5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.
Are you afraid of ... new food?
If you answered yes, please pleasepleasepleaseplease don't be. There's not an eggplant lurking in the shadows wearing a hockey mask, scout's honor.
Here's our two cents: If an unfamiliar edible ends up not being your thing, at least you can say you tried. The worst thing that's going to happen is that you're not going to like it. As we say in this neck of the woods, "if it tastes good, it is good" - at the end of the day, to each their own.
So if you're feeling brave and ready to venture into the market boondocks with wild abandon, Aida Mollenkamp, Cooking Channel host of “Ask Aida” and "FoodCrafters," is here to help you get started.
Adventure is out there!
Five Ways to Become a Food Adventurer: Aida Mollenkamp
It’s a fine line - approximately one grocery store aisle in width - that separates food adventure from mealtime monotony. Despite best intentions, a lot of us turn to the same flavors week after week. It may be out of convenience, habit, or just fear of trying something new, but the result is the same: things get really bland really quickly. Here’s my five-point plan to break the cycle.
1. Follow flavors you like
"Don’t think of your favorite recipe merely as one dish but rather as layers and layers of flavors, so taste and dissect the details at your next dinner. Who knows? You may think you dislike cumin only to realize it’s in a lot of the dishes you dig. Consider these ingredients as jumping-off points for exploration. Wary to try Indian food but you swear by pico de gallo salsa? The chiles, tomatoes and cilantro are shared by both cuisines so it might be more familiar than you might think."
2. Travel through your taste buds
"Any food lover worth her weight dreams about eating steaming bowls of pho in the streets of Vietnam, but not all of us can afford that reality. So, if you’re longing to travel somewhere, live vicariously through the region’s cuisine - while you won’t have souvenirs and snapshots, you’ll rack up plenty of food memories."
3. Buy something new every time you shop
"Consider each trip to the market as a chance to explore. There’s no need to devote hours to a grocery store trip, but strive to buy one different food each time you shop. Sure, you may encounter a few duds, but more often than not, you’ll be pleasantly surprised and may realize something unexpected - like that you actually love sauerkraut."
4. Use your kitchen as a lab
"Instead of looking at cooking as drudgery, consider it as your daily chance for culinary creativity. It takes nothing more than a shift of perspective and it comes at pretty low risk - the worst-case scenario is that the dog ends up being fed really well.
There’s no need to start making tofu from scratch if you’ve never made your own lasagna, but experiment every time you light up the stove. Start simple by swapping the herbs and spices in your favorite recipes, then graduate to using ingredients you’ve never tried. With time, you’ll become confident enough that you just might tackle tofu after all."
5. Make mealtime mash-ups
"With cooking experimentation comes rule breaking, but don’t be scared and just go with it. Growing up in Southern California, I was exposed to all sorts of ethnic flavors that have since made like music and mashed up into cross-cultural dishes such as Korean tacos.
Take a page from that trend and try a spin on your favorite foods, like kimchi in a quesadilla, Chinese 5-spice on a roast chicken, Spanish chorizo on a pizza, or any other twist that will help you forge your own food adventure."
Aida Mollenkamp will be speaking about how television has changed the culinary industry at the Reality Rocks Expo on Sunday, April 10, in Los Angeles.
Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.
It's great to experiment with different foods and flavors. I eat Indian food and lately I've been trying to incorporate new spices and fusion dishes in my meals. I've found some of the recipes on this site very easy to make and delish!
Monosodium Glutamate is where it's at!!!
Chinese 5 Spice works in a number of things that you might not expect...
Vanilla Milkshakes, Chocolate Chip Cookies, and shortbread (so far).
About trying new things, I recently found out I'm allergic to garlic. Since I can't seem to get my hummus as smooth as the store-bought types, I figured I would try my hand at making cous cous! LOVE IT!!! I added bacon & spinach one time. On another occasion added olives & sundried tomatoes. What a fun path I'm on now!
Now I'm looking for inspiration to mix in other ingredients to make it interesting. Any suggestions?
In Tunisia, it is made mostly spicy with harissa sauce, it is served with almost everything, including Lamb, Beef, Camel, and poultry. Fish couscous is Tunisian specialty, it can be also made with octopus in hot red spicy sauce. Couscous in Tunisia is served on every occasion; it is also served sweetened as dessert called masfouf, mostly during Ramadan.
Cool! Thanks for the help!
Pretty interesting to look at but she can't cook for joe and has a hard time answering questions on her show.
I'll try anything she's cooking!
How do you recognize people who give you food advice in front of their expensive equipment but don't really cook? They have a shelf of framed photographs right next to their stove vent :)
I wish I wish I wish I could follow this advice, but I have food allergies. New food could cause me to stop breathing. People without food allergies who don't try new food, please reconsider because of people like me!
"Weary to try Indian food"??? Perhaps you mean "Wary of trying Indian food" Sheesh.
I am weary of shoddy writing on CNN.com.
There's no waiting over at Fox. I'm sure Sarah would LOVE to hear from you.
Good gracious, rereading her cooking mashups causes spinal chills. Tell you what, you sweet thang, keep that smile on, pour some wine and let me cook this dinner for you.
She wore a RAAAAAZZZZZberry beret, the kind you find in a secondhand store.
Love the tips, thanks! I keep trying to get my husband to branch out of his comfort zone and this hit the nail on the head (he says he hates cumin, but loves chili). I just bought some rasberry chipotle sauce and thought that would be ineresting...it was so so, but it had the little rasberry seeds in it, so I kept biting on something hard/crunchy when eating the grilled chicken. I tried, but giving that one up. Can't wait to hit the store and try something new. Thanks again!
raspberry, raspberry, I need spell check on here
If seeds in Razzleberries are bothersome, then how do you eat them fresh? And do not try to eat a pomegranate. SEriously when I cook with razzelberries I sometimes, just sometimes strain the seeds out. But without the seed its missing an important texture.
I wonder if that is aluminum or galvanized steel? All one would need to do is tap or hit it to find out.
I took some metallurgy classes in school, so I would be happy to inspect the cabinet, and hit is to ascertain its structural integrity. All in a day's work really...
Sorry,I was mesmerized by a Bright shiny object-You were saying?
Being in the metals industry, I could assay that and report back.
you want to anneal metals like this. Heat them up, then cool them down so you get the full impact of their properties
It's Stainless Steel with a #4 brushed finish, if your talking about the range hood.Very common.
More than Interesting-VERY VERY INTERESTING!!! What a Babe,and she can cook!
Loser! Think of something more INTERESTING to say!
If he's "Truth" and you're "Not Truth" then everything you say has to be a lie!
How's THAT workin' for ya?
Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.
Join 8,161 other followers