Friday Five: Inspirations and a Video
Here are five cooking thoughts trolling through my taste buds: 1) Lil ate root vegetables! - I agreed to make a video featuring Newman's Own ingredients in exchange for a video camera and some of their products. I do honestly purchase Newman's Own products and genuinely like the brand, so this was an easy video to kick out. What surprised me was that my co-star, picky daughter Lil, actually ate the sweet potatoes and beets in the recipe I prepared! She hasn't willingly eaten either ingredient in years! Watch our goofy video if you want and I'll share the recipe Tuesday for what I made.
2) Brined green peppercorns - This ingredient was used by Del Sroufe at his recent Hills Market cooking class. I was fascinated as I've never heard of or tasted Brined Green Peppercorns. They packed a big flavor punch into the pasta dish he made. I want to make them myself (of course) and figure it can't be that hard with only four ingredients listed on the bottle: vinegar, water, salt and peppercorns.
3) Smoked fried chicken - I am reading Ideas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work, a cook book for true food nerds. It details the scientific reasons behind the way food behaves. I have been obsessed with the idea of their cold-smoked then fried chicken even though I don't have a cold-smoker.
4) Alpaca - I was browsing Dine Originals Restaurant Week menus online. There are so many great ones but I was truly surprised by the Ohio alpaca terrine offered by The Refectory Restaurant and Bistro. What I know of the alpaca industry is that the animals are most often raised for fiber. I'm curious where the chef is finding meat alpacas and what in the world they taste like.
5) Cooking to make an emotional experience - Yesterday, I listened to Fresh Air featuring Alinea chef Grant Achatz. He described that in designing his highly creative meals, he aims to affect a person emotionally. I've never deliberately tried to affect others' feelings with my cooking, but I certainly do address my own emotions in what I cook.