Today's New York Times has an article about Chris Schlesinger (from the East Coast Grill in Cambridge MA) grilling a delicious-sounding dinner of chourico, cherrystones, and bluefish: A Perfect Change-Up With Bluefish, Sausage and Clams.
"Everybody stresses recipes, but it doesn't work that way," he said, piling fresh logs onto glowing coals in the round fire pit he dug into his patio six years ago. "Technique is the whole deal."
"Here's the thing about recipes," he said. "You can follow them as close as you like, but the recipe doesn't know how big or small your fire is, or whether you have a four-ounce fillet or a six-ounce one or even what the temperature outside is." He pulled at the shoulder of his baseball jersey and wiped his brow with the material. "You have got to have the confidence to screw things up," he said.
It sounds delicious, and just the thing to try and make in a few weeks when I'm on Nantucket. And I like Mr. Schlesinger's approach — if you're afraid of screwing up in the kitchen, you're paralyzed. You need to just go for it, wing it, and just keep your wits about you, whether it's fish on the grill or a mango salsa. (Except baking, don't wing it with baking, baking is all about exactness, and you'll be very sorry if you wing it while baking.) Also, I very much like Mr. Schlesinger's Red Sox jersey. Very much.