Forgive me for the long-winded lead-in, feel free to skip this and head straight for the recipe.
Cooking has always mystified me. I understand baking. I started baking when I was a kid. Nothing about baking makes me nervous, even making mistakes. But cooking? It’s just hard. I don’t know how people do it well (or at all up until recently). I remember trying to cook dinner right after Em was born. I was like the Swedish Chef. By the time Toby got home, I was stressed out, filthy and the dish wasn’t even all that great. So, I stopped trying.
Then I went to pastry school and things changed. I began to feel a great deal more confident and comfortable simply being in a kitchen. My knife skills improved. I understood flavor profiles a bit more. And then things really solidified while working for Mast Brothers. Every day someone had to make lunch for the entire staff. I was TERRIFIED when I learned this. I literally got the shakes whenever they nominated me for the first time. And while my meal didn’t end up being all that great, I did it. I did it and I felt pretty damn proud of myself for overcoming a huge fear and actually producing something edible. From that point on, I volunteered to help out as much as possible.
About six months ago, I started cooking a lot. Every day, first thing, I would plan a meal for that evening. I would hit the market, bringing Elliot along with me (Em was in school), and we’d shop together. I would then spend the rest of the day, here and there, prepping. And I’ve been having a blast. And since I like to try and use fresh, whole foods, I’ve been attempting to make the sauces and dressings from scratch as well.
I tend to be very conservative when it comes to baking. I don’t like to waste anything. When I make a swiss meringue buttercream, I’ll make a shortbread cookie dough (that freezes well) using the egg yolks. I don’t like waste. I think Americans waste far too much food.
Similarly, I like to know what goes into making the foods we consume. How much work is involved? What type of waste is produced by commercial foods? Is it possible for me to make almond milk from scratch AND use the almond pulp left behind?
These are two, HUGE sticking points for me: what goes into the things we consume; and what does one do with what’s leftover.
So, this philosophy (for lack of a better word) has led me to occasionally deconstruct the things I love to eat—such as peppercorn dressing. How hard could it actually be? Would it taste as good?
What you will need
- 1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- at least 1 tablespoon of peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 cloves of garlic
Mom It Down!
Add everything to your blender.
Mix it up. You’re done! I KNOW!