11.21.2008

The Prep Work


It occured to me that in order to really make something standout in a dish you have to know what you're putting into it. I mean really know what you're putting into it. Sure, fresh ingredients and a little ingenuity is good, but the basic components don't stop there. A well made dish takes a good sauce...just look at the French Laundry cookbook. Keller really outdoes himself. There is no way to compete, but there is a way to make sure a dish 1) can be simplified with a little leg work ahead of time and 2) that it is an interesting combination of flavors.

So, I am on a quest to stock my fridge with sauces, bases, and anything that can stand up to a month of refrigeration while I think of how and where to use it all.

Today is RUM RAISIN day. Yes, simple as it may be, I figured it's a good place to start. I am going to do this one blind. I don't want to know (until I finish the recipe) how everyone else makes it. I want to make it how I think it should taste. That may offend some - but I'll let my palette do the talking.

I start with a cup of raisins. Scald them in boiling water and let stand for 1 minute. Drain the water. Place in a glass (at least I did) jar. Add 2 tablespoons of real maple syrup. Add about 1/2 cup of 120 proof dark rum just to cover. Let steep on the counter for about 1 hour and then move to the fridge for about 1 week.

Ingredients Used
  • 1 cup of raisins
  • 2 tbsp of real maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup of 120 proof dark rum

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