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trying something different - leo the lamb - 02-28-2016

Last night my creative juices were flowing and I decided to dress up a carton of creamy butternut squash soup. When I tried the soup by itself, the flavor wasn't quite what I'd expected, but I went ahead with my idea anyway. First I toasted some walnut pieces in a pan. Then I fried some diced potato with chopped onion and carrot until the taters were not quite done. I diluted the soup with milk and added the veggies and nuts. I'd been thinking celery would be nice, but there was some cooked broccoli in the fridge that turned out to be the better choice. Finally I threw in a bit of diced avocado, against my initial judgment. When I first tried my creation, it tasted.. interesting. In a good way. Mostly. The more spoonfuls I eat of the stuff, the more I like it. The avocado didn't really take away from the soup, but it didn't add anything either. Maybe next time I'll puree it into the soup base. The walnuts were a good call, adding flavor and a light crunch. The only thing I wish I'd added is a dab of peanut butter, but I had none.

This was the most unusual meal I ever made, as my palate is rather undeveloped (my first time at a Chinese buffet I ate maybe half the things I loaded onto my plate - the things that most resembled American fast food). I don't cook often, but I look forward to trying new things and trusting my intuition with flavors and textures.

What unusual dishes have you all made/attempted when you were feeling adventurous or resourceful?

RE: trying something different - The Inimitable Lady Semp - 03-03-2016

I made stuffed grape leaves. It's a Lebanese thing. A lot of work to make, and lamb isn't cheap. I wouldn't make it again, but I'd eat it again if necessary. I certainly wouldn't go out of my way to have any.

RE: trying something different - leo the lamb - 03-03-2016

Try it with cabbage and beef instead. Yum.

RE: trying something different - leo the lamb - 11-25-2016

My stepdad created a salad for Thanksgiving that I really like. He shredded some green and red cabbage, onion, and celery to a medium-fineness, then added mayonnaise and some raisins and walnut pieces. The bite of the onion works nicely with the raisins' sweetness.

RE: trying something different - leo the lamb - 02-03-2017

I bought this huge shnozzcumber-looking thing called a sweet potato squash. I actually too one of the small ones, and it's still pretty big. It sat around for a while but I finally broke into it. I cooked some chunks in with my creamy corn porridge, and it was kinda like pumpkin but blander. Then I boiled some pieces and tried it with butter and salt. It's somewhere between pumpkin and sweet potato, but with a rather unsatisfying texture. Some brown sugar on top is not bad (that's how my mom loves to eat pumpkin). I think I'll cook and puree the rest and mix it into pancake batter and the like.

RE: trying something different - leo the lamb - 09-10-2017

Now that I have an income, I've been buying things to try out recipes, and buying fresh produce in general.

Yesterday I thickly sliced two cabbage heads and laid them down in a large casserole with molten butter. 375 in the oven had some leaf edges browning prematurely, so I lowered it to 350 and let it cook until mostly tender, maybe 45 min. I periodically basted my 'steaks' with more butter until they were nicely coated, then at the end I cranked it up to broil and sprinkled on some burger spice mix which smelled appropriate, together with leftover packets of Domino's parmesan. It was devoured in short order, so I got to slicing up an enormous head of cauliflower and did the same with that. I thought waffle-cut sweet potato fries were the most addictive substance, but roasted cauliflower may have them beat.

Today I made a quick guacamole with diced avocado, onion, and lemon juice, and seeing some mango pieces nearby figured they would work. I diced up a bit and mixed it in, and after eating several chips of my guac decided it didn't even need salt.

Then I decided to go ahead with the broccoli salad I'd been planning. I melted a bunch of butter in a mason jar, added an egg, and went at it with my stick blender. Within seconds I had thick mayonnaise. I put some sunflower seeds in a skillet and set it on low, then chopped a bunch of broccoli and onion. I added the toasted seeds, a couple handfuls of raisins, my mayo, some plain yogurt and a couple spoonfuls of honey. It was a success. The raisins I used have some tartness compared to the usual, so they make a good substitute for dried cranberries. After the salad sat out a couple of hours, the onions have lost some crisp, so I think I would add them later unless the salad was to be eaten right away.

Finally, I was inspired to make some sort of fruit salad for myself, and settled on a simple mix of chopped figs and banana covered in cream. It was like eating the most decadent cereal.

trying something different - Rulebreaker - 09-10-2017

I cook all the time. But I'm not very adventurous- I like recipes. Lol.
I did make sushi - a California roll- for the first time at home. It was delicious. I also have a banging broccoli cheese soup I semi created. I took some ideas from recipes I'd read and did my own thing.

Btw- if I were you, I'd sub out the lemon for lime in the guac. And cilantro!!

Happy cooking!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

RE: trying something different - leo the lamb - 09-11-2017

I like recipes too, but I sometimes can't help experimenting a bit or ignoring the instructions to measure ingredients.

I would have used lime for my guac if I'd had any, but there was a lemon that was quickly going bad so I decided to use that. Cilantro is something I hadn't even thought of putting in guacamole, figuring it was limited to salsa. Cheesy broccoli and/or cauliflower soup is something I must make.

I put the remains of my broccoli salad in my thermal food jar and ate it at work today, but unfortunately it hadn't kept well. Still quite edible, but definitely best freshly made.

Lately I'm itching to try a mushroom potato salad recipe from a Russian food blog.

RE: trying something different - leo the lamb - 04-07-2018

I was frying up a skillet of onions to go with leftover mashed potatoes, and nibbled on some dried mission figs (the little dark ones). Almost immediately my brain made a connection, probably remembering that one pizza that included figs as a topping. I hemmed and hawed, finally halving a few figs and heating them through in some of the half-caramelized onion in a personal pan. It went on top of some cold mashed potatoes, making a delicious light meal.

RE: trying something different - Miss TTU Runner-Up - 04-08-2018

Leo, I enjoy reading about your cooking experiments!

I am mostly a recipe person, except for chili. I have experimented with using some different spice blends on meat and fish. I discovered PeriPeri which is good on pork chops. When I am in Atlanta, I like to go to Penzey’s spice shop and sniff everything in the store!