I have always been a little (okay, a lot) intimidated to cook steak and chicken at home. I fear an undercooked-driven food poisoning night from hell or deeply embarrassing overcooked tough piece of cardboard. Or even worse, setting the smoke alarm off in my rental and alerting my building and the surrounding neighborhood that I am not a good cook. Also, I have belonged to the churches of veganism and vegitarianism for most of my adulthood, so I have been off the hook for the most part. All good and well until I shacked up with a man who is a carnivore at his core. During the first year or so of sharing a living space and me making dinner for our little family, I only flirted with making chicken and steak. I really was so stressed from the moment I had to defrost the frozen packs all the way until the cooked meat hit the table. In between, my brain was on fight or flight mode, stressing, nervous, asking my cohabitant to open the balcony door and switch the fans on, apologizing to my little family for the smoke alarm going off, killing the cooking heat because I'm afraid.... I mean, the list goes on. It always worked out fine, but I was never impressed with my cooking method or proud of the dinner I put on the table. It was always a holy mary situation.
Over the summer, I took a virtual cooking class with a NYC based chef, Chef David, who taught me to make braised chicken breasts with a white wine, mustard and dill sauce. Chef David was on Zoom with me, he walked me through every step - starting from pulling out my ingredients and finishing the class with my plating the chicken thighs and beautifully spooning the sauce on top. I knew if something happened, everything would be okay because Chef David would help me to save the day. I learned how to calmly, easily and beautifully braise chicken thighs. In 30 minutes. It honestly felt too good to be true. But it's true. Added bonus, the smoke detector never went off. I felt totally at ease, even with raw chicken breasts on the menu. Since class, every time I braise chicken, I only think of my Zoom call with Chef, I think of all of the tips and steps he walked me through. Replaying the class in my head gets me through cook time, every time.
I am a better cook when I enjoy the process of cooking and I bet you are too. I encourage you to take a virtual cooking class for something you're too intimidated to cook, or something you've never made before. It'll be a great learning experience from someone who already knows how to do it perfectly. No more holy marys in the kitchen.
Checkout festcooking.com for cooking classes via Zoom.