Saturday, July 31, 2010
0 A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That.....
Balsamic Strawberries with Sweet Ricotta Cream. I knew it was going to make some people stop and think, "Would this combination actually taste good?" And believe me, I'd had some initial reservations too. However, I'd previously watched a few cooking shows where professional chefs had used balsamic vinegar in desserts, so I'd had a bit more time to warm up to the idea. :) I thought to myself, "Who knows, it might actually be good!" And besides, it's just food; it's not like I'm not fire-walking here. :) What's the worst thing that could happen? That I don't like it?!" Pfffft, so what. Big freakin' deal. :)
Whether people realize it or not, the recipes on this blog are very carefully selected for their potential appeal or potential culinary challenges. :)
Admittedly, not all of the recipes here are for everybody. Some might even very well give people pause before they dip their toe in & convince themselves to take a risk, step into the unknown, & try something totally beyond their parameters. That is intentional. :)
After all, what is life without a little adventure? Yes, sometimes the point of this blog is to take people out of their culinary comfort zones.
So, to hedge my bets (& not waste food!), I decided to only make a little bit of it in my test kitchen. And you know what? It was surprisingly good. I didn't expect that. Had I chosen not to try it, I'd never have discovered this. I'd never have known. In fact, I would probably still be wondering right now whether or not I would like it. :) Instead of being a big chicken (Bock bock!) & playing it safe, I decided to take the opportunity to go for it, satisfy my curiosity, & expand my horizons.
This is why I like to post new recipes that I (and possibly others) have never tried before. Recipes that challenge people's perceptions, parameters, & palates. :) It's not just an opportunity to try something new. It goes beyond that. It's an opportunity to learn, to shatter preconceived notions, to enjoy expanded concepts of oneself & the world around them.
If it isn't already obvious by now, I rarely choose the easiest or the safest path. As the expression goes, with the greatest risks also come the greatest rewards. Plus, there has to be a challenge in it somewhere or I'll quickly lose interest. :) Also, there has to be a newness or sense of discovery in it as well: To be honest, I'd become bored rather quickly if I limited myself to making only one type of cuisine (i.e., standard American fare) or dish; this has to be fun for me too. :) I want to make new dishes that I've never made or tasted before, from all over the globe, & also create completely new & original combinations & culinary concepts that no one has ever thought of doing before.
I find that the longer I cook, the more adventurous I become. :)
Interestingly enough, one of the side effects of being adventurous over a prolonged period of time is that I now have an expanded definition of what "comfort food" actually is. :-D I've become comfortable making & eating a lot more types of dishes these days, and therefore realize that my definition of "comfort food" is probably a lot different from what others might find comforting. But I'm more than OK with that. :) To each their own. What might be old hat to me might be new to someone else, and vice versa.
So, I will gladly sprinkle this blog with a few comforting, classic dishes if it means that I can present some new ideas here too. :) To me, cooking for pleasure doesn't necessarily mean playing it safe. A lot of time I cook for the sheer adventure of it. I'm a culinary explorer, & so those of you who aren't accustomed to this might want to hang on tight. :)
Even so, most times, I try to make a point of posting recipes that are accessible to a large cross-section of individuals. Recipes that I think will appeal to a larger audience. That way, I figure that the ones who are less familiar with certain culinary combinations will hopefully overlook my occasional forays into the unknown. :) When I go off the map from time to time, you can bet that there'll usually be a "safe & comforting" recipe or two not far behind it. :)
This way, amidst the adventure & the unexpected, there'll also be enough recipes that are easy for people to wrap their heads -- and mouths (!) -- around. A little something for everybody. A little bit of this, a little bit of that. :)