Friday, November 6, 2009

Behind the Apron: Dara


Who has been the biggest influence on your cooking?
My biggest influence was probably my mom and my grandmas for most of my life growing up. All of my comfort food recipes come from them. However, with husband's obsession with Food Network and cooking, I am learning so many new ways to cook and prepare food through Josh.

What is your favorite dish to cook…your signature dish?
I am probably best at roasting meats of all sorts, but my signature dish would probably be French, herbed-roasted chicken. I actually served this to bookclub the first meeting I hosted after we read "A Year in Provence." I absolutely love roast chicken, because it always turns out wonderfully delicious. Other meats have many factors that can affect how well it tastes, but whole roasted chicken is good every time!

What was your biggest cooking disaster?
Oh goodness, there are so many! Many overcooked items and recipes where I left out a main ingredient. One of the strangest ones was cupcakes gone wrong: I used the wisk attachment with my KitchenAid instead of the normal mixing attachment which, apparently, made the cake much too full of air, and I wasn't able to frost them at all. They, literally, just fell apart. I was hosting Bunko that evening, and the cupcake were the dessert. I quickly gave up on frosting the cakes and made a glaze out of powdered sugar and orange juice (the cupcakes were lemony) to drizzle over the tops instead. It worked out, but I was amazingly stressed by that situation.

If you could travel to another country just to taste their cuisine, where would you go?
Italy!!! Maybe Amberly and I can go sometime! :)

What is something you have never cooked, but would like to try?
Homemade breads and rolls. I hear they aren't really difficult, I just never make them! My brother-in-law makes great homemade rolls; maybe he could teach me sometime!

What do you consider the 5 most essential ingredients you keep in your kitchen?
Olive Oil
Natures Seasoning

What is comfort food to you?
Beef pot roast with potatoes and carrots, my version of ghoulash, Thanksgiving meal, homemade soup... many more!

What are the ideal toppings for pizza?
Fresh mozzarella cheese, prosciutto, fresh leaf basil & tomato slices (same thing I like in panini sandwiches)

What kitchen utensil/gadget can you not live without?
I really love my pampered chef chopper. I love my onions or jalepenos to be super finely chopped when they are going into mix recipes or the saute pan, and the chopper makes that so easy!

1 comment:

Amberly said...

Dara, I am completely up for a trip to Italy!! I just need to win the Lotto first... :)