Friday, 17 August 2012

Cook adventurously

--> When I met my husband, the only thing I could cook was pasta (perfectly) and overcooked vegetables with tofu (burned to a crisp). Even rice eluded my culinary abilities. It’s too bad I only just found this amazing blog. Not to blame my ever-loving parents, but the term “gourmet” did not play a large role in my upbringing. Since then, I’ve come to appreciate and even sometimes cook good food. Here are some tips I’ve learned along the way:

1. Combine unexpected ingredients. This is, at least from my surveys of fine restaurants, the sign of real haute dining. Does the combination of sautĂ©ed strawberries and fried fish sound tasty to you? If not, you clearly do not have a refined palate—something I am also apparently lacking, since I found this dish disgusting, yet paid $20 to choke it down.

2. Don’t serve a boring, tried-and-true dish to dinner guests—try something new! This is really the best way to try new recipes. Your guests will feel too rude not to eat the food you prepared, so you won’t have to eat your own terrible leftovers. Plus, you’ll never be asked to cook again!

When you make something tasty, be sure to catalog it with photographic evidence.

3. Don’t measure anything. From my observations, this is the sign of a good cook. Of course, it might help that said people have a working knowledge of approximately how much of a certain substance to add to a dish (i.e. a pinch of salt vs. a handful), but I think that extra-delicious taste, which not measuring imparts, is known as flair.

4. Always substitute at least one ingredient because you forgot to bring the recipe with you to the store, and/or you hate lists. This is much more fun than just following along with the instructions in a lackluster fashion. Try to see how many ingredients you can substitute and still produce something edible!
Making your food look ugly/gross is one technique for increasing the chances you will get the eat the entire batch.

5. Don’t read a recipe’s instructions before you embark upon following it. This is an especially fun challenge when you realize you don’t have the proper equipment, and you get to do a fun scavenger hunt around the house for an alternative tool. Alternatively, you might realize you were supposed to flambĂ© the pineapple before adding it to the cake…but that’s just too much work, anyway.

6. Mix and Match recipes! It’s great when you use the ingredients from one recipe with the instructions from another—or even better; use half of the ingredients from each of two different recipes! This will lead to exciting combinations you can try out on your friends. 
You can always rely on wine and packaged cookies to save an otherwise disastrous meal.

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