I made my first-ever reduction at dinner tonight!!! It's probably not a big deal to those of you who really cook on a regular basis, but I feel like I've graduated to the next level of culinary greatness. Let me remind four hours...
I went to the 101 session at the new Super Suppers
in southwest Austin this afternoon. The 101 session includes a good look at the facility, snacks cooked there in the Super Suppers kitchen, a demonstration of how the process works by the owner/chef (Amy was great), a free make-it-yourself dinner, and a discount on any other menu items from the month. Amy made it look so easy as she whipped up half a dozen Crispy Asian Rolls. Everything she needed was prepped and ready, right on the table in front of her. No chopping, no washing. She just mixed up the filling, wrapped them up and was good to go. At this point, the 12 or so of us that were there were all handed two sheets of paper: one explaining the discounts we could get if we decided to make any meals beyond our free meal for the day, and one was a check-off list of the February menu items that we could choose from.
We each handed our menu check-off list to the folks working there, and within minutes all of the prep stations and kitchen areas were stocked with chopped onions, alfredo sauce, chicken breasts, Dr Pepper, cumin, sugar, cheese etc.
I don't think a single person there made just the free meal and then bolted.
I chose to try the King Ranch Chicken first. For some reason I was a nervous wreck putting together a meal in a kitchen that wasn't mine. I didn't know where the mixing bowls were, or the foil, or the nonstick spray. But it only took me a minute to realize that that didn't matter. Everything was there, right in front of me, ready to be mixed together. I think my King Ranch Chicken was ready to go into the freezer within about 10 minutes.
Next, Dr Pepper Flank Steak. The steak started marinating in Dr Pepper while I created a dry rub with sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin (I've never used cumin in my life) and a few other ingredients. A sauce was then created from part of the dry rub and more Dr Pepper.
Finally, I rounded out my afternoon there with a Cheesy Alfredo Poppy Seed Chicken dish. It's a very pretty dish just sitting in the freezer, topped with crushed crackers and poppy seeds.
So, I left there with two dinners of each of those meals, and I purchased a "grab 'n go" Pecan Praline Chicken from their freezer: seven meals, six handmade, ready to walk out the door in an hour. An hour.
Back to my reduction... tonight we decided to try the Dr Pepper flank steak. Simple enough. The steak which had been marinating in the nectar of the gods went into a skillet on the stove top. I tossed some rosemary and garlic new potatoes in the oven to bake up, and the Dr Pepper with a little bit of the rub sprinkled in went into a small saute' pan to boil and reduce.
And now I have six more meals in the freezer, ready to be partnered up with a side salad or some steamed veggies, or maybe even some fresh garlic bread. Tomorrow night's menu is the poppy seed chicken and some fresh green beans. So far, I'm very pleased and will probably spend the next three weeks trying to figure out what to make from the March menu
Labels: Austin, food