Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I can't cook, therefore I go to Demos...

(Finally figured out of my computer problems!! Back to the show!!)

Yeah know something? I’m glad I called my blog, “Melanie’s Randomness” because it’s never a dull moment around here & my posts are usually like a grab-bag. You never know what you’re going get. (Forest Gump was on this weekend so I needed to work that quote in here somewhere. =P).

Today you’re all going to get a lil cooking lesson. I can’t cook, therefore a go to free cooking demos has returned. I actually got up early enough this past Sunday morning & My mom & I went to the local Williams Sonoma for the free cooking demo. I can’t afford to take a cooking class right now, so these demos will have to do BUT they have taught me so much that I’m still in shock. I made their pumpkin cheesecake a while back for Thanksgiving & it was such a different treat that I am eager to make it again. They give you pamphlets at the demos so you can take it home & try it yourself.

Their lesson today was about Braising. What is braising you might ask?

Braising: is when you simmer meat in a lil amount of liquid slowly.

This liquid can be a marinade or olive oil or juices or broth or other. The menu items the instructor, Susan, did were Braised Seaseme Ginger Soy Chicken, Pulled Pork, & Bok Choy with a Seasame Ginger Soy Marinade. Well let me tell you…that the Sesame Ginger Soy Marinade is one of the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted. The demo was Sunday & I’ve asked my mom to use it 2 days in a row for our dinner. It tastes just like the Chinese restaurants. So…onto the lesson:

When Braising you need to make sure that you DON’T RUN OUT OF LIQUID IN THE POT! If you leave the meat or chicken alone to slowly cook you got to check it or else it will burn. However don’t submerge the meat in the liquid. Just fill the pot half way. You can flip the meat too at half way points to the recipes to make sure all of it gets covered. Braising is better in a pot or a pan then a grill, because it can get way to messy & there is no way to submerge the meat in a liquid. With the marinades… don’t be ashamed to buy mixes. Sometimes it’s really hard to get a sauce just right & with everyone being so busy, it makes things super easy.

Another point the instructor made was about Salt. Don’t add salt to your meat because the salt is usually in the marinade. The additional salt will overpower the meat. When braising chicken, you can use a knife to test if it’s cooked. When braising pulled-pork…really good side-dishes are as followed: spinach, corn, cornbread, grits, beans, & maybe macaroni & cheese.

Everything tasted so good. The Chicken was so delicious. After she braised it she cooked it on a griddle. I love the eating part of these demos. I don’t have to go eat breakfast after!! Now she taught us also a lil secret. Ya know those griddle marks on TV on the chicken? They are apparently painted on in the commercials. Lol.

Do you ever braise your meat?? I wish I had my own apartment so I could cook every day. This demo is another thing that has lifted my spirits lately. This week I’m only trying to do positive things. Cooking is something I wish I knew more about….even if I learn one lil thing from these demos I’m satisfied.

Is there anything useful you’ve learned about cooking lately that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear

If you have a Williams Sonoma near you, see if they have these demos. They are a lot of fun to do with your mom, grandma, gal pals, or whoever!! You never know what you might learn and of course the free food is a yummy treat. =)

I hope you enjoyed this post. I’ll have more randomness tomorrow……


Silver Strands said...

Hey, thanks for sharing the free cooking lesson with us!

Jamie said...

This is lovely haha :)

Diana Mieczan said...

Balazs is the one who makes all the meals....and I bake:)
But I dont think he ever done that!
It sounds really good and I have to tell him about it, so we can try it out!
Thank you sweetie:)

Patricia Snook said...

Ooh how fab! I'm so hungry after reading about all the gorgeous food, I'm going to forage now. Melanies Randomness is the perfect name for your beautiful blog!

Have a brilliant week


Same Sweet Girl: Memoir of a Southern Belle said...

Thanks for this awesome lesson!!! I've never braised meat before but it doesn't sound as intimidating as I thought! Can't wait to try it!

I learned how to poach fish last night!!! I taught myself actually but I think it turned out right! LOL

Keith said...

Hey there. Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog. I really appreciate it. I'm very excited to be back blogging. It's also great to be able to check out blogs like yours that I like a lot. Take care. I hope the rest of your week is wonderful.

P said...

I would really like to try braising something now! :)

No cooking tips I'm afraid!

Cee said...

ooo that sounds so yummy. I have made braised short ribs once but it was in a crock pot so I'm not sure it counts!

Pop Champagne said...

I've never braise my meat, it's too much work for me, I just put it in the oven or fry it! haha but I can see how tender the meat can be if braised....mmmmm

Cafe Fashionista said...

Ohmigosh I am so hungry right now. Basically, I NEVER braise my meat because I very rarely cook meat! I'm not the most skilled person in the kitchen! A whiz with the microwave, yes; anything more...hmmm...not too pretty!! :P

bananas. said...

i really need to start going to these free demos. how do you hear about them? are they online??

now that i know what braising is, i'm a much better person. thanks! ;)

BusyB said...

might have to try braising....i am normally what you call a on looker, I am going to have to try this one! Thanks!

drollgirl said...

i want to do this! i want to try this! i have never braised meet. and i have never attended a williams sonoma demo or class. w a h! i have to DO THIS!

p.s. now i am starving! :)

a jacob black tale said...

I'm afraid I'd do it tooo fast. sound good though.

Torie Jayne said...

Great post! Sounds yummy! Have a sweet day!

Torie Jayne said...

Thanks for grabbing my button,x

Jennifer Fabulous said...

Your posts never keep me bored, Mel. I adore you. :)

Gawd you have so much going on right now! Fun stuff, though. I'm quite jealous. Hehe.

I love the new layout!! xoxo

Anonymous said...

I love that this post is about food! haha and yay for a lesson too!

Miss Neira


Kristin said...

Now I wanna attend a demo!

Erika ~TiptoeButterfly~ said...

i ALWAYS wanted to do the Williams Sonoma thing .. but for one reason or another never did .. i'm a new follower .. love for u to follow me

ps ... wanna trade buttons?!

Jaime @ La vie...J'aime said...

No, I don't braise my meat lol. I am a terrible cook! I try and something always goes wrong...


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