Thursday, June 2, 2011

My Food Adventures

So here I sit.  Thinking about all my food adventures.  Going places and experincing different foods. All in this country of course!  New Orleans will always be one of my favorites.  Recently I went to Las Vegas.  I had the BEST EVER meal at Lupo.  I had no idea I'd fall in love with Pork Belly.  It was so good I wanted to lick my plate.  I refrained, but just barely!!

But this is the part of me that craves adventures.  I love trying new things, visiting new places, learning some of it's history, and just appreciating where I am today.  That meal at Lupo- Pork Chop with Apple-Fennel Marmalade and rasher of Pork Belly. The pork was brined and smoked.  This was a more rustic, yet elegant dish.  It was something that you could have made many years ago, but with today's technology, it's simple and elegant.  Perfection.

My own creations are not that simple.  Since I love to try new things, I have an abundance of stuff in my cupboards.  I like to get out of my Food Comfort Zone every once in a while.  That's why I have Beignet Mix, Sushi Rice, Dried Beans, Curry Paste, four kinds of Vinegar, and a Spice Collection that would Wow just about any other Home Chef!!

Over the years my experiments have improved.  When my old friend Mo and I used to use Grape Nuts, Honey, Green Food Coloring, and whatever else I could combine, we'd laugh about the horrible stench (still can't stand Grape Nuts).  But these days my applesauce wins them over!

It's also great that I'm dating a guy who is open minded about food.  Well sort of.  He won't try my sushi.  Not that I blame him.  He's my Meat & Potatoes man.  He'll eat the rice, and yes he's had some soy burgers (not that I told him it was soy!), and he'll embrace a good vegetable covered plate. We don't live together, but we spend weekends (and there was the month that he lived with me while he worked close by) and whatever else time together. He can cook, but I love to cook.  Hit or Miss.  Pass or Fail.  I'm telling you, I need a rice cooker at his house (or at least a good pan with a lid that seals well!!).

My creations, or Food Adventures as I like to call them, recently have taken a turn.  While reading my two favorite magazines, Bon Appetit and Sunset, I keep finding inspiration!  Take Crisp.  I always do an Apple Crisp.  I can make an apple crisp without a recipe, and I know it'll be good. I have YEARS of doing so.

So, because B's family are rhubarb nuts (I only started eating it a few years ago), and I'm a strawberry baby, and the fact that I recently made a straw-rhub compote for yogurt, I decided to make a Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp!  Now I thought it was delicious, coming from a fresh fruit crisp perspective.  But B and family love just Rhubarb.  It's a family thing.  It was good, but Crisp should be apple, and Pie should be Rhubarb.  Well I suck at pie.  I can never get it just right.  That's why I like Crisps.  I can adjust them halfway if I need to.  But with Pie, there are no changes, just Pass or Fail.

Other Fail recipes are Lemon Chicken, Undercooked Fried Rice Stir Fry, Jerk Sauced Pork.

But the Great Pass ideas outnumber the Fails.  Just last night I made Potato Salad.  But not your normal potato salad.  Again, with B's parents, we were looking at a BBQ guide.  Where would we be without the desire to try something new?  I would not have ever made my Blackberry Chicken, Shrimp Wraps, or even the BNB Spice Mixes.  Where would you be without your Dilly or Chipotle Dips??

So in honor of my adventurous nature, this weekend I'll be attempting the Mediterranean Menu from this current Bon Appetit Magazine!  Grilled Steak Salad on Friday Night and Yogurt Marinaded Grilled Leg of Lamb with Cucumber Salad and Mint Tea for Saturday Night!

Then Sunday I'll strike and it's B cook night.  I wonder what he's got in store for me!!

Do you have a favorite Food Adventure?  Something completely fail, or was it surprisingly good?

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