Ok, so I realize that as a pop-cultural reference, “What Would ______ Do?” is hideously outdated. And yet, over the last several weeks, I have developed a mantra using said trite construction. “What would Paul Prudhomme do?” is something I ask myself on an almost daily basis.
This makes a certain amount of sense, as one of the formative moments in my decision to go into the culinary arts professionally involved watching a rerun of some TV show in which he cut up a chicken. He made it look so easy! The man has obviously butchered a chicken or two in his day. So it started with butchering chickens. But the mantra has made its way into other cooking arenas:
“Should I use black pepper, white pepper, or cayenne? WWPPD? All three!”
“Do these mashed potatoes need more butter, salt, or cream? WWPPD? YES!”
“What is this tomato sauce missing? WWPPD? Sugar!”
And so on. Luckily, in most cases, this results in the chicken getting butchered faster and more efficiently, the seasoning being aggressive but tasty, and the mouthfeel being, well, unctuous (look it up). All good things, in my book.
So does anyone else have a cooking mantra? What is it? I’d love to hear!