Ok, someone had to get this thread started since we'll be barraged w/ best of lists this week. Here's how I'm framing the question:
What is your ONE best tip, technique, recipe, etc. that you picked up this past year? Could have come from CH or elsewhere.
Please provide any relevant references such as a link to an old post, paraphrased recipe, photo, etc.
Carb Lover's Best of 2005
I thought long and hard and if I had to choose one culinarily transformative thing this past year, it would have to be the pre-seasoning technique from the Zuni Cafe Cookbook, which you've heard me tout ad nauseum. It all started w/ that chicken and bread salad recipe which I've linked below.
I have been experimenting w/ this pre-salting technique and have found that it works great to pre-salt at least 2 days ahead on hunks of meat like leg of lamb, short ribs, lamb shank, etc. Think it would have worked great for rib roast too. For leaner poultry like chicken and turkey, I wouldn't pre-salt anymore than 1-2 days before, as the meat can dry out in my experience. I never gave a full report on my T-giving turkey (photo below), but the 4 days of dry brining (aka pre-salting) cured the meat in a funky way and dried it out too much. 2 days max for turkey no matter the size. For small cuts like fish filet and steak, I pre-season just 30-60 min. ahead of time.
Thanks for a great year of cooking, eating, and culinary commiseration! Look forward to your responses. A Worst Of list could be interesting and funny, but I'll leave that for someone else to start...Happy New Year!