Monday, February 1, 2010

How To Lose a Day in the Kitchen

It's been one of those days where I've spent the whole morning and afternoon thinking about and making food. I can spend hours in a fresh food market and be fascinated by the wonderful colours and shapes. My favourite part is ripping apart herb leaves and smelling and tasting them (while no one's looking, of course).

These holidays I've been putting more thought into what I cook. Time and patience make cooking a cathartic experience. From the creativity of putting flavours and textures together (it's amazing how we can imagine the visuals and tactility of food) to the humdrum of chopping vegetables (when we get to really know our food), cooking is an all-consuming experience. It gives me peace of mind, time to think. I plate things up and I'm a better person.

Today I decided to try out an oldie of mine (chicken and bacon on skewers, glazed with balsamic vinegar and sugar) with something I'd never tried before (roasted beetroot in a salad of beetroot leaves, cos lettuce and raw leek). To that I added a dressing of pureed roasted garlic and sauteed leeks, olive oil, lime juice, cream, salt and pepper. The skewers of meat were smoky and sweet, which went together beautifully with the creamy, garlicky and slightly acidic dressing. And the mellowed beetroot was surprisingly delightful (I'm not one who enjoys beetroot in burgers, but this I loved).

The best part of today? I've come up with a new dish to add to my repertoire, I've learnt how to improve it (for one, the raw leek has to go) and I've had a long, enjoyable day in the kitchen.

I'll be putting up a vlog for this recipe soon, very soon, so keep your eyes peeled. In the meantime, keeping cooking and expanding your comfort zone, and please feel free to comment with suggestions!

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