Have you ever watched Chopped on the Food Network channel? If you haven't, and you enjoy cooking, I would recommend it. The basic gist of the show is that renowned chefs are given a 'mystery' basket, in which are (usually) four random ingredients. They are required to make a dish using at least those ingredients, plus any other ingredients from the pantry and fridge in the kitchen. The first round is an appetizer; one out of four chefs gets 'chopped' if the judges find that dish unacceptable. The second round is a main course; one out of three chefs gets 'chopped'. The final course is dessert; one out of two gets chopped and there is a winner.
The fascinating thing about this show to me is that these chefs can create amazing dishes, in an instant, with the strangest ingredients. It's inspired me to try and create new things, even if I don't know what I'm doing.
Seeing that it was Cinco de Mayo yesterday, I decided to try out a new appetizer idea: Mexican Spring Rolls. Sounds good, right? I mixed some black beans, tomatoes, onions, garlic salt and chili powder together to create a salsa of sorts. It was pretty yummy. Then, I had this brilliant idea to make wonton wrappers. Have you ever tried this? Don't. I successfully rolled out one, which took me close to five minutes; the recipe was supposed to make 72. That would have taken 6 hours, just to roll them out.
I put together that one roll, baked it, and ate it. The taste was fine, presentation wasn't too shabby, but the texture needed help. Getting creative in the kitchen is rewarding to me, even in the event of a fail, because it enhances my knowledge and practice in the art of cooking. If this dish been judged, it most certainly would have been chopped.
*I try not to google the recipes that I think I've made up, before trying them. It's always fun, though, afterward to look up what others have created with the same name. Here are some images of successful Mexican Spring/Egg Rolls:
|The Lean Green Bean|
|Simple Comfort Food|