|"It's all good...."|
Out of the mouths of cooking babes, I can't believe a soup recipe I recently read.No, it isn't over-the-top exotic, or too ingredient-intensive. It isn't memorable for sounding so luscious I have to try making it, or so weird I'd have to bypass it.
It's memorable for--and I don't know how to say this otherwise--being stupid.
A rich soup, it calls for many good things simmered in chicken stock. Presumably you're going to have the real deal juices for this, because one of the first steps is to cook real chicken pieces in water, thereby creating a sumptuous broth for the most genuine of soups.
Wherein comes these directions: the cook should lift the pieces of chicken out of the soup to cool on a plate, then promptly discard the whole kettle of liquid into the kitchen drain.
Because, the author says, her dad always did this. He didn't like the cloudiness and "stuff" that marred the purity of what he wanted for his soup, so down the drain it went. To get the "look" he wanted, he then refilled the pot with fresh water and store-bought chicken "paste," plus added vegetables and the now skinned and cut-up chicken pieces.
Oh my goodness........you don't HAVE to visit the sins of your father (or mother) in your kitchen today.
If you don't like the unclear, fat-rich reality of honest chicken stock, there are simple, easy steps to remedy things here. You can pour the liquid through a fine-meshed strainer back into the stockpot, for heaven's sake. That's why it's called a stockpot. It's not a pot just to simmer water in. If you want to take out some of the fat, you can chill this strained broth to spoon some off once it has set up in the fridge.
And why anyone wants to take out ALL the fat is beyond me. Like anything else natural that God has put on this earth, our bodies are meant to assimilate most foods in moderation and with our everyday mobility ( a little exercise). God has GIVEN us these things and as long as our bodies and our doctors don't say "zero, zilch, nada" about any one thing, we can probably in measure enjoy most anything we like.
We've all read that artificial foods meant to reduce the fats and sugars we consume have been found to be more harmful that the natural foods themselves. When you read labels that sound like an inventory list for a chemical lab, can you really wonder why?
The beauty of any recipe lies in the eye of the beholder, but however good it sounds and however easy it is to prepare, there's madness to the method it you take all the good stuff out.
Something a whole lot of people agree on is that when something tastes very good it is probably very bad for you. It's like the guilt that comes with anything that feels "too fun." Enjoy something too much or too often and it somehow ends up feeling "wrong," hence adjectives like "sinful" and "decadent" often preceding the name of a rich chocolate dessert.
Another thing a lot of people agree on is that if something tastes bad, it's probably good for you. "Unreal" foods that are hyped to be tasty and better for us fit this bill really often--they taste mostly bad but their laundry list of strange-sounding components can't possibly be good for us.
Throwing your good chicken soup down the drain is obviously like throwing that very lovely baby out with the bathwater. If you for some reason can't have the goodness or the richness of something, there are still good answers out there. What is the point of putting forth effort toward something that in the end borders on inauthentic or just flat out isn't worth it? You might as well open up a can of something already geared to save you the trouble.
On the converse end of what seems stupid about some cookbook recipes, you shouldn't try to be too smart about things, either. Another cookbook (author) I just read will not give a recipe unless it is preceded by way too many details of his test-kitchen experiences. Fairly scientific and fully belabored, by the time you get to the good stuff (the recipe) you're exhausted on behalf of his efforts and wondering, "Is it really that hard to come up with a good result on this?"
In cooking, you don't want every single why and wherefore. Like artistry of any sort, a lot of what happens in the kitchen occurs naturally, or with a tolerable modicum of trial and error. If it comes too hard, you just might think there are other easier ways to get food on the table........and there are.
But hey--before I exit this entry I would be without proper humility if I did not acknowledge that these cookbook authors I'm criticizing have been published, and I haven't. I get that, thank you very much--and I still have to maintain: Don't leave the good stuff out, and don't make it so hard on yourself you don't even want to get started.