I am usually a bit conflicted when it comes to deciding when it is worth sticking to a recipe, and when it is worth using a shortcut.
My significant other and I threw 2 T-bone steaks on the grill last night, and we wanted something (besides corn on the cob) to accompany them so I decided to make a bordelaise sauce.
Like most recipes for a bordelaise sauce, the one on Martha Stewart's website calls for a shallots, parsley, and a bouquet garni. The shallots are vital for flavoring the sauce, and the thyme that is part of the bouquet garni is also important (but I must say that I just don't get what the fuss is about parsley).
But I am not going to go to the trouble of purchasing cheesecloth, inserting parsley and thyme into it and then tying it all up with kitchen string. Dried thyme or fresh thyme work just fine. The fact that I could see small grains of thyme in my bordelaise didn't make the sauce any less wonderful with my steak. My significant other didn't seem to mind either.
When it comes to cooking, there are things worth fussing over, and cheesecloth isn't one of them.
If you're wondering, this is the red Tempranillo that we drank with our steak. It was earthy and full-bodied but soft on the finish -- so much so that I would have thought it had just a touch of Merlot in it. The blogger at WhatToDrinkTonight seems to like this wine too.