Milk Street: The New Rules
Rules are a mixed blessing. They are useful in building a foundation of knowledge, whether in music or cooking. But they also create boundaries that can dampen improvisation.
The New Rules is our attempt to do both, to create a communal starting point for a new way to cook (well, new to the classic American table) while also inspiring home cooks to abandon rigid culinary notions drawn from America’s European roots and ersatz adaptations of Chinese, Italian and Mexican cuisines.
A few examples. Water for stock. Putting the sweet back into savory. Blooming spices. Bitter and charred as flavors. Herbs as greens. Ginger as a vegetable. Don’t stir polenta. Season early. And late. Cook pasta in its sauce, not water.
This is not a license to discard culinary history. It’s an opportunity to learn from others and rethink what we do at the stove. These rules may be new to us but they are conventional wisdom for millions of home cooks around the world.
New Rules. Old Rules. It all comes down to the same thing. Fresh, bold dishes made with an enthusiasm for the joy of cooking.