Monday, February 25, 2013

Eating Omily: Exploring New Dishes

I just had the yummiest lunch, based on a recipe from Cook Yourself Sexy by Candice Kumai, and modified to fit what I had in my kitchen.  I toasted a piece of bread, and spread it with cream cheese, and a little honey.  Then I topped it with pickled chili peppers, and sardines.  Mmmmm, spicy-sweet omega-3 awesomeness.  I know, it sounds really weird, but it was so so good, especially with lettuce on the side.  I always discover the best flavor combinations when I'm forced to kind of wing it.

I did start with a recipe, though.  Now that I'm meal planning (albiet still a little haphazardly!), I find it's easier to choose new recipes I've never made before based on what's around, and what I can get at the Farmer's Market.  That means we're trying something new at least once a week, which is fun.  This week we made fish cakes (you know, just like crab cakes, but less crabby) with some frozen 'dover sole' that had been taking up freezer space for months.  I got this recipe from Nourishing Traditions.  Flaked up and mixed with egg, breadcrumb, and spices, then browned in oil and butter, the fish was a good deal more inspiring than it had been even under a browned butter sauce.
By using between two-thirds and three-fourths a pound of fish, one egg, one small onion, half a cup of bread crumbs, and some spices (salt, pepper, cayenne), I got four good-sized fish cakes, enough for dinner that night, and lunch for hte husband tomorrow.  I served them over winter squash puree with thawed frozen green beans, and home-made garlic aioli.  That recipe was definitely a winner!

Tonight we're improvising out of Cook Yourself Sexy again!  I'm planning on doing a vegetarian chili with the half-jar of tomatoes in the fridge, and the beans in the freezer.  We'll serve that over buttery polenta.  There will be pizza night, of course.  I'm thinking hotdogs are on the menu, too.  I haven't worked out Friday yet.  I have to go see what all our options are.

Do you like to try new things in the kitchen, or do you stick to trusty dishes you know you can turn out reliably?  I have a terrible habit of only trying new recipes when I'm cooking for guests!  That is basically the worst idea ever.  Hopefully working a new recipe in each week will help me curb that tendency.

Fingers crossed!

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