami and the Immersion Blender, Meat being browned and eggplant sauteed,

4 comments:

Mimi said...

very cool!! any chance I can get my hands on those recipes??

Arroz con Mango said...

I'll see what I can do!

Anonymous said...

I wish I had been there!
Bocadito de jamon.

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