Monday, March 28, 2011

How Do I Come Up With A Dish?

It's like anything in life, the more you do it, the better and easier it gets! Folks are always asking me how I come up with a dish?

Well, I started a series on my main blog: Be a Wok Star, on my 'thought process' and how I come up with a dish. Yesterday's post, Buy What's Seasonal & Fresh really says it all. I don't know till I'm shopping and prepping & then even change mid stream.

There are may factors: what am I craving? Balancing textures, flavors, spiciness, saltiness. Can my leftovers be eaten hot or cold? How do I want to present my dishes? The last and most important is listen to what your body wants!  And I'm not talking about chocolate bons bons, ha.  Talk about your body is your temple and mindful eating, it's what I try to practice daily. I've recently lost 6 pounds and can fit into clothes I've not worn in years and I feel GREAT! 

I know you're saying, "how does that help me?" Well, with baby steps and just trial and error and doing it daily or often!!!  Another way? I'm not saying don't use recipes, I'm saying recipes don't make you an intuitive cook, you're just following a set of someone else's directions. Use recipes as a guide for quantities, technique and inspiration. It's so much more FUN to add ingredients on a whim and be surprised with your results, voila! 

I've always said, once I understand the Why of something, it all falls into place. We've all watched Top Chef and how experienced chefs get voted off cause their dish failed the taste test! We don't need to be professional chefs, we just want to make a nice dinner for busy weeknights! My recent Asian Moussaka couldn't be eaten! I had to make it into a curry, no biggie.

So, today's lunch was leftover chicken wing, some pork stew and quinoa. Bit brown looking and one taste level, so I added pineapple cubes to give color & sweetness. Still needed something, so I added Yuzupao, a citrusy chili sauce to spice it up, what a difference!

Salad - I wanted crunch and got iceberg instead of usual field greens just to change it up. My friend Michele gave me fresh basil from her garden, that made it pop. I always add some sort of nuts for texture & extra health benefits. Dr. Oz got me into walnuts.

So, that's how I come up with a dish! Hope this helped. Leave me a comment if you have questions or want to share how you come up with a dish?!

More tips here Cook Like a Wok Star 1.0!

and here Curry Yoki Salmon with Salad (Wok Series 2.0)


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