What’s the secret to cooking a great meal? Keep it simple and focus on the basics, says Ed Szamborski.
By Georgetta L. Morque
What’s the secret to cooking a great meal? Keep it simple and focus on the basics, says Ed Szamborski. Techie by day as owner of AAccess.Net, computer care and IT services for home and business, he’s also a passionate cook who has honed his culinary talents into a new venture, Ed’s Kitchen Simple, a YouTube channel with instructions for preparing easy, fresh, and delicious dishes.
Szamborski always loved to cook and learned a lot from his mother. Yet, over the past ten years, he’s taken to the kitchen more seriously, reading hundreds of recipes and cookbooks and watching TV and Internet cooking shows. When he lived in England, he picked up his first and very influential cookbook, a classic, “Great Dishes of the World” by Robert Carrier, published in 1963. A current influence is The Food Network’s Alton Brown.
“I’ll read five recipes and take out what I don’t like and modify it to come up with a recipe I like,” said Szamborski. His goal is to help people learn how to cook in a way that’s very straightforward. “It’s not as complicated as you think.”
Take salad dressing, for example. Szamborski doesn’t understand why more people don’t make their own since it’s so simple, and many of the store brands are filled with chemicals, salt, and sugar. His balsamic vinaigrette, which takes about one minute to put together, uses only three ingredients — oil, vinegar, and Dijon mustard, which helps bind the oil to the vinegar.
Another easy favorite is leek and potato soup, which involves sautéing chopping leeks and adding potatoes and chicken stock. “In a half an hour, you have an incredible soup.” Among the dishes enjoyed by his family and friends and shared on the show are pasta with homemade clam sauce, which he says is the easiest in the world to make, butterflied roast chicken, massaged kale, seared tuna steak, beef stew with vegetables, and omelets.
He focuses on fresh ingredients, which can be found in any supermarket, basic tools, and simple techniques. By keeping it simple, he believes people can prepare restaurant quality food at home with minimal effort. “You can eat so much better focusing on the basics.”
Visit www.kitchensimple.tv and get cooking.
Rack of Lamb
Breadcrumbs (per rack)
1/2 cup (homemade if you’ve got them, panko or plain)
½ cup parsley
Minced garlic clove
2 minced shallots
Extra virgin olive oil
Mix together the breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic and shallots, and moisten with the oil. Salt and pepper the rack of lamb. Rub and cover with the breadcrumb mixture.
Place in a 400 F. oven until done. Track doneness with an electronic meat thermometer (130 F. for rare, 140 F. for medium, 150 F. for well done).
Let rest for 10 minutes after removing from oven.