I’ve been thinking about focusing on two or three culinary techniques per “season” so I have a few months to explore new recipes, ingredients, and methods. The obvious choice for spring is salads and dressings, which I’m looking forward to (as well as possibly growing some of my own lettuce for the first time). I’ve made pies twice in the past few weeks (strawberry rhubarb and sweet potato), so I’d like to try more variations of pies fillings (sweet and savory) as well as more variations of pie shapes (regular 9″, mini, handheld).
As it’s getting colder and closer to winter, it seems obvious to choose soup as the second technique to focus on, but I’m not a big soup eater, so my next thought was braising. I’ve braised roasts a few times but I would love to learn more about it and branch out into other proteins. Maybe I’ll try soup when I’m figuring out salads and go on a soup and salad rampage!
I’d also like to learn how to make bread, branch out in varieties of cookies, smoke meats and better use the veggies I get in my CSA or from the garden or farmers’ market. As I learn these things, I’d also like to get better at reducing food waste (remembering to save onion, carrot, celery, etc skins and ends for stock would be a good start).
Do you have recipes or techniques you want to learn more about? Any tips for perfecting pie crust or favorite fillings?