Thursday, 7 June 2012

Favourite Ingredients and Creating New Recipes

Lounge Play List:

Evanescence ~ Evanescence Album

I am quite often asked what my favourite ingredients are..and how I come up with my own I thought I would write a posting about both.

For me the creative process of coming up with new recipes is very simple but by no means always It usually starts with the image of the dish I want to create..i.e a pasta dish with a 'new' sauce. So my creative process almost always starts with a visual and then that morphs into a intense flavour sensation which then leads to pencil and paper brain storming as I try to filter the ingredients it would take for me to recreate the image/taste in my mind. Did I mention that my mind is a scary place? I did? Oh good lol.

I have many folders filled with scribbled down ideas that have been written on all sorts of paper And there they sit until I have the ingredients to give them a trial run. The final stage is kitchen based as I begin to prep the ingredients and then the cooking starts as I start the process of 'little of this and a little of that'...which is usually accompanied by a lot of Expletive Therapy until I have the 'mix' just right.

Then the dish/es are then tested on people to gain their thoughts...then some more tinkering happens..and then when I am completely satisfied with the results..they become a Rocket and Roses recipe.

But that all being said..there are days when I absentmindedly throw ingredients into a pan and then have to remember how much I used and what I did and scribble it all down on a notepad as I eat my When eating out..(and that rarely happens around here due to the very little vegan offerings where I live)..if I really enjoy a recipe I will then sit down with my pad and write out how I think it was made..what I would adapt and then hit the kitchen and try to come up with something similar but that is not creating my own recipe so I always give credit where it is due but the 'breaking down the ingredients ' process is almost the same.

So onto my favourite ingredients this list could have been a Top 100! But choosing a Top 10 was quite hard because as I brain stormed the list and committed ingredients to the list..another 5 I'd forgotten would pop into my head! lol. To be fair..this is my list of 10 for today..yesterday it may have been different and tomorrow it certainly will

Rocket and Roses Top 10 Favourite Ingredients
(in no particular order..well..OK Brocs would always be at the top! lol)

1. Broccoli

I will eat Broccoli until the day I die. I love this veggie..I love it raw, stir fried, steamed, roasted, pureed as a sauce and enjoy coming up with new ways to use it.

2. Tofu

Being a very recent convert to the white stuff..well..I guess not that I've been very happily cooking with tofu for that last five years..and I enjoy creating recipes with it, in its many forms. I am by no means at the cut a slice and place it in a sandwich stage..but I do use it often..

3. Grains

I love brown rice..and brown basmati rice..and use them often. I also like bulgar wheat, barley, pot barley, spelt and quinoa. I try and vary my grain intake as I can't tolerate too much wheat based grains. So I experiment a lot with the alternative grains.

However I am not the biggest lover of white rice and cous cous. My preferred white rice dish is Thai Coconut Rice which is a treat every once in a while. And I would choose bulgar over cous cous any day but I still enjoy a cous cous salad every now and then..

4. Butternut Squash/Squashes

The first time I tried this veggie it was blitzed in a soup and it was just awful..overly sweet and spicy in a bad way..not good and it put me off for a while. But then I bought another and created my own recipe and from there, I was hooked and I loved creating and experimenting with this particular veg and also enjoy the squash family in its entirety.

5. Lentils & Beans

This ingredient will come as no surprise to any of you, eh? lol I love all lentils and beans..seriously haven't tried one I don't like yet. My favourites are most probably chickpeas, pinto, aducki beans and any form of lentil. I love including them in all dishes I create myself and I am always searching out new recipes that include them....I am very in touch with my bean/lentil side! lol

6. Noodles

Caribbean Chow Mein. I have a noodle shelf in my kitchen and on it is every form of vegan noodle I have been able to find on my I love noodles..the many ways they can be used. I enjoy coming up with new dishes to use them in or serve over them. And I also love the speed in which they can be cooked. I really love cold noodle salads too. This recipe is one of my favourite hot noodle dishes.

7. Cauliflower

I have always loved cauli..and anyway it comes to me. I love making it into creamy sauces for pasta and one of my favourite pates is my own roasted cauli pate. And in Isa's Curried Cauliflower's divine. Yep..I have a lot of time for this pale

8. Garam Masala & Spices

If I was pushed to answer..I would always say the the heavenly spice blend that is garam masala is my all time favourite spice. And I know that is cheating as it's a blend but I don't care. lol. But I do love all spices and herbs..except rosemary..Oooh that is the demon herb..yuck! lol. But spices for me invoke memories...I love experimenting with them..doesn't always come out good but it's always fun!

9. Wholemeal Pasta

For me..wholemeal pasta is the only pasta. Or any wholegrain pasta..spelt etc. I find plain white pasta  tasteless and a texture I really don't enjoy. I love the taste of wholemeal pasta and I often just eat it cooked with a little grated black pepper on it..on my not well days..

I really enjoy thinking up new sauces and ways to use this much loved ingredient. And oddly don't react to wheat when in pasta form..bizarre eh?

10. Green Leafies

In whatever form they come in I will devour and worship However I am picky about the way they are cooked. I cannot bear them to be ruined by being boiled...I like mine steamed or stir fried. The exception to this rule is soups but I always leave it to the very last minute to add them so they retain their great green colour.

Couldn't pick a them all..but I can tell you I really want to cry when people serve me spinach cooked in vegan butter or oil..and it's all slimey. Nope not good. I like my, fresh and just cooked..just. But I do love creating with them..

And of course whilst writing this a thousand ingredients came into my honourable mentions to garlic, chilli, ginger, courgettes..erm..TVP..erm..OK that's the start of another Maybe I should do a list of ingredients I don't like?? lol

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Thursday is being good to you...I am away to scribble another list for next time and a few new