A good friend of mine recentley introduced me to an amazing restaurant in San Diego called Isabel’s Cantina. I just bought Isabel’s cookbook (so excited!). Isabel also has an amazing blog from which I found the entry posted below.
Her take on cooking at home directly matches the value that I place on home-cooked meals. We both agree that “prepping” ahead of time is the key to success.
“The last thing I wanted to do when I’d come home from the restaurant was cook. I was tired after working all day. But I also didn’t want to give my family to go food from the restaurant every night. Cooking for your family (or friends) is a very special thing. I didn’t want to lose that.
Believe me, I know why cooking at home is on the verge of extinction in our hustle-bustle lives. After working all day, you’re just too tired to start thinking about shopping, cooking, and cleaning. These are the moments when take-out, fast-food, and frozen, prepacked, processed foods start looking really good. I was tempted, but, little by little, I began to incorporate the quick cooking methods I’d learned in my restaurant into my kitchen at home. I learned that using fewer, fresh ingredients you can make a diverse and interesting meal.
Think of it this way, when you go to a restaurant, you order, then wait 15 to 30 minutes for your food. It doesn’t take the chef three hours to make your meal. He or she is already prepared (the term is called “prepped” in kitchen lingo). The chef doesn’t have to shop, clean the meat, cut the vegetables, or measure spices for that magic sauce. All of that is done ahead of time, portioned out, and ready to go.
I’m a lazy cook. If I see a recipe with too many ingredients, I back off quickly. I like my food simple, tasty, nourishing—and yet—still eclectic. I have discovered much of what can help you in this regard. Avoiding the prepacked, processed food will take some time and energy. But remember that the purpose of food is to nourish your body and soul so that you can go out and enjoy the rest of your life, not raise your cholesterol, fill your body with preservatives, or keep you chained to the stove every night. It takes commitment to take the high road. And you can do it!”
Here is the link to her blog. Be sure to check out her amazing restaurants!