Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thing 25 - Online Quest for Food

OK, I have to admit here, I have been partial to online recipe networks. The idea that you could open your fridge, count the ingredients, and enter them in a search query to see what you can cook struck me as genious the minute I came across Epicurious many many years ago. Ever since, instead of reading recipes and then going out shopping, I would often buy some "thing" that I always wanted to cook, but did not know how, come back home and delve into the bulk of Epicurious suggestions and followup reviews. Should I stick to the recipe and make Mahi-mahi with that Orange Avocado Salsa or substitute orange with mango and see what happens? (both scenarios have been tested and proved delicious). I am not an obidient cook, and online recipe search lets me get the big picture, and then mix and match (not always successfully, but at least I can share the experiment or get alerted not to follow some instruction literally).

For those with kids and Star Wars fans, I recommend our favorite C3PO droid pasta. It is a very easy dish made from spagetti, bread toasts cut up as faces, and yellow squash, boiled in chicken or vegetable stock with a pinch of tamarind for extra yellowness and later decorated with black bean or pine nut eye pupils, as shown on the picture. I tested this on 3 little boys last week - they all loved their droid despite presumably hostile attitudes to squash and tamarind. Pour the yellow stock over pasta while the kids look away, and it tastes even better!
Another recently discovered party pleaser for holidays (contrasting nicely with turkey and potatoes) would be Roasted Mushrooms with Feta, Spinach, and Bacon, which, by the way, goes perfectly fine without the bacon or feta - the latter could be substituted with goat cheese. Hm... let me see now what others are cooking.

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